- Saab was the first foreign company to make a move in what the aerospace industry expects to be a very competitive acquisition.
- Saab says that its plane, which has a new, more powerful General Electric F-414 engine, offers maximum operational availability with minimal logistics needs.
Saab, a Swedish aerospace and defence company, had a deal with Adani Group to make the Gripen E fighter in India. On Monday, Saab said that it would no longer be following through with this deal.
Mats Palmberg, chairman and managing director of Saab India, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday that they had decided not to go through with the deal with the Adanis.
On August 31, 2017, Saab and Adani Group said they would work together. If Saab was chosen as the foreign partner to make the Gripen E fighter, the deal between the two would go into effect.
Saab is one of seven big aerospace companies from around the world that are competing in the tender for 114 medium multirole fighter aircraft for the Indian Air Force. The tender is estimated to be worth between Rs 60,000 and Rs 70,000 crore (IAF).
In addition to Saab, these are the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from Boeing, the F-21 from Lockheed Martin, the Rafale from Dassault, the Eurofighter Typhoon from Europe, and the MiG-35 and Sukhoi-35 from Russia.
When asked who Saab would work with to build the Gripen E in India, Palmberg said that if the Indian defence ministry let Saab own 74% of the company making the fighters, which is allowed by the foreign direct investment cap on defence and aerospace manufacturing, Saab would choose to make the fighters in a company that Saab owned 74% of.
The defence ministry sent out a request for information, and the responses from the original equipment manufacturers are being looked at.
The next step for the ministry will be to make an acceptance of necessity and then a request for proposals.
Saab was the first foreign company to make a move in what the aerospace industry expects to be a very competitive acquisition. On Monday, they gave a detailed briefing to the media about how the Gripen E fighter performs.
This fighter purchase was made necessary by the cancellation of a 2007 bid for 126 medium multirole combat aircraft that was also a fighter. That led to the French government buying 36 Rafale fighters from Dassault through a government-to-government deal.
But this left the IAF with a serious lack of fighter planes, so they had to put out a new request for 114 medium fighters.
In its briefing, Saab talked about the Gripen E’s new generation networking technology. Saab says that its plane, which has a new, more powerful General Electric F-414 engine, offers maximum operational availability with minimal logistics needs.
But the IAF will be the last word on the quality of the seven fighters after a series of tests in the air.