Boeing is thinking to push the F-15EX to New Delhi for one of India’s long-running fighter procurements – a contest in which the company F/A-18E/F is already competing.
Boeing has requested US government clearance to offer the latest variant of the mighty F-15 for an Indian Air Force (IAF) requirement for 110 fighters.
“While awaiting further definition on the Indian air force’s requirements, we have requested a license for the F-15 so that we’re ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate,” says the company.
“We continue to offer the F/A-18 Super Hornet to both the Indian navy and Indian air force, and our F-15 is experiencing a resurgence in interest in the US and around the world.”
Boeing was responding to a query from FlightGlobal after a Feb. 9 meeting with Kelli Seybolt, deputy under secretary of the Air Force for international affairs, who revealed that Boeing had sought an export licence for India for the F-15EX.
The potential entry of the F-15 into the contest is the latest twist in yet another convoluted Indian procurement exercise.
After the collapse of its Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) fighter acquisition in 2015, New Delhi rebooted the requirement, initially as an acquisition of a single-engined type, which was later extended to include twin-engined aircraft.
Contenders for the new requirement include the single-engined Lockheed Martin F-16V – called the F-21 for the Indian contest – and Saab Gripen E/F, alongside the twin-engined Dassault Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and Super Hornet. Russia is also likely to offer the RAC MiG-35 and Sukhoi Su-35. In addition, there is a separate 57-aircraft requirement for the Indian navy, which Boeing is also addressing with the F/A-18E/F.
As already reported, the US Air Force (USAF) announced earlier this month that it will sole-source two contracts, one for the F-15EX and the other for its F110 engines. The F-15EX will be the service first fourth-generation fighter program in more than 20 years.
Photo credit: Boeing
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