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Make in India competition: Saab to tie up with Adani Group to build fighter jets
DNA, Sep 01, 2017
Speaking at the press conference to announce the deal, Adani said that they were keep to play a role in making India a place for high-class defence manufacturing.

Months after Lockheed Martin declared it would build F-16s in India with the Tata Group, rival Saab of Sweden has declared its intention to build fighters planes with the Adani group.

At a briefing conference to announce the tie-up Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group said: “Today India spends billions of dollars in exporting defence weapons and equipment. We are keen to play an instrumental role in making India a place for high-class defence manufacturing. This is in line with PM Modi’s Make in India vision.”

He added: “Gripen will be offered to the Indian government under the strategic partnership model.”

Earlier, Saab’s chief executive Hakan Bushke had announced a press conference for the same.

The partnership will compete with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin in a two horse-race to win a potential order from India's military for single-engine jets that will be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make-in-India" initiative.

Earlier, Reuters had announced the partnership. The Saab-Adani partnership would be aimed at producing planes under India's new "strategic partnership" policy, said Ratan Shrivastava, an independent New-Delhi-based consultant and adviser at India's industry lobby group FICCI.

The partnership will likely be announced on Friday, Shrivastava had said.

Shares in Adani Enterprises Ltd, a group company, rose on Thursday after the news of the planned Saab tie-up and were trading about 2.7 percent higher. Saab shares were up 1.8 percent.

Under India's new defence partnership policy, a foreign aircraft maker will collaborate with an Indian firm to develop a world-class indigenous aeronautical base that India has struggled to build for decades.

Lockheed has already picked India's Tata Advanced Systems as its local partner to produce its F-16 fighter planes that will compete with Saab's Gripen aircraft.

The government will issue a formal request to Lockheed and Saab over the next few days to provide information about their plans to design, develop and produce combat jets in India, a government official told Reuters earlier this week.

India's air force needs hundreds of aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet, but Modi wants the planes built in India to help boost the domestic industrial base and cut imports.
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