Ahead of PM Modi’s US trip, the Indian government is pursuing its case for getting advanced drones from the US government. The deal, if approved, will be worth $ 2 billion and it will act as a force multiplier for the Indian armed forces. The drones being negotiated will be top-end surveillance drones that will significantly improve the capabilities of the Indian Navy in the vast Indian Ocean. If the deal is sanctioned, India will be the first non-NATO member to get such advanced drones for surveillance. The approval for the drones is also being considered a key test for relations between India and United States, especially in the era of Donald Trump, who has often been critical of India on various fronts.
Speaking about the drone deal being actively followed by India, a government official said, “We are trying to move it to the top of the agenda as a deliverable, this is something that can happen before all the other items.” India is putting its case in a strong way by pointing out to the 7,500 km of coastline it has to protect in the Indian Ocean. India will also discuss the growing ambitions of China in the region with many of its ships and submarines regularly plying in the international waters in the Indian Ocean.