DAC clears acquisition of 31 MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones from US

It has been reported that the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by Defence Minister of India has approved the procurement of armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, also known as Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) from US based General Atomics.

To be noted that India will most likely will be procuring around 31 UAVs which includes around 15 for the Indian Navy and eight each for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The total cost of the deal is estimated to be around $3 billion. This will also include Maintenance, Overhaul and Repair (MRO) of the UAVs.

The deal now awaits the final nod from the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

Notably, SeaGuardians can be armed with strike missiles to take down targets, apart from discharging surveillance functions. India is expected to buy the drones, which have an endurance of more than 27 hours and can operate at up to 50,000 feet.

A formal announcement of the deal is expected during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s state visit to Washington this week.

About MQ-9B SeaGuardian

MQ-9B SeaGuardian is the maritime-focused sibling of the revolutionary SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) that has been missionized using “bolt-on/bolt-off” maritime sensors.

SeaGuardian is designed to fly over the horizon via satellite for over 30 hours (depending on configuration) in all types of weather and safely integrate into civil airspace, enabling joint forces and civil authorities to deliver real-time situational awareness anywhere in the maritime domain—day or night.

This highly versatile maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft can seamlessly integrate a centerline wide-area maritime radar, an automatic identification system, electronic support measures, and a self-contained anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission kit.

SeaGuardian not only integrates the most advanced maritime intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, but it is also the first RPAS in its class to enable real-time search and patrol above and below the ocean’s surface.

SeaGuardian can be configured to conduct a number of maritime ISR operations, including but not limited to:

  • Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief
  • Search and Rescue
  • Law Enforcement
  • Anti-Surface Warfare
  • Anti-Submarine Warfare
  • Airborne Mine Counter Measures
  • Long-Range Strategic ISR
  • Over-the-Horizon Targeting


Wing Span: 66 ft (20m)

Length: 36 ft (11m)

Powerplant: Honeywell TPE331-10

Max Gross Takeoff Weight: 10,500 lb (4763 kg)

Fuel Capacity: 3,900 lb (1769 kg)

Payload Capacity: 850 lb int. (386 kg)

3,000 lb ext. (1361 kg)

Payloads: MTS-B EO/IR

Lynx Multi-mode Radar

Multi-mode maritime radar

Automated Identification System (AIS)


Communications relay

Power: 11.0 kW/45.0 kVA (Block 5)


Max Altitude: 50,000 ft (15240m)

Max Endurance: 27 hr

Max Air Speed: 240 KTAS


  • Triple-redundant flight control system
  • Redundant flight control surfaces
  • Remotely piloted or fully autonomous
  • MIL-STD-1760 stores management system
  • C-Band line-of-sight data link control
  • Ku-Band beyond line-of-sight/SATCOM data link control
  • Over 90% system operational availability
  • C-130 transportable (or self-deploys)

Source for About SeaGaurdian and Image Courtesy:  https://www.ga-asi.com/remotely-piloted-aircraft/mq-9b-seaguardian

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