Boeing has offered to set up a new facility for the production of F/A -18 Super Hornet fighters in India along with an option of technology transfer, if the country places a big order for the aircraft.
“India-US relationship is uniquely positioned and we are working on setting up a new production facility for building the next generation aircraft in India. We have a robust ToT plan,” Dan Gillian, vice president of F/A-18 and E/A-18 programs at Boeing, told Financial Express.
During late 2017, the ministry of defence issued a request for information to procure 57 multi-role carrier-borne fighters, for aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy.
“The F/A 18 Super Hornet would be the ideal machine for the Navy’s carrier, as no modifications will be required,” Gillian said, adding that the company will also offer the aircraft for the Indian Air Force’s (IAF's) current requirement of 114 fighter aircraft, the report stated further.
“This will help the Indian side to make the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) air plane,” he added. The AMCA is expected to be a fifth-generation plane being developed by the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Development of the infrared search and track system (IRST) as part of the Block II upgrade to give the aircraft a means to detect hostile low-observable aircraft at long distances is underway. The aircraft will also get a new Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) and Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) data link. This will enable the fighter to scan with the IRST, spot targets, and present the pilot with a rough bearing overlaid on the aircraft’s radar screen.
The Block III aircraft will also have an updated satellite communications system. Information from the aircraft’s own sensors and mission systems, as well as the data it receives from other sources will be fed into different displays on a single 10-inch by 19-inch flat panel touch screen that replaces the existing multi-function displays.
The aircraft’s Advanced Cockpit System will include additional backup displays and manual buttons in case this single screen fails in part or in full. Dual seat F/A-18Fs can have this practicality in each the front and rear cockpits.