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The Defence Ministry pursues deal worth Rs 20,000 crore with US for Predator drones .

According to the sources, India and the US have been discussing the deal for more than two years and it is now in the last stages of being approved by the government.

The Defence Ministry pursues deal worth Rs 20,000 crore with US for Predator drones .
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At a high-level meeting slated for Monday, the Indian Defence Ministry will take up the case for the acquisition of 30 Predator drones for the three defence forces, marking a significant step toward strengthening military ties with the United States.

According to government sources, a high-level conference led by the Defence Secretary will discuss the case for the acquisition of these drones costing over Rs 20,000 crore on Monday.

If the acquisition is approved at this meeting, it will be sent to the Defense Acquisition Council for final approval by the defence ministry, and then to the Cabinet Committee on Security for final approval before the contract is signed.

According to the sources, India and the US have been discussing the deal for more than two years and it is now in the last stages of being approved by the government. The Indian Navy is the lead service in this procurement case, and the two services are working together to get it approved by the government.

Once approved, each of the three services will receive ten drones, which will be utilised for surveillance and strike missions as needed. Predator drones were taken by the Indian Navy under emergency purchase powers granted to the services by the government, and they were incorporated into the defence forces on a lease basis.

The Indian Navy has been flying these drones in the Indian Ocean Region, and their endurance of over 30 hours allows them to improve the force's domain awareness in a region where Chinese Navy warships and submarines, as well as merchant boats, often pass through.

India is also receiving drones from Israel, which will assist them in obtaining coverage in high-altitude locations and will be equipped with the most up-to-date surveillance technology.

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