India is looking for a foreign manufacturer to partner with an Indian firm for the manufacture of second twin-engine fighter aircraft in India.
The Defense Minister, Manohar Parrikar in an interview with the Hindu Friday said, “I am not looking for assembly at all. I am looking for a company to join with an Indian partner and to start manufacturing here by Transfer of Technology (ToT) in most of the items. I know that 100 per cent ToT may not be possible and 100 per cent indigenisation is not possible. Even with so many efforts, LCA has only around 40 per cent indigenisation.”
When asked whether he had identified the proposed second twin-engine aircraft to be made in India, Parrikar replied,“The process is under way but that will fructify only after we complete the Rafale deal.”
If the Indian MoD indeed decides on manufacturing a twin-engine fighter aircraft, it automatically rules out the US F-16 and Swedish Gripen. The manufacturers of both aircraft have been courting the Indian MoD for setting up manufacturing facilities of their aircraft in India.
On the other hand it brightens up the chances of manufacturers such as Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian Irkut and US F/A-18 fighter aircraft are twin engine.