New Delhi: India and the United States will soon be jointly working on drones that can be launched from mid-air. Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defence, informed that an agreement between an Indian and a US company has been signed for this purpose. India has increased the speed of purchase of the MQ-9 Ripper drones from the United States. The reports of India purchasing these drones equipped with hellfire missiles is giving sleepless nights to China. In this scenario, joint development of drones that could be launched from mid-air will certainly add to the Chinese worries.
Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defence for Acquisition and Sustainment, gave this information regarding this upcoming cooperation against the background of the ‘India Ideas Summit’, organised by the US-India Business Council. Lord said that the Research laboratory of the US Airforce, Indian Airforce, Defence Research and Development Organisation and one start-up company in India, will be jointly working on the project. Senior officials of the US defence department clarified that these drones would be launched from mid-air and not from an airstrip. Freight carrier aircraft or helicopters will be used for launching these drones. A meeting regarding the subject, between the officials of both the countries, is scheduled to be held in September. More information regarding the drones has not been published. But this cooperation between India and the United States is proving to be vital.
In the last few years, India has increased the purchase of weapons systems, from the United States, which includes Globemaster and Poseidon aircraft, Apache and Chinook Helicopters and even Howitzer Artillery guns. Against the background of the tension with China, India has deployed Poseidon aircraft, Apache and Chinook Helicopters and Howitzer Artillery guns, purchased from the United States, in Ladakh. India has also increased the rate of purchase of Predator and Ripper drones. Moreover, reports that the United States has expressed willingness to supply super-advanced F-35 fighter jets to India have also been published. China, restless with this increasing military cooperation between India and the United States, had criticised these developments. In this scenario, the joint development of drones launched from mid-air, by India and the United States, will certainly be an addition to the Chinese worries.