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Modi has been architect of close Indo-US ties
4/24/2018 9:24:13 PM
As an immediate partner against terror the US has come to the aid of India as far as armed and unarmed aerial vehicles are concerned. In fact India needs to upgrade its defence sector by equipping the armed forces with what is called drones for keeping a watch on the activities of militants and in case the authorities wish to strike the bases of these militants they could use drones that too unmanned aerial vehicles. In the usage of unmanned aerial vehicles there is no room for getting some security forces, including pilots killed by the retaliatory fire from the militants. Over the years the Armed forces have found the drones very useful in anti-militancy operations and in thwarting the plans of militants. Under the changed circumstances and for the sake of promoting cordial ties with India the United States has decided to enable India to acquire armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), popularly known as drones. The US has revised its ' Policy on the Export of Unmanned Aerial Systems'. In fact the US President, Donald Trump has approved a new policy on the export of unmanned aerial systems (UAS). This policy updates and replaces the previous policy announced on February 17, 2015."
India under the new US policy allows use of these drones to fulfill 'counter-terrorism objectives', allowing attacks on terrorists who are so far dealt by ground-based Indian troops. India will be a major gainer as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has a blueprint to procure more than 5,000 UAVs over the next 10 years. These will include high-altitude long-endurance (HALE) UAVs, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs, medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAVs and mini UAVs. Some of these intend to be armed to buttress the strike capability. The armed forces are looking for 100 of the Predator drones-both the armed version and for surveillance. It will increase India's maritime surveillance capabilities in the Indian Ocean region. It can also keep a hawk's eye on the long porous border with Pakistan and relay-live any attempts at incursions in the Northeast by the Chinese PLA. These drones can fly for 24 hours without refuelling and operate at 50,000-ft altitude (modern passenger aircraft cruise at 35,000-45,000 ft).
Last year, Washington announced the export of 22 unarmed Predator drones following an Indian Navy request. Another 1,500 mini UAVs are needed for the Army. Apart from this, the Indian Navy and Coast Guard want 50 ship-borne mini UAVs for monitoring sea lines of communications, search and rescue and anti-piracy roles. These UAVs coupled with the Predator can incrementally add to capacities of maritime patrol aircraft like the P-8I and Anti submarine warfare helicopters at sea. Once India is able to have drones in its weapon bag it may give New Delhi an upper edge against Islamabad. There is no wonder if Pakistan procures drones from China to make up with its weapon deficiency. Well for the last 30 years India has been tackling Pakistan sponsored insurgency, first in Punjab and then in Jammu and Kashmir. The problem of militancy continues to assume bigger dimensions in Jammu and Kashmir and that is the reason for India to procure drones from the United States which too wants to partner with India as far as war against terror is concerned. And Modi’s dependence on the US aid has proved right and fruitful. This way the Indo-US relations have entered into a new phase the day Modi took over as Prime Minister of India.
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