|JAS-39 Gripen (Image: Wiki Commons)|
By: Vivek Raghuvanshi
NEW DELHI — Saab of Sweden and Indian infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group have forged a partnership to build Gripen E aircraft and work on other aerospace programs in the Asian country.
The Sept. 1 announcement means India’s single-engine fighter aircraft competition worth $12 billion is now shortlisted between the Saab-Adani partnership and Lockheed Martin of the U.S. in a tie-up with India’s Tata Advanced Systems Limited.
”The intended collaboration would encompass design, development and production of Gripen for India and other high-tech products of national importance for India and also the creation of joint ventures in India in line with and in support of the Make In India policy,” according to a Saab news release.
Lockheed Martin is pitching its F-16 Block 70 aircraft, whereas Saab is fielding the upgraded Gripen E in response to the expression of interest sent to select aerospace companies through foreign Indian embassies in November 2016.
“Our plans in India are to create a new defense eco-system that would involve many partners, vendors and suppliers. To achieve this, we need a strong Indian partner who can help create the framework for the infrastructure and eco-system to come into place,” said Håkan Buskhe, CEO and president of Saab.
The president of Adani group, Gautam Adani, said: “We are proud of our enduring relationship with Saab and look forward to partnering in major projects such as Gripen. Our various collaborations in aerospace and defence sectors will help establish new production lines in India, generate employment and build sustainable skills.”
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