Issue Brief on “US-India Armed Drone Deal: Implications for Pakistan”

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To boost its sea, land and air defences, India in March 2021 has made plans to buy 30 MQ-9B armed drones worth US$3 billion from the US.[1] Earlier, in November 2020, the Indian Navy leased two Sea Guardian drones and now three wings of the Indian armed forces have reportedly decided to jointly buy 30 armed versions of the American Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) – MQ-9B Sky Guardian/Sea Guardian.[2] States like the UK, France, Australia, Germany, Taiwan, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy have MQ-9B drones. The armed drone deal would add as a modern warfare tool to India’s existing military capabilities which are aimed at preparing for a “two-front war” against China and Pakistan.

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