Boeing promises to build fighters in India

Boeing could end up building about 100 F/A-18 fighter planes in India, an executive with the company’s Integrated Defense Systems unit told reporters in New Delhi.

“We fully intend for Super Hornet to be built in India,” IDS President Christopher Chadwick said. “We plan to build 18 aircraft in the U.S. and from the 19th aircraft it will be built in India.  We will continue transfer of technology to India so that they not only assemble but make lots of part of the aircraft in India…. actually building the aircraft here.”

Boeing builds F/A-18s in St. Louis. Production workers there are represented by IAM District 837.

Boeing is competing with five other jet-makers — Lockheed-Martin, Dassault, Saab, EADS and Russian Aircraft Corp. MiG — for a contract to supply 12 jets to India’s air force. They’re intended to replace ’60s-era MiG-21s. As part of the deal, India proposes buying 18 planes built by the seller, with the remainder being built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.

The U.S. Congress would have to approve the technology transfer plan.

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