India Army Sets Eyes on Advanced US Attack Drones

Avenger drone on display

It looks like the Indian military is seriously taking into consideration the modernisation of the security forces and cope with the modern threats posed upon them. The news is coming from various sources that are suggesting that Indian Army is interested in acquiring one of the most advanced UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles) from the USA, the General Atomics Predator-C “Avenger”.

Indian Navy is soon to operate the “Sea Guardian” UAVs after, the critical Category One UAV tech has been released by the Trump administration and IAF’s request for armed Avenger drones. Following the footsteps, Indian Army may operate one of the most modern UAVs to fly and will definitely be a significant addition to the Army’s arsenal.

Indian Army showed interest in the system and issued a request during 2017 to the General Atomics and during the crucial and strategic 2+2 India-US strategic talk, Army’s request was one of the items discussed. The dialogue was presided over by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Secretary of Defence James Mattis.

The deal came through after the US and India signed the historic CAATSA/COMCASA agreement which allows key US systems to be up for grabs for the Indian side. The deal brings a paradigm shift in the Indian military’s dependence on Israeli drones. It would be a great addition to the Indian side to safe keep friendly territories and keep our noisy neighbours at bay.

Predator-C Avenger UAS is a next generation, multi-mission capable, advanced UAV in development by the US-based General Atomics, who are famous for their MQ-9 Reaper drones. The drone is jet powered(Pratt & Whitney PW545B turbofan), which gives it a higher payload capacity of 1,588kg(internal) and 2,948kg(external).

Armament includes:

  • AGM-114 Hellfire surface-to-air anti-tank missiles
  • 250lb GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb
  • 500lb GBU-12 / GBU-49 Paveway II laser-guided bomb
  • 1,000lb GBU-16 laser-guided bomb and GBU-48 precision-guided bomb.
  • Can also carry GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) guided bombs.