NEW DELHI – Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden meeting with President Donald Trump, the US has approved the sale of 22 predator Guardian drones to India, The Indian Express reported.
PM Modi is scheduled to hold his first meeting with Trump at the White House on June 26.
The news website quoting sources said that the State Department cleared the deal involving $2-3 billion, adding that the department informed the Indian government and manufacturer, General Atomics, on Wednesday regarding the decision.
“This is the first very significant sign of the Trump administration being more result-oriented in its relationship with India compared to Obama administration,” it added.
The sources termed the deal “a game-changer” for realising the status of “major defence partner” that was designated to India during former president Obama’s tenure after approval by Congress.
The news site claimed that an official announcement will be made soon, adding that the State Department and the White House did not immediately reply to questions in this regard.
According to General Atomics, the Predator Guardian UAV, a variant of the Predator B, can be used for wide-area, long-endurance maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.