EADS to shift some Eurofighter development projects to India

Berlin, June 10 (IANS) European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company NV (EADS) would transfer some of the development projects of its advanced fourth generation Eurofighter Typhoon or other military aircraft to India soon, a top company official said Thursday.

‘We will transfer some of our development projects, which we have in Europe for Eurofighter or other military aircraft to India, where we have set up a military research and development (R&D) centre in Bangalore,’ EADS chief executive (defence & security) Stefan Zoller told IANS here.

The Netherlands-based European aerospace corporation was created in 2000 by merging Aerospatiale Matra of France, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) of Germany (excluding the MTU engine business) and Construcciones Aeronauticas SA (CASA) of Spain.

Asserting that the consortium’s R&D activities were independent of its bid for the 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), Zoller said leveraging the high-skilled Indian talent and the potential of the emerging Indian aerospace industry would lead to developing new technologies and creation of jobs.

‘If we win the IAF order, the development of newer versions of Typhoon for India and global market will result in creation of about 20,000 direct jobs, as the bid involves the winner re-investing 50 percent of the deal in India’s defence manufacturing industry,’ Zoller said at the 100th Berlin international air show.

Besides Eurofighter, the US-based Lockheed Martin F-16s and Boeing’s F/A-18IN Super Hornet, French D’Assault’s Rafale, Swiss SAAB’s Gripen and Russian MiG-35 are the other five contenders for the IAF order, estimated to be $10-12 billion.

The IAF plans to acquire 18 of these in ready-to-fly condition, with the remaining 118 being manufactured by the Indian defence behemoth Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) under technology transfer and licensed production, to replace its ageing Russian MiG-21 fleet and enhance its strike capability.

‘We will transfer 60 percent of the Eurofighter technology to India if Typhoon wins the bid. Our long-term strategy is to partner with the Indian aerospace industry for our global market, as we consider the Indian talent and resources as an ideal source for knowhow and to develop newer technologies,’ Zoller said.

The consortium is keen on building a centre of competence and a centre of excellence in Bangalore through its Indian subsidiary to design and develop next-generation products and solutions to its European and global markets.

‘We also want to establish a division of our defence and security wing in India independent of the IAF order for Typhoon not to duplicate what we are doing in Europe but replicate its business model to leverage the potential of the Indian aerospace industry through joint ventures and offset projects,’ Zoller added.

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