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09 Feb 18. Indian navy, air force fighter jet contests to heat up in 2019 – executives. Boeing Co and Saab AB, which are among those vying for a contract to supply 57 fighter jets for the Indian Navy, expect it may take until 2019 for the tender process to enter the next phase, according to company executives.
The naval contract, as well as a less-advanced plan to buy 100 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, represent multi-billion dollar opportunities for manufacturers and for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” drive to build a domestic production base.
But with the country due to hold a general election by next May, the expectation is both processes could take time.
Boeing is proposing its F/A-18 Super Hornet and Saab has touted its Gripen M concept in responses to a request for information (RFI) on the naval contract but they are waiting for a more formal request for proposal (RFP) to be issued. Boeing Vice President Global Sales Defence, Space & Security Gene Cunningham said the Indian Navy and Ministry of Defence were evaluating the answers to the RFI to see if there were any changes to requirements or expectations before releasing the RFP.
“We see that evolving over the next year or so, then driving to a competition,” he told Reuters at the Singapore Airshow.
An Indian Navy spokesman said work was in progress and he expected an RFP would be issued in the months ahead detailing specific requirements.
Dassault Aviation SA has expressed interest in the navy tender with its twin-engine Rafale M fighter and Russian Aircraft Corporation has reportedly proposed the Indian Navy buy more MiG-29Ks. The firms did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
AIR FORCE FIGHTERS
The separate air force contract, expected to be for 100 single-engine fighters, has attracted Saab’s Gripen E and Lockheed Martin Corp with its F-16, but the contest has yet to reach the RFI stage.
“Hopefully we get an RFI this year,” Saab Head of Asia Pacific Dean Rosenfield said. “More than likely, 2019. But it really is dependent on the customer and what they do with the election there as well.”
Saab has partnered with Adani to build Gripens in India if it wins either or both of the fighter jet contests, while Lockheed has selected Tata Advanced Systems as its local production partner for the F-16.
Lockheed Martin International Executive Vice President Rick Edwards said his company was hopeful an RFI on the air force contract would be released “soon” but it remained up to the government.
An Indian Air Force spokesman declined to comment on when the RFI would be issued. (Source: Reuters)
09 Feb 18. North Korea parades elements of Iskander-like SRBM system. North Korea has paraded elements of what appears to be a new road-mobile short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) system equipped with missiles that are similar in appearance to those that can be used by the Russian 9K720 Iskander-M system. Six apparent transport-erector-launchers (TELs) belonging to the new SRBM system were paraded, along with other military equipment, during a military parade held on 8 February in Pyongyang to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army. Each TEL is based on a four-axle vehicle that carries two missiles similar in appearance to the 9M723 and 9M723-1 missiles used by the Iskander-M system. North Korea displayed its Hwaseong-15 ICBM during a military parade held on 8 February in Pyongyang. (KCNA)
The event, which took place a day before the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, also marked the first time that North Korea paraded its Hwaseong-14 and Hwaseong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) Four Hwaseong-15s were shown on nine-axle TELs. Pyongyang first test-fired the two-stage, liquid-fuelled ICBM on 29 November 2017, when