China V India: India orders huge number of drones to monitor Chinese warship armament

Thursday, September 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

INDIA is ordering scores of high-tech drones from the United States to keep an eye on China’s warships off its coastline.

By MARK CHANDLER
Express.co.uk
Thu, Sep 28, 2017

The nation is growing increasingly concerned at regular forays by Chinese naval ships and submarines in the Indian Ocean.

And India is expected to splurge around £2.2 billion on 22 unmanned machines to boost its surveillance of the nation’s fleet.

US President Donald Trump has approved the sale but the transaction still needs to be signed off.

Harsh Pant from Indian think tank the Observer Research Foundation told CNBC the General Atomics Guardian drones were “the world’s most advanced maritime reconnaissance drones and can help India track the movement of Chinese warships with its multi-mode maritime radar.”

And Dhruva Jaishankar, foreign policy fellow at Brookings India told CNBC: “Unmanned vehicles, like those whose sale has been proposed by the United States, would allow India to monitor activities in the region much better.

“Clearly, there are concerns about the militarisation of the Indian Ocean, including the increased presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy.”

Defence ties between India and the US have expanded rapidly in the last decade with New Delhi moving away from traditional supplier Russia.

Military experts say US weapons transfers aim to bolster Indian capabilities to develop a counterweight against China’s growing assertiveness.

The Indian air force has also asked for 90 armed Avenger Predator drones that experts say could be deployed for cross-border strikes, such as targeting militant camps India says exist on Pakistan’s side of disputed Kashmir.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held talks with Indian leaders on Tuesday where he vowed to jointly stamp out militant sanctuaries and get greater involvement from India in helping to stabilise Afghanistan.

It comes as Mr Trump’s administration steps up pressure on Pakistan for more action against militant groups operating from its soil that are blamed for attacks in both countries.

The Rest…HERE

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