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SAAB calls India’s new defence FDI model “very attractive”, seeks more clarity on Strategic Partnership model

In a virtual interaction with the media persons Mats Palmberg, Head of SAAB’s Gripen India campaign, said his company is planning to set up an advanced industrial body, the Indian Aircraft Company (INAC).

According to the Head of the Gripen’s India Campaign, there are still some issues including Liability Issue that needs to be clarified in the SP Model.

Swedish defence company SAAB, terming the 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in defence “a very attractive model”, has sought clarity if the Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) comes under it.

In a virtual interaction with the media persons Mats Palmberg, Head of SAAB’s Gripen India campaign, said his company is planning to set up an advanced industrial body, the Indian Aircraft Company (INAC). “If the Gripen fighter is selected by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the 114 fighter tender which is underway, then INAC will be set up.” “This will enable the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) have control over the setup and they can take responsibility and also meet customer expectations.”

Responding to a question, Mr Palmberg “The 74 per cent is a very attractive model. There is no clarity if Chapter 7 comes under it; we need some clarity on this.” To promote the private industry, SP Model comes under Chapter 7 in the DPP.

According to the Head of the Gripen’s India Campaign, there are still some issues including Liability Issue that needs to be clarified in the SP Model. Adding, “The OEM should have a bigger stake. This is better but this need not be for forever.”

Said Eva Soderstrom, Head of Industrial Cooperation, “The latest Gripen E and also Gripen F which is a twin-seater variant under development has been offered by SAAB to the IAF.”

What is INAC?

According to Mr Palmberg “This is a dual-track proposal. The first part is related to the Gripen fighter aircraft, The second part deals with the technological support to the indigenous fighter programmes like the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-MK2 and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) which is currently under development.

This will be an industrial hub which the Swedish Company is planning where from manufacturing, delivery, maintenance, refit and overhaul (MRO) all will be undertaken there. Also, the design capability will be used for further improvements.

“We don’t want the aircraft to go all the way to Sweden at any point for overhauling or anything,” he said.

Update

Evaluation is going of the proposals which have been submitted by global aerospace giants for 114 aircraft proposal.

Once the specifications are finalized, it will be sent to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), for the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN). This will be followed by the issuance of Request for Proposal (RFP).

While the Swedish Company is looking at a partnership Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in the INAC including as an equity partner, it is also open for partnerships with the private sector companies and DPSUs.

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