In an attempt to strengthen its chances of clinching the $20 billion Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 114 combat aircraft, Swedish defence giant Saab has proposed to carry out the manufacture of 96 of its Gripen fighters in India, reports Business Standard.
The order calls for commitment from sellers to provide sensitive technologies and to conduct the majority of the manufacturing in India itself.
The IAF had originally sent out a request for information (RFI) in April for the purchase of 114 fighters, most of which were to be manufactured in India through an Indian private entity that would partner with the foreign manufacturer under a technology transfer pact. The IAF is now considering the various responses from vendors, including that of Saab.
“Except the first 18 aircraft, we intend to manufacture everything in India. Saab will look to build an ecosystem of defence manufacturing inside the country,” Chairman and Managing Director of Saab India Ola Rignellsaid stated in an interview.
Saab has partnered with Adani Defence for the prospect of manufacturing the Gripen in India. The company, however, faces stiff competition from competitors like Dassault, Boeing and Lockheed, who have also tied with local partners.
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