India is in the final stages of preparing a Letter of Request (LoR) to send to the United States government for the procurement of 31 MQ-9B drones from General Atomics (GA). This LoR will cover the requirements of all three branches of the Indian Armed Forces and is expected to be sent within the next month. It will include details of the equipment needed and the terms of procurement.
Once the LoR is finalized, the US government and the Indian defense ministry will proceed to finalize the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA), which will outline the equipment specifics and procurement terms. Subsequent discussions will focus on project execution, including training personnel and providing spares support.
The acquisition of these MQ-9B drones was approved by the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in June, and it is expected to significantly enhance India's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. The drones will also have the capability to execute precision strikes on strategic targets in various regions.
India aims to achieve 15 to 20 percent indigenous content in the MQ-9B UAVs, signaling its intention to manufacture certain components domestically. General Atomics will also establish a Comprehensive Global Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility in India as part of the agreement to support India's long-term defense objectives.