M A I N   N E W S

Boeing bends, ready to transfer technology of F-18
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 17
Boeing Integrated Defence Systems today raised the pitch for the order of the 126 multi-role combat aircraft which the government is to buy for the Indian Air Force by saying that it was ready to transfer the technology for the manufacture of its F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).

It also reflects the power, which the India can wield over the global defence market with it being ready to spend multi-billion dollars on a single deal. The Boeing had a year ago refused to transfer the technology for the active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar that enables the F-18 seamlessly shift into an AWACS (airborne warning and control system) mode while flying on a combat mission.

Addressing the media here at the DefExpo organised jointly by the Ministry of Defence and the CII, Chris Chadwick, president of the Precision Engagement and Mobility Systems of Boeing Integrated Defence Systems, said: “I can confirm that we will be complying with all requirements of the request for proposal (RFP) we have received from the Indian Air Force and that includes technology transfer for the AESA radar”.

Transfer of technology and licensed manufacture in the country is a mandatory clause in the country’s defence procurement procedure brought out in 2006.

This procedure is now being fine-tuned in relation to the offsets clause under which 30 per cent of all defence deals worth over Rs 3 billion have to be re-invested in India.

However, in the case of the multi-role fight aircraft the offsets obligation has been raised to 50 per cent. “We have readied a fully compliant proposal (on the IAF tender) and will submit this three days early,” Chadwick said. The government has put a deadline of March 3.

Boeing has also readied a detailed proposal to bag the order where it is ready to manufacture 108 of the 126 combat aircrafts at HAL. Of these 60 would be fully manufactured at the HAL facility while the other would be brought down in fully knock down kits.

Chadwik explained that should the Boeing bag the IAF order, the aircraft would be supplied in four phases.

“In the initial phase, we will supply 18 aircraft in fully assembled condition. In phase 1, we will supply the aircraft in semi-knocked down condition with 1,800 parts and 300 tools,” said Mike Rietz, F-18 programme manager for India.

“In phase 2, the aircraft will come in completely knocked down condition with 17,000 parts and 1,000-plus tools. In phase 3, the aircraft and its entire range of 30,000 parts will be indigenously manufactured in India,” he added.

“In this way, we will gradually raise the level of technology that HAL (Hindustan Aircraft Ltd that will build the aircraft in India) will have to absorb,” Rietz explained.

“The RFP lays down that the first aircraft is supplied within 36 months of the contract being signed and the 18th within 48 months. The 19th aircraft, the first to be assembled in India, will come within 54 months. Thereafter, there will be an incremental increase with the last aircraft to be delivered by 2020,” Rietz said.

He stressed, “We are very well positioned to establish a long-term relationship with the Indian Air Force and the ministry of defence”.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |