Saab said it is expecting a request for proposal (RFP) from India for 114 Gripen fighters under its Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft Project.
Gripen E is pitted against Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (U.S.), Lockheed Martin’s F-21 (U.S.), Dassault Aviation’s Rafale (France), Eurofighter Typhoon (Europe), and two fighters from Russia: the MiG-35 and the Sukhoi-35 in the multi-billion dollar MRFA deal.
Kent-Åke Molin, Sales and Marketing Director at Saab, called the Gripen a “game-changer” and said the jet was “electronically stealthy” during a press conference at Bengaluru, ahead of the Aero India show (Feb. 13-17). He said the Gripen does not require a separate variant for electronic warfare like the Growler, because it already has such functions.
Saab had previously entered into a partnership with Adani Group to produce Gripen fighters for India, but said it was no longer going ahead with the agreement. The company declined to comment on which company it will form a partnership with in the future, to build Gripen jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF). Molin however said talks with a local manufacturer were in “mature stages.”
Mats Palmberg, Chairman and Managing Director, had said earlier that Saab would opt to manufacture Gripen fighters in a company in which it owned 74%.
The air forces of the Czech Republic and Hungary have leased Gripen jets. On asked whether Saab was open to leasing Gripen aircraft to India, company officials told Defensemirror.com that India did not request for a lease option, but if it were to, then Saab would “definitely” consider it.