UK Offers To Jointly Develop Aircraft

New Delhi, January 28: | Updated: Jan 29 2003, 05:30am hrs
The United Kingdom has offered to jointly develop and manufacture various civil and military aircraft including advanced light helicopter (ALH), multi role transport aircraft and the advanced jet trainer (AJT).

The UK is keen on the multi role transport aircraft (a 100-seater aircraft), especially in the development of airframe, avionic and propulsion, a spokesperson of the British High Commission in India told FE.

The United Kingdom aerospace industry also has interests in cooperating on the ALH, which is likely to be a major success for India, he said.

Commenting on the AJT, which is a high priority requirement for the Indian Air Force, he said: If chosen by India, it is planned that most of the manufacturing would be carried out at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The US Navy has chosen it (the UK AJT) as the lead-in trainer for the joint strike fighter (F-35). It provides the lead-in trainer to Typhoon in UK, F-18 and F-35 in Australia and JAS39 Gripen in South Africa, he added.

Welcoming the governments move to allow private sector participation in the defence industry with 26 per cent foreign direct investment he said: The UK looks forward to developing new partnerships in the private sector. It is committed to provide the Indian government with long-term product support and partnership in the aerospace sector.

Stating that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the aerospace sector are facing slump in the European market, he said, Many SMEs are now looking overseas for component manufacture partnership. This is where countries like India with their growing strength in the aerospace sector can help to establish business ventures of mutual benefit.

There are future requirements for collaboration in civil and military helicopters, he said adding that the Agusta Westland EH 101 is considered the benchmark of the medium lift helicopter capability.