Friday, March 9, 2007

The options

While the LCA has been delayed, recently two foreign aircraft have emerged as strong contenders to replace the Mig-21. The F18 and the Mig-35. They are both very different, and the exact evaluation can only be conducted by the IAF based on its need.

For the first time in history however, the US is offering India one of its premier strike aircraft. Actually it is offering more than that. The whole gamut of the offers represents a radical shift in the US policy towards India.

“Its goal is to help India become a major world power in the 21st century … We understand fully the implications, including military implications, of that statement.”

Senior US official commenting on the 2005 agreement between the US and India

"In the F-18, we have arguably the most advanced fighter in the world. If we win the contract, we offer the opportunity of entering into a joint production arrangement with an Indian defense contractor,"

Chris Chadwik, Boeing Vice President and General Manager, Global Strike Systems

"Should the deal come through, India will be the first country outside the U.S. where the F-18 is produced."


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