US To Speed Up Sales Of Armed Drones To India


New Delhi: After an announcement on India is entering the missile technology control regime (MTCR) is made, India and the US are expected to fast-track their discussion on sale of the Predator series of unmanned aircraft for the Indian military. Since 2008, India has been one of the five countries unilaterally adhering to the MTCR.

“Yes, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc, is aware of India’s interest in Predator-series remotely piloted aircraft (RPA),” Mr Vivek Lall, chief executive of the US and International Strategic Development of “General Atomics,” the largest privately-held American defence company which designs and manufactures Predator drones, had said last year.

The Predator drone, which recently eliminated Taliban chief Mullah Mansour in Afghanistan, is the preferred tool of the CIA. Membership of the MTCR is a huge boost for India’s ability to procure this capability.

The next step would be for the unmanned aircraft policy of the White House to be amended for this strategic partnership. “The MTCR aims to prevent proliferation of unmanned delivery systems (missiles or unmanned aircraft) capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction, by seeking to coordinate national export licensing efforts,” the MTCR chair, ambassador Piet de Klerk, had said in his address to the 23rd Asian Export Control Seminar, Tokyo, in February.

“Whereas MTCR has common export policy guidelines applied to an integral list of controlled items, HCoC (Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation) members commit themselves to notify others on launches and test flights of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. States also commit to subscribe to principles that include submitting an annual declaration of their country’s policies on the ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles,” Mr de Klerk said.

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