Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indian government is evaluating bids by Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co. and four other companies to supply 126 fighter jets worth $11 billion in the largest military contest in play worldwide.
“It’s a complex process, it will take its own time,” Defense Production Secretary Pradeep Kumar told reporters in Bangalore today ahead of the Aero India air show. “Technical evaluation is on and trials will be conducted.” He wouldn’t say when the deal may be completed.
India in April got bids from six companies to supply the jets as part of its efforts to modernize the air force and replace its aging Russian-made aircraft. The fighter-plane contest is the largest in 15 years, according to Boeing, and marks the first opportunity for U.S. companies to break into India’s defense market.
Lockheed’s F-16 is competing in the fighter contest against Chicago-based Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet; Russia’s MiG-35; Saab AB’s Gripen; France’s Rafale made by Dassault Aviation SA; and the Eurofighter Typhoon, a joint venture of Airbus SAS, BAE and Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA.
10/02/09 Vipin V. Nair/Bloomberg

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