El Segundo: American space and airborne systems company, Raytheon, has said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will get access to cutting-edge radar technology in the form of the AESA radar, up to the level permitted by the US government, should it decide to opt for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet under its global tender for 126 medium-range multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) tender.
"We are willing to support Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar technology transfer up to the level the US government allows us," said Dave Goold from Raytheon's F-18 business development, Tactical Airborne Systems.
"The technology transfer, though likely to be limited, would meet the requirements of the IAF. Our proposal will be compliant with the request for proposal (RFP) issued by the IAF for the 126 combat aircraft," he said.
The AESA radar lends an edge to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet by increasing its air-to-air detection and tracking range, apart from enhancing its air-to-ground targeting capabilities. So far, the US government has allowed transfer of the cutting-edge AESA radar technology only to Australia.
Raytheon is a systems supplier for the Super Hornet Boeing's F-18 multi-role ground fighter which is one of the six contenders for the IAF's MMRCA contract along with Lockheed's F-16, Russia's MiG-35, the French Dassault's Rafale, the Swedish Saab Gripen JAS-39 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.
According to Boeing Integrated Defence System (IDS) representative, John Salas, the company has plans to sell the anti-ship missile, Harpoon, as well as a long-range precision missile to India. Both the systems, he said, could be integrated with the F/A-18E/F fighters.