MQ-9B Predator Drone

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India is in the final stages of drafting the Letter of Request (LoR) to send to the United States government for the acquisition of 31 MQ-9B Predator drones from General Atomics (GA).

About MQ-9B Predator Drone

  • The MQ-9B drone is a variant of the MQ-9 "Reaper", an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of remotely controlled or autonomous flight operations.
  • These are high-altitude, long-endurance drones armed with strike missiles that can take out enemy targets with high accuracy.
  • It was developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI)primarily for the United States Air Force (USAF).
  • The MQ-9B has two variants — SkyGuardian and its sibling SeaGuardian.
  • The Indian Navy has been operating the MQ-9B Sea Guardian since 2020.
  • Features:
    • It can carry up to 5,670 kg and has a fuel capacity of 2,721 kg.
    • The drone can operate at over 40,000 feet.
    • The Predator also has a maximum endurance of 40 hours, making it useful for long-hour surveillance.
    • It can support land, maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, strike, electronic warfare and expeditionary roles.
    • It is also capable of automatic take-offs and landings.
    • It can safely integrate into civil airspace, enabling joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the maritime domain -- day or night.


Q1) What is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)?

Armoured Recovery Vehicles are specialized military vehicles designed for the recovery and maintenance of armored vehicles on the battlefield.

Source: India finalising Letter of Request for acquisition of 31 MQ-9B drones