Boeing is in talks with the Indian Navy to sell its F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets in a bid to gain a bigger share of the defense market in the South Asian country, the world’s biggest arms importer.
A lot of technical evaluation has yet to take place, Gene Cunningham, Boeing’s vice president for defense, space and security, told reporters at the Singapore Airshow. The company is also seeing opportunities for its KC-46 multirole tanker in India and other countries, Cunningham said.
World’s biggest fighter jet order
The Navy last year invited proposals for 57 jets for its aircraft carriers, while Air Force is seeking at least 100 planes. Boeing and Saab AB have said both the orders should be combined, which would make it the world’s biggest fighter jet order in play.
Global firms to make jets locally
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who plans to spend $250 billion in the coming years on defense equipment from fighter jets to guns and helmets, wants India and local companies to get a share of the deals it enters into by calling on foreign manufacturers to make products locally. Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp. and others have said they will produce in India if they win contracts large enough to make investments worthwhile.
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