Eurofigther consortium keen in roping India as a partner

Bangalore, Feb 10 (PTI) The Eurofighter consortium todayannounced it was keen in seeking out India as its "industrialpartner" for production and further enhancements in theEurofighter programme.

The European Eurofighter Typhoon is one of the sixcompetitors bidding for Indian Air Force''s ambitious 126Medium Multi-Role Combat Aicraft deal worth USD 10 billion.

Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Cassidian Air Systems andChairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurofighteroutlined details of the industrial partnership offer tointegrate India into its Eurofighter programme.

"Our ultimate objective is to win India as a key partnerco-developing and co-producing future upgrades andenhancements, new sub-systems, software and build theaerospace industry here", he told reporters.

"Currently, the consortium has four partners and the ideais to have India as the fifth partner in the programme and bea part of the Eurofighter family", said Enzo Casolini, CEO ofEurofighter, which also included revenue sharing.

The partnership would also translate into development oftrained engineering capabilities in India with the consortiumtraining the Indian talent pool in the relevant technology andfacilitate access to different technologies.

"We are starting to develop the base for a comprehensivefuture supplier network which will plug India into the globalEurofighter supply chain",Gerwert said.

If India signs up the Eurofighter Typhoon it will createmore than 20,000 high-skilled jobs in India in the next coupleof years, Gerwert said adding that the the consortium was keenin tapping the highly skilled IT manpower.

It was keen in growing its relation with India independentof the MMRA deal. "We will pursue other businesses", he said.

The latest step in growing the relation was Cassidian, theEADS Division for Security and Defence opening of the firstdefence oriented engineering centre in India.

Cassidian plans to increase the current number of 60employees in its defence engineering centre to more than 200by the end of 2012, with many of them working on Eurofighterrelated tasks.

Asked whether India would turn into an export hub, hesaid this would take time. But it hopes to have a largesupplier chain going forward, with HAL "probably being one ofthe partners"..

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