Defence Deals Current Affairs

US Approves Sale of UAV Technology to India

The United States has cleared the sale of the state-of-the-art Guardian 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India. The deal to sell UAV drones to India is estimated to be worth $2 to $3 billion. Though the deal has been approved by the State Department, an official announcement regarding the deal is yet to be announced.


The transfer of the state-of-the-art UAV technology to India will be the first significant progress after India’s entry into the exclusive Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and after the US has designated India as a major defence partner. India became the 35th full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) in June 2016.

The transfer of Guardian UAV technology is aimed at furthering mutual security interests to protect the Indian Ocean.

The deal would also pave the way for the transfer of other key technology sales from the US to India. The Guardian unmanned aircraft has been classified as Category 1 aircraft with cutting edge technologies.


Last year, the Indian Navy had requested for this intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platform. The US has designated India as a “major defence partner” under the Obama Administration. The US considers India as a key player to counter the Chinese threat. However, the Guardian UAV proposal was kept in abeyance under Obama administration.

UAVs operate without a human pilot. UAVs are commonly used in both the military and police forces in situations where the risk of sending a human piloted aircraft is unacceptable, or the situation makes using a manned aircraft impractical.


India ink defence deals with Israel for advanced MRSAM

India and Israel have inked defence deals worth over $2 billion for advanced medium-range surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) systems.

As part of the deal, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will provide the Indian Army with Barak-8 advanced MRSAM systems.


  • MRSAM is an advanced ground breaking air and missile defence system that can provide ultimate protection against a variety of aerial threats such as hostile aircraft, missiles and drones.
  • It has been developed jointly by IAI and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Other firms involved in project include Rafael, Bharat Electronics Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited and L&T.
  • The system includes advanced phased-array radar, command and control systems, mobile launchers and missiles with advanced RF seekers.
  • Using its Multi-Function Surveillance and Threat Alert Radars (MF-STARs), as well as weapon control systems with data links, it can detect and track hostile aerial threats at a range of 100-km and destroy them at 70-km.
  • The MRSAM is operational with the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and Israel Defense Forces. Its deployment in Indian Army will help in plugging the existing holes in India’s air defence coverage.

Israel currently is the fourth-largest arms supplier to India after the US, Russia and France. The MRSAM systems defence deal between India and Israel will further tighten the bilateral strategic partnership between both countries ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s impending visit to Israel in July 2017.