Weeks ahead of President Donald Trump's visit to India, US-based Boeing Company has a put in a request to its government for a license to offer the F-15EX to India. After getting the approval from its administration, the F15EX will be pitched together with Boeing's F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet for Indian Air Force's (IAF) contest for 110 fighter aircraft. In an earlier interaction with Financial Express Online, officials had said that "We have present here for several decades and have been helping India in setting up the 21st-century ecosystem for aerospace & defence manufacturing. This will help in 'Make in India' initiative in the defence and aerospace sector a big success."
Boeing Company's Response
Responding to Financial Express Online query, the Boeing Company said in a statement, "The Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force have distinct operational needs for fighters. While awaiting further definition on the Indian Air Force's requirements, we have requested a license for the F-15EX so that we're ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate."
According to the company, it will continue to offer the F/A-18 Super Hornet to both the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force.
After being approved by the Congress, the US Air Force is going to buy the first eight F-15EX aircraft from Boeing.
Countries including Japan, South Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Singapore are operating the F-15 and Qatar is expected to get its first F-15 in 2021.
Reportedly, it is estimated that the F-15 EX will cost around $80 million. And it has the capability of carrying a large payload.
Companies in the race for 110 Fighters for India
India is looking at not only the French Dassault Aviation's `Rafale', but Boeing has offered F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin is fielding F-21, European Consortium is offering Eurofighter Typhoon; SAAB's Gripen E, Russia has offered MiG-35 and Su-35.
One getting approval Boeing will field F-15 EX too.
As has been reported earlier by Financial Express Online, Boeing Company has offered the F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet for the Indian Navy's 57 carrier deck fighter aircraft.
The US Company has already outsourced the manufacturing of certain parts of the F-15 to its global supply chain which has around 200 vendors.
In an earlier interaction the company has offered set up a new production facility for producing F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters if the IAF and the Indian Navy place an order.