Boeing India subsidiary of US aerospace manufacturer Boeing, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems entered into agreement to manufacture fighter aircraft F/A-18 Super Hornet in India. Three companies exchanged Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for Make in India fighter at on-going ‘DefExpo’ in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
The partnership will come into effect after Ministry of Defence selects Super Hornet in any one of two ongoing fighter procurements deal viz. procurement of 57 multi-role carrier borne fighters (MRCBF) for Indian Navy or 110 multi-role fighters for Indian Air Force (IAF). If they win contract in above one of the deal, a JV company will be floated over next few months for design and production of aircraft. The partnership will bring Boeing, HAL and Mahindra Defence System global scale and supply chain, best-in-industry precision manufacturing processes as well as unrivaled experience in designing and optimising aerospace production. Super Hornet is US Navy’s main carrier borne fighter.
The partnership comes in backdrop of stiff competition between global aerospace companies looking to secure $15 billion (Rs. 97,950 crore) deal to sell 110 fighter jets to India. The fighter jets, predominantly made in India, will be sold to IAF under government’s ‘strategic partnership’ policy, designed to encourage foreign companies transfer technology and manufacturing know-how to domestic defence equipment manufacturers. According to MoD’s proposal for fighter jets, at least 85% or 94 aircraft have to be made in India.