Drone sale to India would create around 2,000 jobs in the US

Vastavam web: The US decision to sell 22 Sea Guardian drones to India at an estimated cost of USD 2 billion will create around 2,000 jobs in the US and “cement” bilateral ties, an American executive involved in the deal has said.”This should be viewed as a significant step in cementing the US-India bilateral defence relationship,” Vivek Lall, chief executive US and international strategic development, General Atomics, told the Atlantic Council yesterday.Lall echoed Senator John Cornyn, Co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, who tweeted, “Drone Sale Would Cement US-India Ties.”

With China focused on South China Sea, Lall hopes that India has an opportunity to help create and lead a regional balance of power to protect its interests in the Indian Ocean region by building maritime engagements with regional and extra-regional partners.The Sea Guardian is a variant of the tested MQ-9 platform which allows for greater interoperability with the US and allied forces, in a way other platforms do not permit demonstrating the centrality of General Atomics’ products to India’s defence needs, he said.”This platform has 4 million hours in combat, will be able to certifiably fly in Indian civilian airspace and can remain airborne more than a record setting forty hours.

This summer, India received 10 advanced Heron drones from Israel for USD 400 million, making Israel a weapons supplier competitor to the United States.According to Lall, use of the Sea Guardian drones by the Indian Navy will also develop India’s credible capabilities, which is significant for Indian maritime security and naval power projection.Responding to a question, Lall said at least 2,000 jobs directly related to the sale, and countless indirect jobs, will be created or saved in the US.