After the Rafale fighter jets and S-400, China is concerned that India has an MQ-9 Reaper drone manufactured by General Atomics of the US.
India is about to get the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by General Atomics of the US (Indian Navy already using two MQ-9 drones). This can be said to be one of the most dangerous combat UAVs in the US military’s arsenal. Many high-value targets have been hit by this type of drone in the Middle East.
Earlier, India started receiving Russia’s most advanced S-400 air defense missile system and the delivery of 36 French Rafale fighter jets, expected to be completed in April 2022.
Currently, the Indian Navy leased two MQ-9B Sea Guard UAVs from the US for training purposes. The Indian government is preparing to buy 30 more MQ-9 Reaper UAVs, of which the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force will receive 10.
If this procurement contract is approved, then India will spend 3 USD to complete the above contract. Many rumors suggest that the decision to buy the MQ-9 may be announced at the upcoming “2 + 2” meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of India and the US.
In 2020, India leased two MQ-9B Sea Guard UAVs, an improved model of the MQ-9, to perform maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions and train personnel and then decided to continue to buy 30 aircraft of this type.
However, due to problems with costs and the procurement process, this procurement has fallen into a difficult situation. Now, when the lease contract for two MQ-9B Sea Guard aircraft is about to expire, the Indian Navy emphasizes the need to get this US UAV model soon, and the agreement is expected to be approved soon.
UAV MQ-9 Reaper capable of remote control operation and autonomous flight; This is the successor of the MQ-1 Predator UAV, mainly used for intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance missions. The Reaper is specifically designed, for use in areas with long operating hours and high altitudes.
Due to its long travel time, the very wide detection range of sensors, multi-mode communications and precision-guided weapons, the Reaper is capable of destroying sensitive and high-class targets. Especially the unique ability to attack, monitor and scout in just one UAV model.
The MQ-9 Reaper drone has a weapon payload of more than 1 ton and can carry 4 Hellfire anti-tank missiles and 2 227 kg bombs at the same time. Reaper is equipped with a very powerful control system, anti-interference ability and high security, thanks to the latest algorithms and AI.
The entire MQ-9 UAV system includes drones, ground control stations, satellite links, backup equipment, operation and maintenance personnel. The MQ-9 is larger and more powerful than the Predator UAV and is designed to precisely strike sensitive targets.
The MQ-9 UAV can cruise continuously for 24 hours and can perform a variety of missions, including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, close-in air support, search and rescue, and attack. precision, escort, terminal navigation, etc.
The first Reaper UAVs, which entered service in 2007 were widely used by the US Air Force for precision strikes, such as missions during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2020, the US military also used this aircraft to assassinate Qassim Soleimani, a senior Iranian officer and commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, at Iraq’s Baghdad airport.
Although the US only exports MQ-9 drones to its NATO allies, with the US announcing India as its main defense partner in 2016 and the two sides signed four related cooperation agreements, this makes India eligible to buy Reaper UAV.
The use of Reaper UAVs allows both sides to share secret military technology. Vivek Lahr, CEO of General Atomics, the maker of the MQ-9, said that a dedicated UAV center could be established in India, to support the development of UAV systems in the country.
India is clearly eligible to buy the Reaper UAV, as it is the cornerstone of US Indo-Pacific policy. With China’s growing influence in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean, equipping India with advanced technology has become a top priority.
India is also working hard to modernize its navy and increase its military presence at sea. On the other hand, the Pakistani and Chinese militaries, India’s two arch-rivals, are constantly acquiring the latest weapons and equipment.
When used in conjunction with the P-8I maritime patrol aircraft (also an American-made aircraft), the Reaper UAV is expected to enhance the capabilities of the Indian Navy, as it can track and attack enemy ships as well as other targets threatening the security of India. Military analysts say that the MQ-9 UAV will be a “game changer” for India