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IAF deal contenders now eye Navy orders

Discussion in 'Indian Navy' started by CONNAN, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. CONNAN

    CONNAN Major ELITE MEMBER

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    Some of the contenders for the $10-billion Indian Air Force have already started looking ahead in an effort to gauge the interest of the Indian Navy.Talking to FE, Paul Hopkins, vice-president, business development, BAE Systems, disclosed that the Naval version of the Eurofighter Typhoon has been offered to the Indian Navy. “We have had a few meetings with the Indian Navy and there is an interest. “

    “Ninety-five percent of it will be a common platform, with full capability,†said Hopkins. “In India, there was only a request for information and we have sent it.â€

    The Super Hornet F/A-18E/F from Boeing and French Rafale from Dassault are already operational on board US and French carriers, while the MiG-35 could be matched with the MiG-29K model the Indian Navy operates.

    “Unlike the aircraft from other companies using catapult launch which requires significant strengthening of the landing gear and airframe, Typhoon could be considered for ‘ski-jump’ equipped carriers only. In case India acquires a third aircraft carrier then these aircraft can be on board,â€explained Hopkins. A navalised Typhoon will be new-built aircraft, fitted with strengthened airframe and landing gear, he said.

    According to the company executives, “In case we win the $10-billion 126 MMRCA deal, then India will have the indigenous skills to develop a navalised version,†said the company official. Adding, “This is a perfect opportunity for the nation to add aircraft with both land and sea capabilities.â€

    The company is competing with Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation SA’s Rafale, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-16, Russia’s MiG-35 and Saab AB’s Gripen to supply jets to the south Asian country. India is expected to spend about $120 billion in the five years to 2017 to overhaul its armed forces.

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