The Indian Defence Ministry apparently shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon and French Dassault Aviation Rafale for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) and has asked the two companies to extend validity of their commercial bids for the multi-billion dollar contract for 126 combat aircraft. The Swedish company Saab has confirmed tonight the Gripen is apparently out of the race. The three European companies submitted their commercial offers for the MMRCA along with the American F-16 and F/A-18, Russian MiG 35 and Swedish Saab Gripen. All bids will expire tomorrow, except the two proposals being extended by the Indian request.
SAAB confirmed this evening that the Gripen has not been shortlisted for the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme. ”We are offering India a world class next generation fighter aircraft to a very competitive price and an extensive technology transfer programme. We have received this decision and will closely monitor the future process and provide additional information if requested by the Indian Ministry of Defence. We are confident that the Gripen system is the perfect match for the Indian Air Force as well as meeting the highest requirements for the international markets,” says Håkan Buskhe, President and CEO at Saab.
Saab considers India as one of its strategic markets and has recently announced an investment in a research and development centre in India. “We are committed to the Indian market and continue our plans for growth and see huge business opportunities in the aerospace, defence and security sectors,” says Håkan Buskhe.
Gripen is in service with the Swedish, Czech Republic, Hungarian, South African and Royal Thai Air Forces. The UK Empire Test Pilots’ School (ETPS) is operating Gripen as its advanced fast jet platform for test pilots worldwide. SAAB is also competing for Brazil’s FX-2 future fighter program.