US companies competing to make jets in India

NEW DELHI: During Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s recent visit, US has linked it with fighter plane manufacture project for future joint jet engine development under Make in India.

Pentagon has placed all options on table, including sharing of high-end weapons, radar and power plant technology.

India will now be able to evaluate two proposals from Boeing (F/A 18 Super Hornet) and Lockheed Martin (F16 Super Wiper) to make jets in India with Pentagon giving written assurance for transfer of technology.

US Secretary for Defence Ashton Carter may be visiting India as early as December to take the process forward.

Boeing, which makes F/A 18 is for the setting up a new world class production facility in India that would cater to the production of futuristic combat aircraft.

Lockheed Martin proposes to shift its F 16 fighter line from Texas to India as the sole production facility in the world.

The offer came after Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar publicly stated that the ministry is interested in setting up production lines for ‘one or two’ fighters at the earliest, beyond the Rafalejet deal with France.

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