India has sent a letter to the Defense Department requesting to buy a pair of intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance aircraft from Raytheon through a foreign military sales transaction, Defense News reported Monday.
The report said an Indian defense ministry official estimates the value of the proposed government-to-government ISTAR procurement deal could reach $1 billion.
India’s air force wants an ISTAR aircraft platform equipped with active electronically scanned array radar technology and designed to integrate with the service branch’s air command-and-control system, the report added.
The mission software and critical equipment for the aircraft will be finalized by a panel composed of air force and defense ministry officials as well as scientists from the country’s defense research and development organization.
Defense News cited an MoD source that says a dispute between DRDO and IAF over technical evaluation authority caused a more than one-year delay of the ISTAR procurement effort.