Gripen offers full transfer of technology

July 4th, 2007  

Topic: Gripen offers full transfer of technology

Gripen offers tech transfer for combat aircraft

NEW DELHI: Even as the government is finalising ground rules for acquisition of 126 multi-role combat aircraft at a cost of $10 billion, Swedish company Gripen has indicated that it was willing to provide full transfer of technology and offer integration of its aircraft with all weapon systems available across the world. The move comes at a time when the government is expected to come out with a request for proposal (RFP) for the mega deal.

American, French and Russian companies are also in the race for supplying multi-role combat aircraft to Indian Air Force. Gripen International has indicated to the Indian authorities that its product would be cheaper than other comparable aircraft in terms of life cycle cost – or cost of acquisition plus operations.

We understand that life cycle of a defence aircraft in India could even extend to 40 years and that makes our position strong, said Mr Tony Ogilvy, Gripen International’s director in India. Our aircraft are designed to last for decades and what we would offer to India is the second generation Gripen with updated facilities, he added.

"Our aircraft are suited for integration with all advanced weapon systems available in the world, including missile systems provided by the US and Israel," Mr Ogilvy said. The company has already made efforts to familiarise the Indian Air Force with its aircraft and is keenly looking forward to the request for proposal (RFP) that the government is finalising.

"Training of pilots for our aircraft is simple and the time-frame depends on the role for which training is imparted," Mr Ogilvy said. The company’s recent customers include South Africa and Czech republic.

On transfer of technology, he said that Gripen was willing to provide all the know-how for India to carry out modifications according to its needs. This could enable Indian companies like Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to imbibe latest technologies and utilise them effectively.

The RFP for the multi-role combat aircraft that the government plans to acquire has been pending for years. Among those in the race for the mega deal include F18 (Boeing) and F16 (Lockheed Martin) of the US, Mig 35 from Russia, Dassault Rafale of France and Eurofigher developed by a European consortium.

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