The company estimates demand for 2,100 new airplanes in India, valued at $290 billion, over the next 20 years.
Leading US aerospace manufacturer Boeing is mulling the possibility of selling its F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets to Indian Navy, reported Bloomberg.
Gene Cunningham, Boeing’s vice president for defense, space, and security, said that the company was in talks with the Indian Navy officials and several technical evaluations were to be completed before sealing the deal.
The company is also considering the opportunities to sell its KC-46 multirole tanker to India. Cunningham was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow.
Both Indian Navy and Air Force are in need of fighter aircrafts. While the Navy has invited proposals for 57 jets for its aircraft carriers, Indian Air Force is in need of at least 100 planes to strengthen its armory.
Swedish aerospace company Saab AB and Boeing have called for combining both the orders. If that is done, it would be the world’s biggest fighter jet order, according to Bloomberg.
Boeing is exploring the opportunities to gain market share in India, the biggest arms importer in the world. The Indian government has said it wants to modernize its defense forces, but it wants global manufacturers to make an investment in India as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” initiative to promote manufacturing within the country.
Boeing has been expanding its market base in India to capitalize on the growing needs of the Indian military. The Illinois-based company had signed an agreement with India to sell four Poseidon-8I long-range surveillance and antisubmarine warfare aircraft at a cost of over $1 billion in 2016.
In the same year, India made deals worth $15 billion with Boeing. In February 2017, Boeing announced the establishment of Boeing Defense India (BDI), a local operating entity to expand the Boeing Global Services organization in India to better serve customers in the country, including the government.
Last September, the company expanded its engineering capabilities in India by setting up a new facility in Bangalore to focus on state-of-the-art technology areas such as data analytics, internet-of-things, avionics, aerospace design, manufacturing, testing, and research, to support Boeing products and systems, more efficiently in India, and around the world. The center also includes laboratories for research to support next-gen innovations in aerospace.
The company forecasts a demand for 2,100 new airplanes in India, valued at $290 billion, over the next 20 years.