F-18 Deal with Indian Navy is ‘top priority’ of US, says Boeing

Pitching its F-18 Super Hornets as the premier carrier aircraft in the world, US aviation giant Boeing has said that their fighter offers more to the Indian Navy than competitor Rafale-M by French firm Dassault Aviation.

Underlining that the Super Hornets are the US Navy’s clear choice for operations anywhere in the world, Torbjorn Sjogren, vice president of international government and defence at Boeing, says that the company has the right aircraft for both the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.

Super Hornets is well designed, well developed between the (Echo) single seater and the (Foxtrot) twin seater. Both of those are operated by the US Navy and both, by the way, can operate for the Indian Navy, as opposed to our competitor which obviously has a little bit of a challenge with regard to its too seater,” said Sjogren, referring to the inability of the Rafale-M twin seater to operate from an aircraft carrier.

While the Rafale-M already demonstrated its operational capability to the Indian Navy earlier this year, two Super Hornets are in the country currently for similar demonstrations. The Indian Navy which originally wanted to procure 57 new fighters, is now looking to buy 27.

Both companies have a significant presence in the Indian military. According to Sjogren, Boeing is eager to get feedback from the Indian Navy on the Super Hornets strengths and weaknesses. “We are very confident that when it comes to any mission and operation, the Super Hornet is the premier top carrier aircraft. When the US Navy needs to employ aircraft for missions, it goes to the Super Hornet every time,” he said.

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