India Goes With Western Europe in Fighter Contest

by: Matthew Potter
May 2, 2011

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Countries, D'Assault, Events, FMS, India, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Proposal | RSS 2.0

The Indian government has taken a step further in their ongoing contest to choose a new fighter for their military by down selecting to only two of the six bidders for the advanced aircraft contract. In a surprising move the two selected to go on were France’s Dassault Rafael and the Eurofighter’s consortium’s Typhoon.

This meant that the U.S. defense contractor’s Boeing (BA) and Lockheed Martin (LMT) who were trying to win the deal were cut out of the final selection process. This decision was a disappointment to the U.S. government who have been hoping to expand sales to the growing Indian market.

Many companies have been looking to the Indian market to offset potential declines in the U.S. and European defense budgets. The Indian contract along with the now delayed Brazilian one are two of the largest available in the near term.

That does not mean India has not bought from America. They have purchased several P-8I maritime patrol aircraft from Boeing and are potentially buying the C-17 transport aircraft. The decision, though, to move out with an American fighter would have indicated a desire to broaden their market and given hope to the U.S. defense contractors.

Photo from Shandchem’s flickr photostream.

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