India keen to buy F- 18 fighter jets
Boeing’s offer to supply F/ A- 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to the Indian Air Force ( IAF).
Sources said that New Delhi will take a hard look at the proposal in April when a high- level delegation will engage the Indian officials on the construct of the offer. US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter will be in India on April 10 in a visit that is expected to take lift cooperation to a new level.
Boeing has offered F/ A- 18 Super Hornets under the “ Make in India” framework of the Indian government.
Sources said the proposal is worth considering as IAF is facing acute shortage of fighter jets. The IAF has already made it clear that the 36 Rafale fighter jets that are
inadequate to meet its operational requirement.
There is a view emerging in the Indian security establishment that F/ A- 18 Super Hornets can also negate the sale of F- 16 fighter jets to Pakistan by the US. Super Hornet is a carrier based multi- role fighter which can be used by the Indian navy as well.
Sources said the aircraft can meet both the IAF and Indian navy’s operational requirement.
India had considered F- 18 Super Hornet during the earlier hunt for 126 medium multi- role fighter jets.
With the government scrapping the proposed contract which could not be sealed even after prolonged discussions with the French side, it opened doors for other fighter makers to make fresh bids.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar has said the government is working out the best deal with the French. The contract, said to be in the final lap of negotiations is stuck over the price of 36 jets being sought by the French side. Sources said the deal is working out to be worth ` 60,000 There is a sense of urgency in acquiring new aircraft as IAF’s force levels are depleting due to an ageing fleet. Sources said the “ Make in India” proposal of F- 18s will solve the problem on the long term basis.
Boeing’s proposal also involves significant transfer of technology with a substantial indigenous content.
The proposal will also benefit the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft “ Tejas” programme which needs to be resurrected after prolonged delays.
Sources said the acquisition can be put on fast track considering the urgency. The government has already stressed on going for direct military sale the route which is faster instead of inviting global bids.
IAF has made it clear that the 36 Rafale fighter jets are inadequate to meet its operational requirement
Source: by Mail Today (in.news.yahoo.com) - 04 April 2016
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Boeing's Make in India F-18 fighter jet offer comes with a rider but it's still a better offer claims Source
US Aerospace giant Boeing recently offered to produce its legacy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jet in India with Indian air force requested changes if India selects its fighter jet after MMRCA tender was withdrawn by Ministry of defence last year.
Boeing’s offer comes with one major rider that India has to place orders for minimum 150 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets which are way more than 126 aircraft India had sought to purchase under MMRCA tender in the first place.
Other in the race to supply and Make in India their fighter jets like Saab with its Gripen NG and Lockheed Martin with its F-16 Block 70 also have their Minimum purchase order commitment requirements to be made by India before they can set up their production line for their jets in India said highly reliable sources close to idrw.org.
Boeing has promised better Transfer of technology of its F/A-18E/F than Saab’s offer on Gripen NG and has promised to incorporate many low observability techs like Enclosed Weapons Pod (EWP), Conformal Fuel tanks (CFT) which can classify it has Semi-Stealth aircraft.
Boeing is also offering full spherical missile warning capability, an advanced cockpit employing large area displays and internal Infrared Search-Track (IRST) system under its Advanced Super Hornet upgrade package to its existing clients. the list also includes enhanced performance versions of the General Electric F414-440 engines that boost the thrust by 20 percent.
Indian defence minister Parrikar already has confirmed that by the end of 2016 a new fighter aircraft will be selected and the selected vendor will manufacture nearly 90 fighter jets in India in partnership with Indian private defence company, Ministry of Defence is closely studying current offers and also is having back-channel talks with all vendors while keeping Indian air force in the loop in search for a new fighter jet and MOD might commit only for 90 air crafts .
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