New Delhi-: Congress party today alleged that India is paying more price for the 31 Predator drones deal with the US. A deal that was welcomed by PM Modi and US president Joe Biden during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.
Addressing media persons in Delhi, AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera said That the Indian Government is paying 3.072 billion deal for 31 MQ-9B predator drones manufactured by General Atomics.” Why is India paying more than actual price of the drone, as compared to other countries? Why are we paying highest price for the drone, which does not even have AI integration?, he said.
The party also asked Modi Govt of number of drones being purchased. In April 2023, the Indian Armed Forces informed the Modi Govt that the requirement for predator drones is just 18 and not 31, then why the BJP govt buying 31 drones now ?
Giving examples of some similar variants, Congress leader Pawan Khera said the US Air Force bought MQ-9 drone, a superior version, at USD 56.5 million per drone. The UK Air Force bought MQ-9B at USD12.5 million per MQ-9B drone in spain. These drones were bought by Spain at USD 46.75 million per drone..and Germany bought it for USD 17 Million per drone, he added.
The Congress also said that when Rustom II Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is already available in India, what is the need of an alternative , and it is developed on the lines of the Predator drones of the US. It is designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It is capable of staying at a maximum flight altitude of over 22,000 feet for more than 24 hrs. Congress have also asked why cabinet Committee on security (CCS) not approve the drone deal. Alleging that Air Force had reservations about skyrocketing prices of these drones, why was the deal brokered in a hurry? The party also asked questions on “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” in Defence. National Security is the paramount of INC. There are several doubts and disturbing reports about the Predator Drone deal. Congress party demands transparency in this Predator Drone Deal. India needs answers to the crucial questions, otherwise we will be trapped in another scam under Modi govt. Congress party added.