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Boeing to sell fighter planes to India

By Rajesh S Kurup in St Louis (Missouri)
October 08, 2005 11:36 IST
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Boeing is in talks with the Indian government for supplying multi-role combat aircraft that are to be built on the Hornet (F15 and F18) platform.

The aircraft manufacturer is also looking at replacing the ageing Russian MiG-21s of the Indian Air Force with either F-15 or F-18 fighter planes.

"India is a huge market for Boeing—$10-15 billion in the next couple of years. We have evinced interest in shipping MCAs to the Indian government and expect a request for a proposal to be submitted by the end of this year," Jim Albaught, president and CEO of Integrated Defense Systems, a Boeing subsidiary, told visiting reporters from the Asia-Pacific region in St Louis on Friday.

The company intends to build the MCA under a strategic alliance with Defence Research & Development Organisation and Indian Space Research Organisation. Boeing intends to outsource components for the MCA from Larsen & Toubro and has begun talks with the company.

Boeing is also looking at selling either F-15 or F-18 fighter planes to India as replacements for India's ageing MiG-21s. India has over 500 MiG series aircraft, which the country intends to replace with a new fleet of fighter planes.

If the order is placed, Boeing will be selling around 126 planes in the first tranche, with the remaining to be shipped in two or more phases.

Albaught will travel to India next week to discuss this with the government. The company also intends to sell radars, airborne early-warning and control-capability aircraft, and missiles.

The aircraft manufacturer is also interested in the Indian commercial aviation sector and expects to sell over a 100 jets in the next couple of years.

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Rajesh S Kurup in St Louis (Missouri)
Source: source
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