Saab has announced a partnership with Indian private sector firm Adani Group in a bid for an Indian Air Force (IAF) requirement for single-engine fighter aircraft. A release from Saab said, “The collaboration would also include projects, programs and technologies of national importance to India.”
The relationship between the two companies is to take root as a joint venture for execution of not only the single engine fighter requirement but also other defence programmes that could emerge because of the Indian Government's strong drive towards the Make in India policy, which calls for manufacture of important defence equipment in India.
“Our plans in India are to create a new defence eco-system that would involve many partners, vendors and suppliers. To achieve this, we need a strong Indian partner who can help create the framework for the infrastructure and eco-system to come into place,” said Hakan Buskhe, President and CEO of Saab AB, who was present in the Indian capital, New Delhi for the announcement.
Commenting on the partnership, Gautam Adani, Chairman of Adani Group said, ‘Our various collaborations in aerospace and defence sectors will help establish new production lines in India, generate employment and build sustainable skills.’
Saab and Adani have said that they will work together to develop a wider aerospace and defence ecosystem in India and encourage the development of small and medium sized enterprises to create a robust national supply chain.
Saab is offering its Gripen multi-role combat aircraft for the Indian requirement.
The Gripen is available with an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and infra-red search and track (IRST) system.
According to Saab, Gripen can be armed with any air-launched weapon that a customer requires, and integration of new capabilities is speedy and affordable, as a result of the aircraft’s open avionics architecture.
The latest variant of the fighter is the Saab Gripen E, which made its maiden flight in June.