Friday, February 02, 2007

New Delhi: The race for an Indian Air Force (IAF) order for 126 combat jets just got hotter, with US aerospace major Boeing offering to jointly produce the frontline F-18 Super Hornet in India if it wins the contract.
Should the deal come through, India will be the first country outside the US where the F-18 is produced. It will also be the first time Indian companies will be able to participate in the production of a US fighter.
Toward this end, Boeing would be aggressively positioning the F-18 at the upcoming Aero India 2007 international air show at Bangalore Feb 7-11, with one aircraft performing aerial manoeuvres and another on static display.
This apart, the C-17 Globemaster strategic lift transport and the Chinook CH-47 helicopter troop carrier, as also a large scale model of the P8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft that has been offered to the Indian Navy, will also be on display.
Boeing plans to take aloft select dignitaries on the F-18, the C-17 and the CH-47 during the air show to enable them to experience first hand the capabilities of the aircraft and their cutting edge technologies, Nelson said.
A host of senior Boeing executives from the company's defence and civilian wings would also be attending the show.
'We view this (Aero India) as the start of a journey to establish a real and lasting relationship with (the) Indian (defence) industry to fulfil their requirements,' Chadwik pointed out.

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