As India prepares to issue $10 billion global tender for fighter jets, Sweden’s Saab has offered 100% ToT of the Gripen-E. However, experts note that 70% of the technology is borrowed and it is unlikely that the proprietors would allow Sweden to transfer those to India.
A day after America’s Lockheed Martin expressed its unwillingness to share its closely guarded technology for F-16 fighter jets with India, Swedish firm Saab has offered complete technology transfer if India awards it the $10 billion contract for the single-engine fighter aircraft — Gripen-E.
“Saab is committed to full technology transfer to India in connection with Indian procurement of the Gripen-E. We will build the world’s most modern aerospace facility and ecosystem in India. We will abide by the terms of the Strategic Partnership that will be set by the government for the single-engine fighter aircraft program and will undertake complete transfer of technology to the chosen joint venture partner,” Jan Widerstrom, Chairman, Saab India said in a statement.
However, beyond the rhetoric, there is a catch.
“Unfortunately, Saab doesn’t own much of the critical technology that goes into the Gripen-E. Saab does not even own up to 30 percent of the aircraft’s key technologies including the propulsion system and the ASEA radar. It would be a really big deal if Saab conciliates other original technology developers to transfer technology to India; which seems unlikely,” Vijainder K Thakur, former squadron leader of Indian Air Force told Sputnik.
Saab chose India’s Adani Group, a new entrant in the field of defense aerospace, for collaboration this September with the aim of bagging India’s single-engine fighter aircraft contract. In the beginning of this month, both partners hosted a supplier meeting in New Delhi creating an industrial ecosystem to develop and produce the Gripen in India.
“This was done in order to start shaping an ecosystem for the Gripen in India in preparation for the single-engine fighter selection process,” Saab explained its reason behind organizing the summit.