Saab sets up beyond 'Make in India' plan

Saab sets up beyond 'Make in India' plan

Sweden’s Saab has expressed its vision to work beyond ‘Make in India’, as it plans to offer complete aerospace capability to India, enabling the latter to become a major defence export hub in future.

Talking to DH on the sidelines of the defence and security giant’s Aero India 2017 presentation here on Monday, Saab India Technologies Chairman and Managing Director Jan Widerström said, “It’s important to take ‘Make in India’ a step further, looking at transfer of capabilities rather than transfer of technologies and production.”

“Our offer is more about going further. It’s really a transfer and copy of what we have today in Sweden — a full-fledged aerospace capability — and build that up in India for the future. It’s based around the Gripen E platform, and not just for the domestic market, but for export,” he added.

Accordingly, Saab is placing the Gripen E — a state-of-the-art latest-generation multirole combat aircraft — in the race to bag a ‘probable’ order from the Indian Air Force, which had sought an RFI (Request for Information) to procure a fleet of single-engine fighters.

Gripen’s India story
It must be noted that Saab had also pitted the Gripen in competition to win the MMRCA deal, which was eventually awarded to Dassault’s Rafale.

Currently, Saab has also been producing signature management systems like camouflage nets in India. A part of the Gripen E has also been developed at its Hyderabad R&D centre.

Talking about Saab’s prospects for India, Widerström said, “There may be an opportunity to locally manufacture the Gripen in India, and sell it to neighbouring markets. That’s the plan behind setting up a full-fledged aerospace capability (complete production, R&D, analytics, design and development) in India, which will be a part of our global supply chain — not only for fighters, but other sub-systems. In future, systems and products produced in India could be exported to our other markets.”

Meanwhile, the company has received an RFI for a combat aircraft from the Indian Navy too, for which it is pushing Gripen M.

“We are offering our full portfolio to India — from submarines to fighters. We are participating in several tenders of which, SRSAM (an automatic command-to-line-of-sight missile system) and VSHORD air defence system have reached the RFP (Request for Proposal) level. We’re also offering the AESA radar system for the Tejas light combat aircraft,” Widerström concluded.
DH News Service     

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