The Indian Air Force already issued an Request for Information (RFI) or initial tender to acquire 114 jets in April 2019. (Photo Credit: boeing.com)
With an aim to bag a USD 18 billion contract by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for 114 fighter jets, US defence major Boeing has sought a licence from the US authorities to be able to offer its F-15EX Eagle fighter jets to the IAF. The move comes as Indian Air Force plans to procure more than hundred fighter jets to fill the vacating squadrons of country’s air fleet. The top contenders for the deal include Lockheed’s F-21, Boeing’s F/A-18, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian aircraft MiG 35 and Saab’s Gripen.
“While awaiting further definition on the Indian Air Force’s requirements, we have requested a licence for the F-15EX so that we’re ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate,” the company said in a statement.
Along with fighter aircraft, India seeks to acquire 57 carrier-borne aircraft and Boeing eyes that deal as well.
“We continue to offer the F/A-18 Super Hornet to both the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force,” Boeing added.
In an unprecedented announcement, the company already said that it plans to set up manufacturing facilities for its F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft in India if it gets the IAF contract.
The Indian Air Force already issued a Request for Information (RFI) or initial tender to acquire 114 jets in April 2019 while the Indian Navy kick-started the process to procure 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its carriers in 2018 itself.
Last week, Managing Director of Boeing’s India operations Surendra Ahuja said the company was ready to expand its operation in the country.
A fleet of Boeing’s Chinook heavy-lift and AH-64E Apache attack helicopters were inducted into the Indian Air Force recently.
“We are committed to working with our customers to provide holistic solutions for their defence aircraft and services with the right capability, advanced technologies and cost structure,” PTI quotes Ahuja as saying.
(With PTI inputs)