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Saturday, May 25, 2024

GA-ASI Looks Ahead to India Deal

AEROSPACE: Aircraft Pact Still in Negotiation Said to Be Worth $3B

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. is exploring a sale of up to 30 unmanned aircraft to India. The GA family of companies is also looking at two other advanced technology partnerships with Indian startup companies.

India intends to buy armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian unmanned aircraft, which will also be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, according to a White House statement released on June 22. The news came during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington.

The agreement with India would be unusual since the United States and India do not have a formal security alliance.

A final deal has yet to be announced. Several sources in the Indian media place the value of the possible aircraft deal at $3 billion.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) and its affiliates are privately held.

A White House statement said GA-ASI plans to assemble an unspecified number of MQ-9B aircraft in India. In addition, GA-ASI plans to establish a comprehensive global maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in India.

Early this year, GA-ASI announced a strategic partnership with Bharat Forge Limited of India, part of the Kalyani Group. In a statement, GA-ASI called it “a major move to boost manufacturing in India.” The partnership calls for the manufacture of main landing gear components, subassemblies and assemblies of remotely piloted aircraft.

Overseas Customers

The Poway company has made plenty of overseas sales, but it typically builds its aircraft for NATO allies. Those aircraft are capable of carrying Hellfire missiles.

GA-ASI built a special export version of its Predator aircraft for the United Arab Emirates. The Japanese government is testing GA-ASI aircraft.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems has been operating MQ-9A aircraft in India since 2020 under a lease deal. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A White House statement also laid out plans to launch what it called a U.S.-India Defense Acceleration Ecosystem. The U.S. Space Force has signed its first international cooperative research and development agreement with Indian startups 114 AI and 3rdiTech. Both companies will work with General Atomics to co-develop components using cutting-edge technologies in artificial intelligence (114 AI) and semiconductors (3rdiTech).

The summit offered news of other joint projects, some of them military-related. The U.S. Navy concluded ship repair agreements with Indian shipyards while General Electric made a decision to manufacture fighter jet engines in India.

There were other international developments for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in June.

On June 16, the Department of State approved a possible foreign military sale of MQ-9A Block 5 unmanned aircraft to the Netherlands for an estimated cost of $611 million.

Under the deal, the Netherlands could buy up to four aircraft, up to three mobile ground control stations and related equipment. This includes up to 20 Lynx AN/APY-8 synthetic aperture radars, Hellfire missile launchers and Reaper engines.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc.

CEO: Linden P. Blue
BUSINESS: Maker of remotely piloted aircraft and subsystems
CONTACT: 858-312-2810
NOTABLE: The Smithsonian Institution calls the company’s Predator aircraft “a drone that transformed military combat”


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