On Tuesday, June 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama came to an agreement on vital cooperation on defence collaboration and technology. The historic deal has been over a decade under discussions and debates, finally being realised to bring an essential cooperation on the defence front. Signalled by India’s entry to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the deal will allow India access to advanced, sophisticated technology used in defence by the USA, with the MTCR affiliation posing awareness of responsibilities of owning sensitive, advanced weaponry.
This has India majorly enthusiastic, cemented by the bilateral Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA). The LEMOA has been tailored to suit India’s custom requirements, opening up India’s gates to accessing the US military bases spread across. In return, the United States of America will gain access to India’s military bases. Out of all this, though, one of India’s prime takeaways is the access to High Altitude, Low Endurance (HALE) drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). This will open up India’s arsenal to access the likes of Predator-C Avenger drones and similar elite technology.
"The Predator-C Avenger drone can carry 2000lb GBU-31 JDAM bombs"
The Predator-C Avenger drone is a prime example of the sophisticated technology that India will have at hand, should need be. Powered by a turbofan engine with S-shaped exhaust to reduce infrared and radar signature and advanced stealth design such as an internal weapons systems, the Predator-C Avenger drone can carry 2000lb GBU-31 JDAM bombs, 150kW HELLADS DEWs (Directed Energy Weapons) and more. The Predator-C Avenger can cruise at speeds of about 650kph, and achieve maximum speed of around 750kph.
The defence agreement could also signal a potential for major development in the Directed Energy Weapons division of India. The USA’s defence weaponry has advanced to a point, where laser-powered DEWs have been deployed by the United States Navy on basis of trial. Developed to full potential, laser-powered weapons can have the potential to destroy UAVs, becoming a crucial peg in strategic defence partnerships between nations.
The two nations have also signed a ‘White Shipping Agreement’, that will provide for better maritime monitoring. With these partnerships, India is geared up to be privy to developed, sensitive technology, particularly in the field of combative drones. UAVs, over time, have found massive application in defence and warfare, with DEWs being looked upon as a countering force that looks to take care of aerial threat.