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Saab plans Gripen ecosystem in India

01 November 2017
Saab is proposing the creation of a Gripen “ecosystem” as part of its Gripen E bid for the Indian Air Force. Source: Saab

Saab and its Indian partner Adani held an event in New Delhi on 31 October, intended to build industrial alliances in support of the Swedish group’s bid to supply its Gripen E combat aircraft to the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Saab said that the ‘Gripen-India partnership summit’ was geared towards “creating an industrial ecosystem to develop and produce [the] Gripen in India”. Saab has offered the aircraft to meet the IAF’s single-engine fighter requirement.

The deal is framed around a localised production requirement, and could be worth about USD12 billion as the IAF seeks to procure up to 150 aircraft to replace its ageing Russian MiG-21 and MiG-27 fighter aircraft.

To support its localised production proposal, Saab said the summit brought together international Gripen partners – including Honeywell, Leonardo, Harris, and Cobham – and more than 100 Indian suppliers that “Saab and Adani believe can add value to the offering for India”.

Saab added, “This is to start shaping an eco-system for Gripen in India in preparation for the single-engine fighter selection process.”

The summit was held just two months after Saab and Adani announced their partnership to jointly bid for the IAF’s single-engine fighter requirement.

Saab said that it would endeavour to transfer design and manufacturing capabilities to Adani under the collaboration, with the goal of enabling the production of systems in India and promoting general development of the country’s defence industry.

Upon announcing the partnership with Adani, Saab’s president and CEO Håkan Buskhe said, “We are committed to the India-Sweden relationship, and in bringing the latest technology and skills to India. Our plans in India are to create a new defence ecosystem 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.”

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