‘US state dept issues Guardian drone export license for India’

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Washington: The US state department has issued the necessary license for the export of 22 predator Guardian drones to India, a government source here said, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump had their first bilateral meeting at the White House.

The state department has “issued the DSP-5 Guardian export license” for India, the source told PTI.

A DSP-5 category license is issued for permanent export of military hardware as found in the US Munitions List which is defined by the International Traffic Arms Regulations.

The drones are estimated to cost around USD 2 billion and are being built by General Atomics, considered a pioneer in the unmanned aerial vehicles domain.

The speed with which the Trump administration decided on India’s request for the drones, the source said, is reflective of the desire in White House to strengthen India’s military capabilities in the Indo-Asia Pacific region, where China’s aggressive diplomatic and military posture has unnerved other countries.

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