Sunday, July 31, 2011

India given choice to pioneer naval Typhoon jet

In anticipation of winning the Indian Air Force's $10.4 billion tender for 126combat jets, European consortium EADS has offered India a choice to pioneer a project for a naval version of theEurofighter Typhoon that is in the fray in what is being described as the "mother of all defence deals". Typhoon's competitor in themedium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender, the French firm Dassault's Rafale, already has a naval version that is operational on France's lonenuclear-powered aircraft carrierCharles de Gaulle. Officials of BAE Systems, one of the four partner companies in EADS for theTyphoon programme, told IANS during a visit to their RAF Warton production facility in Britain recently that India can exercise the choice of being a partner nation and leading the programme for the carrier-borne version of the aircraft if it wins theMMRCA tender. At present, Britain, Italy, Spain and Germany are partners in the Typhoon programme.

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