Sweden’s Saab to tie up with Adani for fighter jet deal

Saab and India’s Adani Group today announced a collaboration plan for the design, development and production of Gripen fighter jet for India and also the creation of joint ventures in India in line with and in support of the Make In India policy.

He added: “Gripen will be offered to the Indian government under the strategic partnership model”.

Saab will compete with U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin to equip the Indian military with 100 single-engine jets to be produced locally under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make-in-India” initiative.

Adani is a $12 billion group with businesses ranging from energy and logistics to real estate and defence.

The deal comes amid a push by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce India’s reliance on expensive defence imports as it seeks to bolster its military in the face of China’s growing clout in the region.

Lockheed has partnered with Tata Advanced Systems to build its F-16 fighter jets in India, the report noted. A top independent consultant, Ratan Srivastava, affiliated to India’s industry lobby group FICCI, confirmed the tie-up between Adani and Saab to Reuters.

An aerospace consultant told Reuters about the tie up, saying that the partnership will be announced on Friday.

Hakan Buskhe, Saab’s CEO, told reporters in New Delhi that the company would invest “billions of dollars” if it won the order, and that it was prepared to export the Gripen from India if the government allowed it to do so.

Shares in Adani Enterprises Ltd rose after the news of the planned Saab tie-up and were trading about 2.7 per cent higher.

Under India’s new defense partnership policy, a foreign aircraft maker will collaborate with an Indian firm to develop a world-class indigenous aeronautical base that India has struggled to build for decades. Meanwhile, the rate of Saab shares were up by 1.8 per cent.

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