French Aviation major Dassault Aviation has joined the race along with Boeing who is now pitching its product for the Rs.50,000 crore Indian Navy’s deal for 57 fighter jets.
Boeing earlier has pitched it FA-18 after the Indian Navy has floated the tender for “Request For Interest” for inducting 57 fighter jets which is expected to provide multi-role fight. The other two which are in the race are Sweden’s SAAB and Rosoboronexport of Russia. Sweden is pitching for it’s Gripen fighter jets.
Naval Chief Sunil Lanba said “We will examine the RFI and take it forward”.
While SAAB’s Gripen is a single engine aircraft, FA-18 and Dassault’s Rafale sports dual engine on its aircraft. The government signed an $8.7-billion deal with France last year for 36 Rafale warplanes for the IAF.
Dassault seems to be having the upper hand with its prior deals with Indian Air Force.
“Dassault with joint venture partner Reliance has a Make in India proposal already in place and envisages all 57 aircraft to be delivered from its facility at Mihan (near Nagpur),” a company executive said on condition of anonymity.
Earlier, the navy had on January 25 put out an RFI for the 57 fighter planes, giving manufacturers four months to respond. The factors that would play a major role in execution of the contract between the Indian Navy and the other party would include the budgetary estimates, level of indigenisation, transfer of technology and schedule of deliveries among others.