American aerospace manufacturer Boeing has signed a partnership with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HALNSE 0.42 %) and Mahindra Defense Systems to manufacture F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in India. The partnership, signed at the Defence Exposition in Chennai, will be based on the ‘Make in India’ model with a new production facility that may also be used for other ventures such as India’s Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft programme. “Boeing is excited to team up with India’s only company that manufactures combat fighters, HAL, and an Indian company that manufactures small commercial airplanes, Mahindra. Together we can deliver an affordable, combat-proven fighter platform for India, while adding growth momentum to the Indian aerospace ecosystem with manufacturing, skill development, innovation and engineering and job creation,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. A JV company would be floated over next few months for design and production of the aircraft, but the location of the new facility wasn’t revealed. The partnership comes in the backdrop of a stiff competition between global aerospace companies looking to secure a $15 billion, or.`97,950 crore, deal to sell 110 fighter jets. The jets, predominantly made in India, would be sold to the Indian Air Force under the government’s ‘strategic partnership’ policy. The policy is designed to encourage foreign companies transfer technology and manufacturing know-how to domestic defence equipment manufacturers. According to the government’s proposal for the jets, at least 85%, or 94 aircraft, have to be made in India. The plan will focus on infrastructure, personnel training, and operational tools and techniques required to produce a next-gen fighter aircraft in India, Boeing said.
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