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This article is more than 3 year old.

Defence expo: Aircraft majors gun for IAF deal

Mini

Aircraft manufacturers from across the globe are actively considering the proposal from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the procurement of 110 fighter jets.

Defence expo: Aircraft majors gun for IAF deal
Aircraft manufacturers from across the globe are actively considering the proposal from the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the procurement of 110 fighter jets.
Last week, the IAF had issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of fighter jets.
“We are analysing the content of the government-issued RFI for procurement of these jets, and are serious about it,” said Jan Widerstorm, VP and country head, Saab.
Intense Competition
Saab, the Swedish-based aerospace and defence company, has teamed up with the Adani Group to manufacture its Gripen multi-role jets in India and hopes to capitalise on the estimated $15 billion that the deal is reportedly valued at.
Hours after the Saab-Adani deal, Boeing joined hands with Mahindra Defence and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited for winning the tender. The joint-venture will manufacture Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets in India.
Mahindra’s Defence Head PS Shukla termed it is a historical deal.
According to sources, Mahindra Defence was in talks with Boeing and HAL for the past six months.
“We believe we are a strong contender for the Indian government’s RFI,” Shukla told CNBCTV18.com. “We are looking to use Mahindra, Boeing and HAL’s available facilities and capabilities to build these jets, and thus stay price competitive.”
Incidentally, Mahindra has also inked a similar deal with Japanese aeronautics major, ShinMaywa, to make heavy seaplanes for the Indian armed forces.
To win the IAF tender, both companies have to contend with US-based Lockheed Martin and its Indian partner Tata Aerospace and Defence.
In June 2017, Lockheed and Tata joined hands to manufacture the former’s F-16 Block 70 fighter jets, which the companies hope will favour them in the run-up to the tender.
“As a follow-up of our partnership with Tata Defence, we are currently in talks with 80 other large, small and medium-sized companies in the public and private sector, to build these jets,” Vivek Lall, VP(business development), Lockheed Martin, told CNBCTV18.com. “Our products have been used by 25 air forces around the world, and could lead to the formation of a strong defence alliance.”
The Lockheed-Tata F-16 variant in India comes with with significant changes from the one that Lockheed manufactures for the US Air Force.
What Lockheed calls a ‘buddy refuelling’ system, the jets will have enhanced refuelling capacities, including an additional fuel receptacle at the rear. The jets also come with provision for ten air-to-air missiles on the jet, in place of six that the F-16s in the US Air Force are equipped with.
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