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Home > India > News > PTI

Buy our Hornets & get cutting-edge radar, IAF told

Rahul Chhabra in El Segundo | May 06, 2008 12:57 IST

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Indian Air Force will get access to cutting-edge radar technology, as permitted by the US government, if it decides to buy Boeing F-18 Super Hornets under its global tender for 126 combat aircraft, American space and airborne systems company Raytheon has said.

"We are willing to support Active Electronically Scanned Array radar technology transfer up to the level the US government allows us," said Dave Goold from Raytheon's F-18 Business Development, Tactical Airbone Systems.

"The technology transfer, though likely to be limited, would meet the requirements of IAF. Our proposal will be compliant with the request for proposal (RFP) issued by IAF for the 126 combat aircraft," he said.

The powerful AESA radar lends an edge to the F-18 by increasing its air-to-air detection and tracking range, apart from enhancing its air to ground targeting capabilities. The cutting-edge AESA radar technology has been allowed by the US to be transferred only to Australia till now.

Raytheon has partnered with the defence wing of aerospace giant Boeing's F-18 multi-role ground fighter, which is being pitched as an ideal solution to IAF's future requirements.

Earlier, Boeing Integrated Defence System (IDS) representative John Salas said the company has plan to sell anti-ship missile Harpoon and long-range precision missile to India. Both the systems are integrated with the F-18 fighters.
Though Indian scientists have successfully test-fired their own anti-missile missile this year, IDS is still hopeful of selling Patriot (PAC-III) to armed forces in the country.

The IAF issued a RPF to six vendors in August last year to procure 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCAs) at an estimated cost of Rs 42,000 crore.

The deadline for the IAF tender was March three but was extended till April 28 in February this year.

Besides Boeing's F-18 Super Hornet, others in the competition are F-16s of the Lockheed Martin, Eurofighter Typhoon, MiG-35 of Russian Aircraft Corporation, Rafael of French firm Dassault and Gripen JAS-39 of Sweden's SAAB.

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