There's a Rs42,000-crore global tender at stake for 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA), and participating countries have started lobbying for their aerospace companies by offering India joint development and defence cooperation. Sweden was the first off the block after tenders were issued late last month.
A high-level Swedish delegation led by vice minister for defence HG Wessburg was in Delhi to meet senior officials from the Indian ministry of defence last week. The proposal? Joint development of fighter aircraft and submarines. Swedish company SAAB's Gripen is one of the six fighter jets competing for the Indian MRCA tender.
"The Swedish government is proposing to invest in Gripen Fighters and is keen that India too take an investment stake in jointly developing these new generation fighters," Wessburg told the media after presenting a draft MoU for defence cooperation to defence secretary Vijay Singh.