SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin deal for Make In India F-16 Block 70 has got the momentum behind them which both companies wanted to keep an edge over its rivals just before Indian Air Force starts Limited Technical evaluation trials of both Gripen-E and F-16 Block 70 in next few months, Sweden’s Saab AB has been scouting for a local partner in India for a while now and Adani Group was among companies being considered for Gripen E planes .
According to Saab India Technologies Pvt, talks were held with Six Local companies in India and are still evaluating local partners but a lack of Aerospace project experience with Adani Group meant Saab was also considering more then one company to make Gripen E if it wins the contract from Indian Air Force.
According to Defence analysts, Saab India is trying to put together consortium of small aerospace companies and several hundred more companies for the supply chain which can create Aerospace ecosystem in Private defence sector in India which can benefit future military projects too but critics also see has a ploy by Saab India to maintain total control of Gripen E and other Technologies of the aircraft within the local subsidiary company fully owned by Saab.
Saab has promised to build what it calls a world-class fighter jet facility in India if it wins the order but core parts of the Gripen E planes will be built in factories fully owned by Saab, other components will be manufactured jointly with other local partners.
With Tata Advanced Systems and Lockheed Martin already making the first move to secure large orders from Indian Air Force for its F-16 Block 70, it is expected that Saab to will soon announce a deal with local partners to make Gripen E in India.