After successfully completing trials for the contract of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft with India, US firm Boeing on Wednesday announced its intention to transfer technology to build F/A-18IN Super Hornet fighter jets in India.
“We fully intend for Super Hornet to be built in India,” said Boeing Military Aircraft Integrated Defence Systems president Christopher M. Chadwick here.
While Russia has been giving technology transfer to India more readily, US firms have a strict code when it comes to technology transfer to their customers.
“We plan to build 18 aircraft in the US and from the 19th aircraft it will be built in India.... we will continue transfer of technology to India so that they not only assemble but make lots of part of the aircraft in India.... actually building the aircraft here,” Chadwick added.
With the approval of US Congress required, the transfer of technology could actually be a key element in deciding the winner of the competition for the whopping Indian contract.
Boeing's F/A-18IN has completed first two phases of trials for the Indian Air Force.
The first phase was completed in the US and the second at Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh.
The third phase trials will be held in February 2010 in the US.
The other aircraft in the fray for the IAF's $10 billion order are the Lockheed Martin F-16I Super Viper, the Dassault Rafale, the Saab Gripen, the Russian MiG-35, and the European consortium EADS Eurofighter Typhoon.
The IAF plans to acquire 18 aircraft in fly-away conditions, with the rest being manufactured by HAL under a technology transfer deal. The aircraft are meant to replace the IAF's ageing fleet of MiG-21 that were inducted in the 1960s.