SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Breaching the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) mandatory 75% availability rate for contenders in India’s $20 billion Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) programme. According to Saab officials who spoke with idrw.org, the Gripen-E on offer to the IAF will have 90% availability rate across its fleet of 114 jets as a commitment from the company when it responds to the IAF’s yet-to-be-issued RFP.
The Gripen-E, a 16.5-ton aircraft, will be in the same class as the Tejas Mk2 and will also use the same engine from General Electric’s developed F-414 engine, which company officials believe will reduce IAF logistics and can be seen as an advantage for the company as well as a great supplement to the Tejas Mk2 programme.
On the weapons front, the Gripen-E is already qualified for the Meteor Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile (BVRAAM), which is already equipped on the IAF’s Dassault Rafale fleet, but due to the modular approach of the weapons integration of the aircraft, integration of Indian made Air-to-Air Missiles like Astra Mk1 and Mk2 will be as simple and convenient as updating an app in the aircraft claimed official to idrw.org.
SAAB, which broke production partnership agreements with Adani Defence, is looking for a new production partner to manufacture the Gripen-E in India. It is also waiting for clarification from the Indian government on whether Saab India, its local subsidiary, can have 100% ownership of the local production plant in India if the Gripen-E is selected by the IAF.
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