> our title:

India Formally Requests Predator Guardian Drones

> original title:

India Sends Letter of Request to U.S. for Predator Guardian Drones

(Source: Forecast International; issued June 22, 2016)

WASHINGTON --- India is seeking acquisition of American-sourced multi-purpose unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to perform maritime patrol and surveillance duties in its littoral and blue-water spheres.

The drones are seen as a necessary complement to the P-8I Neptune maritime patrol aircraft coming online with the Indian Navy as an element that will help in conducting maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions from a high altitude and with a long endurance operational cycle.

The model drone sought by India is the multi-mission Predator B (or Guardian) from U.S.-based General Atomics. It is capable of flying at altitudes up to 50,000 feet, loitering for over 24 hours and monitoring small object movements on a real time basis.

India's letter of request (LOR) to the U.S. - which is a step precipitating a government-to-government foreign military sale (FMS) - comes shortly after the country was inducted into the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a voluntary grouping committed to ensuring the non-proliferation of unmanned systems capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.

This was a necessary step for India's Predator B acquisition request, which should be fast-tracked now that the country has been recognized under Major Defense Partner status by the Obama administration.