India and the US are likely to announce a Rs 20,000-crore deal for 30 armed Predator drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) during the forthcoming two plus two dialogue between the two countries in December. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will hold talks with their US counterparts Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken respectively during the high-profile event.
Top Defence Ministry officials, including Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, held a meeting here on Monday to discuss the entire gamut of issues related to the deal, sources said.
If cleared, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) chaired by the Defence Minister will examine the proposed contract. Following the DAC nod, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by the Prime Minister will then take the final call, they said.
The Predator drones are also known as MQ-9 Reaper systems. The Indian Army, IAF, and the Navy are likely to get ten Predators each, they said. The Indian armed forces for long have urged the Government for this crucial procurement.