India fighter deal, Swedish Prime Minister pitches for Gripen

Saab Gripen deal India
Saab Gripen multirole fighter. The Gripen is competing in India's deal for new combat aircraft.

On Friday, Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Lofven discussed with his Indian counterpart Narendi Modi about the possible sale of the Gripen multi-role fighter to India during a bilateral online summit.

In an effort to further boost Saab's offer to India, Lofven said the Swedish government is 100% supporting the Swedish company for the deal. He also reiterated the potential huge technology transfer Saab is offering in favor of the 'Make in India' concept.

The Swedish minister gave the example of Brazil, noting how Saab has gradually transferred knowledge and technology to Brazilian companies until they become autonomous in the production and maintenance of Brazilian Gripen aircraft. He said that India is being offered the same opportunity.

In its bid for the Indian Air Force tender for 114 multi-role fighter jets, Saab proposed to produce the first 18 aircraft in Sweden and the remaining 96 in India.

In the past, the Swedish company has underlined that its technology transfer concept is not limited to Gripen, but also includes the joint development of new components for future indigenous Indian-made fighters."Our technology transfer programme will also support the success of ongoing and future indigenous fighter platforms developed in India," said Kent-Åke Molin, Sales and Marketing Director at Saab.

During the meeting, the Indian minister reiterated the nation's interest in strengthening the longstanding partnership in the defense sector with Sweden.

Saab is already active in India with some of its products. For example, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has selected Saab's Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) as the electronic warfare self-protection system for its Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH-DHRUV).

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Written by Matteo Sanzani
Photo Credit: Jamie Hunter via Saab

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