Will India Gain an Edge over China in Drone warfare with MQ-9B Acquisition?
The announcement that India is likely to buy six MQ-9B Guardian drones from the United States - for $600 million has raised the prospect of pitching them against Chinese drones.
New Delhi wants to invest $3 billion for 30 of these drones. While the first six drones are to be purchased outright and delivered in the next few months, the remaining 24—eight drones for each service—will be acquired over the next three years.
Both the surveillance and armed versions of the MQ-9 are part of the sales package which the US has cleared for India in 2018.
In contrast, China’s indigenously made drones have become a major force-multiplier for the PLA. Sold to countries such as the UAE and Pakistan among others, they have been used in recent battles such as in Libya, where they have been credited for hunting down formidable Russian air defence systems such as the Pantsir-S.
Defenseworld.net examines the features of some of the Chinese drones against the General Atomics drones and Elbit UAS which India has or plans to acquire.