India will be fully compatible with Indian Naval carriers, says Boeing India prez

Lucknow: Eyeing two mega fighter jet deals worth over USD 25 billion, US aerospace major Boeing on Thursday said it is ready to bring transformative capability and contemporary warfighter technologies to India.

Boeing is a strong contender for Indian Air Force’s proposed deal to acquire 114 fighter multi-role fighter jets and Indian Navy’s proposal to procure 57 carrier-borne aircraft.

The company has already announced that it is ready to set up manufacturing facilities for its F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft if it bags the IAF contract. An important part of our India strategy is ensuring our defence customers have the most advanced platforms and capabilities, supported by a services model that optimises mission readiness, high performance and safety, said Boeing India president Salil Gupte.

Another element of our strategy is to harness talent, innovation, engineering and productivity advantages that India offers to build a globally competitive aerospace and defence ecosystem that creates jobs and industrial capacity with Make in India, he said. On Navy’s plan to induct 57 jets, he said F/A-18 on offer to India will be fully compatible with Indian Naval carriers.

At present, Indian Navy has one aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya, which is a Russian origin platform. Navy’s long-term plan is to have three aircraft carriers. Indigenously built aircraft carrier (IAC) INS Vikrant is expected to be fully operational by 2022.

At DefExpo, Boeing highlighted future investments to accelerate its Make in India efforts and the capabilities being proposed for the Indian armed forces, specifically the next generation F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet fighter.