Tuesday, November 23, 2010

British Minister Pitches for Typhoon to India

If the US can be aggressive in cornering a major chunk of the lucrative Indian defence market, why should Europeans be behind? British secretary of state for defence Liam Fox is in town to push, among other things, the Eurofighter Typhoon for India's gigantic $10.4 billion project to acquire 126 fighters.

While Fox is slated to meet his Indian counterpart A K Antony on Tuesday, he did not miss the opportunity provided by a lecture on "UK defence and strategic review'' on Monday to extol the virtues of Eurofighter Typhoon.

The Typhoon, he said, had performed excellently in the field trials held by IAF for its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) project, under which 18 jets will be bought off-the-shelf, while 108 will be manufactured in India after transfer of technology.

Apart from the technical evaluation, which is now over, and commercial bids, India is sure to factor in its geo-political considerations while finally choosing the MMRCA winner among the six fighters in contention.

With the US hard-selling its F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-16 Falcon, UK, Germany, Spain and Italy have come together to pitch for the Typhoon. The others in the race to grab the "mother of all defence deals'' are the Gripen (Sweden), Rafale (France) and MiG-35 (Russia).

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