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India opened talks with U.S. for the purchase of Avenger drones

Published: Friday, 08 April 2016

According to Reuters, India expressed interest in purchasing a first batch of 40 US-made Predator C “Avanger” unmanned aerial vehicles. The Indian Navy could purchase the unarmed Predator XP for ISR missions, while the Indian Air Force shown interest for the armed Predator C, said officials.

In 2015, India gave the green light for the acquisition of Heron TP UAVs, produced by Israel Aerospace Industries. The aircraft was acquired to monitor Kashmir’s mountains, a region disputed with Pakistan and China.

The U.S. government last year cleared General Atomics’ proposal to market the unarmed Predator XP in India, said Reuters, but neither India nor US gave additional details about the future delivery of the drones.

The Indian Air Force reportedly asked US about the acquisition of about 100 armed Predator C Avenger UAVs. But this would need approval from the Missile Technology Control Regime group as well as from the US Congress before any transfer of armed Predators could happen, Reuters said, quoting officials.

The General Atomics Avenger, or formerly Predator C, is a developmental unmanned combat air vehicle built by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the U.S. military. The Avenger is powered by a sole Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545B turbofan. It reaches a maximum speed of 740 km/h and has a service ceiling of 15,240 m. It has an endurance of 18 hours.


Predator C “Avanger” unmanned aerial vehicle

Avenger is designed to perform high-speed, long-endurance, multi-mission Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and precision-strike missions over land or sea. Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545 jet, the aircraft has a 13.41 m’ (44-foot) long fuselage, a 20.11 m’ (66-foot) wingspan, is capable of flying at airspeed of over 740 km/h (400 KTAS), and has an endurance of over 16 hours. The aircraft can support a wide array of sensors and weapons loads and has been designed to carry an all-weather GA-ASI Lynx Multi-mode Radar, an Electro-optical/ Infrared (EO/IR) sensor.

Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545 jet

Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545

Thrust Class*
Thrust Class*
PW545 Series 4,700 4,100 47 32 68

Avenger can carry up to 3,500 lb internally and its wing hard points are capable of carrying weapons ranging from the 500 lb class to the 2,000 lb class. For example, with the 2,000 lb Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) the Avenger will be able to deliver an optimal balance of long loiter ISR and precision-strike capability.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI) has successfully demonstrated the command of the Predator C Avenger stealth drone from a new, Advanced Cockpit Ground Control Station’s (GCS).

“Advanced Cockpit’s wrap-around visual display and multi-dimensional moving map dramatically increases situational awareness, while the integrated digital checklist decreases pilot workload,”

The Advanced Cockpit GCS features intuitive interfaces designed to make hazardous situations easier to identify, enhancing safety and improving the pilot’s reaction time and decision-making processes. Its ergonomic human-machine interface significantly improves situational awareness and reduces workload so the pilot can more effectively and efficiently accomplish his or her mission.


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