Ahead of India’s decision on naval fighter jets, Boeing sweetens its offer to pip rival Dassault Aviation


Competitors vying for the mega contract for naval version of fighter jets for the Navy’s aircraft have begun sweetening their offers to pip rivals as the process for its award nears completion.

US-based Boeing’s Super Hornet F/A-18 jet is competing against Rafale Marine France’s Dassault Aviation in the bid for 26 deck based fighters for Indian Navy. The trials for twin seater F/A-18 jets and single seater of Rafale-M were completed a month back at INS Hansa in Goa and the Navy is assessing the reports of their performances before the deal enters into final stages, said sources.

Make in India initiatives

Boeing, interestingly, put out a statement on Wednesday, stating that it has “plans to further strengthen its Make in India initiatives, building on a successful track record of contributing to India’s indigenous aerospace and defence ecosystem”.

Embellishing its offer ahead of central government’s decision to pick one of the two bidders, the US aerospace company shared its assessment by stating that it “anticipates $3.6 billion in economic impact to the Indian aerospace and defense industry over the next 10 years, with the F/A-18 Super Hornet as India’s next carrier-based fighter”.

Other benefits

It also proposed other benefits such as work and technology transfer for the advanced F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets with Indian industry and investment in among others, manufacturing, training and skilling, and infrastructure. The economic impact, claimed US aerospace company, would be over and above Boeing’s current offset obligations and plans in the country.

Indian Air Force, however, already has Rafale in its fleet and Dassault Aviation CEP Eric Trappier had earlier stated, “we are the only company to have strictly the same aircraft for our air force and for our navy”.

The acquisition of the naval fighter jets is expected to happen through government-to-government route, Navy Vice Chief, Vice Admiral SN Ghormade had said at a press conference last month. He had also stated, a decision on the contract would be taken “as early as possible” on the basis of the report on the trials for deck based fighters which were completed by then.

Published on

August 24, 2022

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