No reason to worry about technology transfer from US: Saab

New Delhi Feb 10 (IANS) Swedish defence and aviation major Saab on Friday said that there was no reason to worry about the technology transfer from the US if it wins a contract to manufacture its Gripen E multi-role jet in India.

“There is a wide cooperation between India and the US. The technology that is used in Gripen would not be subject to stop. We don’t have any reasons to worry about that,” said Kent Ake Molin, Gripen Sales and Marketing Director, Saab during a press conference here.

“The core of Gripen is what we have control over, we are looking at the sensors side, avionics and software control and we will ensure that those are available for India,” he added.

Gripen is powered by F-414 from the US engine manufacturer General Electrics. After the inauguration of the Trump administration there is a fear that the new government may not approve the sales of US products in a second country’s contract.

In October 2016, India sent out communication to global fighter aircraft manufacturers for seeking information on their single-engine combat jets to replace its Russian vintage single-engine Mig-21s combat jets.

In response to the IAF proposal, Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab has offered its latest Gripen E fighters to India and has plans to help India become net exporter of the fighter aircraft.

US aviation major Lockheed, in response to the tender, offered its latest F-16 Block-70 jets.

Saab is also participating in the Indian Navy’s carrier-based fighter aircraft programme.

The Indian Navy sent out a Request for Information (RFI) for 57 carrier-borne aircraft for its naval fleet in January.

Speaking on the maritime version of the aircraft Gripen M, Tony Ogilvy, Head of Marketing Gripen Maritime, said, “We have a certified design for the maritime version and the next step will be to develop a prototype for demonstration.”

“We don’t have the prototype flying,” he added.

According to the company the maritime version will be a part of the Make in India programme for the Gripen Air Force version.

“That leads the way. The Maritime version fits very well in with that development and build programme as part of the overall Gripen in India,” Tony said.

Saab, if selected, has plans to establish the most modern aerospace facility in India. Company believes Gripen coming to India will add jobs in the US.

–IANS

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