Eurofighter Typhoon arrives in India for field trials

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New Delhi, Feb 18 (ANI): Eurofighter Typhoon arrived in Bangalore on Thursday for a thorough evaluation by the Indian Air Force (IAF) as part of its medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) programme.

The field trials by six fighter jet makers for the Indian Air Force contract worth estimated 10 billion dollars should be complete by the end of 2010.

The Eurofighter is competing against Dassault's Rafale, Saab's JAS 39 Super Gripen IN, Boeing's F/A-18E/F-IN Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin's F-16IL and Russia's MiG-35.

"The aircrafts are on their way. They will start flight test from Monday at Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh. This will go on for four months," said Stefan Billep, head of the Eurofighter Typhoon.

He said the Eurofighter Typhoon offers a broad spectrum of operational advantages to India, such as its adaptability to operate in severe weather conditions, high mission effectiveness and survivability in threat situations.

"Our aircraft is the newest in the market and was operationalised in 2004. We showed tremendous growth production. This has a very high altitude capacity. That's an advantage for it.

"Second aspect is industrial package that four European industries are also coming with us to collaborate with India. We have a strong government which shares the values of democracy with India," he said on the sidelines of DEFEXPO 2010 in New Delhi.

"The four companies are aircraft manufacturers of UK, Italy, Germany and Spain. We are already engage in discussion with various companies for tie up," Stefan added.

India plans to buy 126 jets, as well helicopters, air lifters and other defense equipment, to upgrade its weaponry. India currently uses fighter jets such as the Sukhoi Su-30, Mirage-2000, MiG-21 nd Jaguar. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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