Aero India 2019: Russia offers MiG-35 and SU 35, ‘HAL preferred partner for Make in India’

By: | Published: February 21, 2019 8:02 PM

Safety concerns too came up after the recent crashes of the Mirage-2000 aircraft. Responding to a specific question about Russia keen on choosing HAL as preferred partner, HAL chairman R Madhavan said, “Once the aircraft is selected, and then we can talk to media about it.”

Aero India 2019, russia, MIg 35, SU35, HAL, Dassault Aviation, Rafale deal, SAAB, make in india, Ministry of defence, Boeing CompanyThe IAF has sent out the request for information (RfI) for a -billion order to procure 114 fighter aircraft. (AP Photo)

Aero India 2019, Air Force Station Yelahanka: If India down selects MiG-35 and SU 35 fighter machines, Russia has decided to work with state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd., as its Strategic Partner (SP) under Make in India Initiative. Both these Russian aircraft from the MiG and Sukhoi series are competing for Indian Air Force huge contract for 114 machines.

Talking to a select group of journalists on the sidelines of Aero-India 2019, Anatoly G Punchuk, the deputy director of the Russian Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation, said: “Our relationship with HAL has been for several decades. We are in talks with them for the programme of MiG-35, which is state of art fighter jet. ”

“It will help India to economise on infrastructure, which is very important. As there is infrastructure present here. And, we have also offered the SU-35. We are not sure which one IAF wants. Both are different aircraft,” he added.

Also read| Aero India 2019: Name game! Is US giant Lockheed Martin offering India F-16 as upgraded F -21?

According to him both Russian entities are keen on working with HAL in producing them in India. Unfortunately, the state owned company has been in news recently as due to the controversy surrounding the Dassault Aviation’s Rafale deal for not being chosen as the Offset partner.

Safety concerns too came up after the recent crashes of the Mirage-2000 aircraft. Responding to a specific question about Russia keen on choosing HAL as preferred partner, HAL chairman R Madhavan said, “Once the aircraft is selected, and then we can talk to media about it.”

The IAF has sent out the request for information (RfI) for a $15-billion order to procure 114 fighter aircraft. The RFI, which has a ‘Make in India’ clause as well as requirement for both single- and twin-engine fighter machines, has been sent to six global vendors including Boeing Company (F-18 Super Hornet) and Lockheed Martin (F-16)(now being offered as F-21) of the US, SAAB (Gripen) of Sweden, Dassault Aviation (Rafale) of France, the European Consortium (Typhoon) and Mikoyan (MiG-35) of Russia.

As reported by the Financial Express Online earlier, the same companies had participated in medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender almost 11 years ago in 2007.

According to the RfI document: “The Ministry of Defence (MoD) intends to procure fighter aircraft for the IAF which is to be made in India. The proposal is to procure approximately 114 fighter aircraft (about 75% single seat and the rest twin-seat aircraft).

The procurement should have a maximum of 15% aircraft in flyaway state and the remaining 85% will have to be made in India by a strategic partner/Indian production agency (SP/IPA).” According to the document, the OEM should convey with adequate clarity their ToT offer for indigenous manufacturing of the aircraft in India.

Once any of these companies are down selected they have to work with local Indian companies. US based Boeing Company has already tied up with HAL and Mahindra Defence Systems who have offered their F-18 Super Hornet in this competition.

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