Make in India competition: Saab to tie up with Adani Group to build fighter jets

Make in India competition: Saab to tie up with Adani Group to build fighter jets

Speaking at the press conference to announce the deal, Adani said that they were keep to play a role in making India a place for high-class defence manufacturing.

Months after LockheedMartin declared it would build F-16s in India with the Tata Group, rival Saab of Sweden has declared its intention to build fighters planes with the Adani group.

At a briefing conference to announce the tie-up Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group said: “Today India spends billions of dollars in exporting defence weapons and equipment. We are keen to play an instrumental role in making India a place for high-class defence manufacturing. This is in line with PM Modi’s Make in India vision.”

He added: “Gripen will be offered to the Indian government under the strategic partnership model.”

Earlier, Saab’s chief executive Hakan Bushke had announced a press conference for the same.

The partnership will compete with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin in a two horse-race to win a potential order from India’s military for single-engine jets that will be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make-in-India” initiative.

Earlier, Reuters had announced the partnership. The Saab-Adani partnership would be aimed at producing planes under India’s new “strategic partnership” policy, said Ratan Shrivastava, an independent New-Delhi-based consultant and adviser at India’s industry lobby group FICCI.

The partnership will likely be announced on Friday, Shrivastava had said.

Shares in Adani Enterprises Ltd, a group company, rose on Thursday after the news of the planned Saab tie-up and were trading about 2.7 percent higher. Saab shares were up 1.8 percent.

Under India’s new defence partnership policy, a foreign aircraft maker will collaborate with an Indian firm to develop a world-class indigenous aeronautical base that India has struggled to build for decades.

Lockheed has already picked India’s Tata Advanced Systems as its local partner to produce its F-16 fighter planes that will compete with Saab’s Gripen aircraft.

The government will issue a formal request to Lockheed and Saab over the next few days to provide information about their plans to design, develop and produce combat jets in India, a government official told Reuters earlier this week.

India’s air force needs hundreds of aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet, but Modi wants the planes built in India to help boost the domestic industrial base and cut imports.

With inputs from Reuters

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