Sunday, April 18, 2021

Saab Re-Pitches Its Gripen Jets To India; Offers A Magnanimous Deal Under ‘Make In India’

SAAB, the maker of Gripen fighter jet, has taken another step in trying to woo India by offering its entire production technology to satisfy the ‘Make in India’ provision.

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Mats Palmberg, Head of the Gripen India campaign, said “Our focus is on providing indigenous content and capabilities to be able to achieve self-reliance (for India) for needs of tomorrow,” reported The Tribune.  

Saab faced rejection during the first Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft Competition (MMRCA) when Dassault Rafale won the contract.

“The big difference is the depth of technology and capability that we are prepared to transfer and set up in India,” said Palmberg while answering a question about the difference from the 2008 offer.

According to the report, he also talked about integrating India-made missiles in the fighter jet. “We want to have several partners for ‘Make in India’ solution and are looking forward to working with individuals to establish our eco-system. We are in touch with international partners to satisfy the Indian needs for indigenous content.

If we are successful, the same capabilities that we use in Sweden can be used in India,” told Palmberg.

Reportedly, the Swedish company’s head also stated that they are planning to set up an advanced industrial body, the Indian Aircraft Company (INAC).

“If the Gripen fighter is selected by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the 114 fighter tender which is underway, then INAC will be set up,” he had said.

“This will enable the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) to have control over the setup and they can take responsibility and also meet customer expectations.”

Gripen Jet, Saab

He praised India’s 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence calling it “a very attractive model”. However, he had sought further clarity on the Strategic Partnership (SP) model, said a Financial Express report.

“The 74 per cent is a very attractive model. There is no clarity if Chapter 7 comes under it; we need some clarity on this.” To promote the private industry, SP Model comes under Chapter 7 in the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP). 

The Gripen E is a 4+ generation fighter jet which can carry up to seven Meteor missiles and possesses beyond visual range (BVR) weapons to track and kill targets at a range of up to 80 miles. It can attain a speed of Mach 2 with supercruise ability, a range of 1500 kilometres and boasts a maximum takeoff load of 16,500kgs.

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