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Asia Minute: United States and India are partnering on drones

A Predator drone
A Predator drone

The United States and India will be working together to develop drones.

That word comes from the Pentagon — which is developing a program that would allow India to not only use the drones, but to export the technology to other countries in the Indo-Pacific.

Agence France Presse quotes Eli Ratner, assistant secretary of defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, as saying the two countries will be “co-producing and co-developing capabilities.”

Historically, most of Indiaʻs defense technology and equipment have come from Russia — a practice the United States would like to change.

Separately, India and the United States have been negotiating for some time on a different drone deal.

The Indian government wants to purchase 30 Predator Armed drones for roughly $3 billion.

The Indian Navy has already been using American-made drones in the Indian Ocean.

U.S. technology and financing has already played a role in the development of India’s drone production.

IdeaForge Technology is the country’s largest drone maker — founded in 2007, and backed by Qualcomm Ventures.

This week, Bloomberg reports the company is considering an Initial public offering in Mumbai.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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