Saturday, June 24, 2017

Russia’s fighter jet makers “not afraid” of US competition in India

Paris: Russian military aviation firm MiG said on Friday it was ready to deepen its cooperation with India, just days after U.S. arms maker Lockheed Martin Corp agreed with Tata Advanced Systems to build F-16 fighters there. India’s air force needs hundreds of aircraft to replace its Soviet-era fleet, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has said foreign suppliers must build the planes in India to boost the domestic industrial base and cut outright imports. MiG General Director Ilia Tarasenko told Reuters in a written interview that his company had been cooperating with India for more than 50 years, providing planes, service and training centres, and remained upbeat about further sales.
“We are not afraid of rivalry with the U.S. in this market,” he said. “On the contrary, we believe that attempts by other players to establish cooperation with this country help us to better understand their needs and better meet them.” At the same time, he conceded that Modi’s “Make in India” initiative required some changes in Moscow’s approach, and said his company was ready to respond. “Regarding improvements, we believe that it is necessary to further deepen cooperation within the framework of the ‘Make in India’ concept and are ready to take the necessary steps,” Tarasenko said. He did not elaborate.
24/06/17 Reuters/Financial Express