Saab upbeat on exports as it unveils new fighter jet
By Tim Hepher
LINKOPING, Sweden May 18 (Reuters) - Sweden's Saab expressed optimism about fighter exports to nations including India as it unveiled a new version of its Gripen combat jet being developed for Sweden and Brazil.
The revamped Gripen E is one of five aircraft which has attracted Finland's interest as it weighs an order for dozens of jets, according to industry executives.
Boeing's F-18, Dassault Aviation's Rafale, Lockheed Martin's F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon, involving BAE Systems, may also be considered.
Saab said it is also monitoring possible fighter purchases in India, which some say could seek almost 100 warplanes once it completes a delayed order for 36 French Rafales.
"I think we have a very good opportunity in India. We can make an attractive offer that would suit the Indians with their Make in India concept," Saab aeronautics head Ulf Nilsson said in an interview.
Sweden appears willing to meet India's demands for a sweeping transfer of technology, echoing a deal to sell 28 Gripen Es and 8 twin-seater Gripen Fs to Brazil.
"The solution we did there ... could very well be suitable for India," Nilsson told Reuters. He said Saab is talking to potential Indian partners, but declined to give details.
After years of indecision, some analysts believe India could seek both single-engine jets like the Gripen and Lockheed Martin F-16 and twin-engine aircraft like the Rafale or F-18. Continuación...