The Eurofighter Partner Companies are keen to win India as a new industrial partner for the production and further development of the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft. Speaking at a media conference on the occasion of Aero India 2011, Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of Cassidian Air Systems and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurofighter GmbH, outlined details of the industrial partnership offer to integrate India as a partner in the Eurofighter programme.
Mr. Gerwert said: “Our ultimate objective is to win India as a key partner co-developing and co-producing future upgrades and enhancements, new sub-systems, software, etc.”
In order to phase India into the global Eurofighter Typhoon programme as a significant manufacturing and engineering partner, the Eurofighter partners pursue an ambitious industrialization strategy. Gerwert explained: “We are starting to develop the base for a comprehensive future supplier network which will plug India into the global Eurofighter supply chain. Even before the MMRCA selection, we invest in making India a new home for the Eurofighter Typhoon.”
An acquisition of the Eurofighter Typhoon will create more than 20,000 high-skilled jobs in India and support the development of a self-reliant indigenous defence industry. India would gain access to a wide array of technologies from Europe’s leading aerospace and defence companies avoiding over-dependence on a single source. Enzo Casolini, CEO of Eurofighter GmbH, emphasizes: “We are committed to Transfer of Technology because we want to enable India to manufacture this advanced combat aircraft itself and we want to see the country emerge as a truly global development partner.”
Cassidian, the EADS Division for Security and Defence, is systematically implementing its industrialization strategy. The latest step was the opening of the first defence oriented engineering centre owned by a foreign company in India. Mr. Gerwert underlined: “This proves that we are ready to transfer high value defence R&D to India.” Cassidian plans to increase the current number of 60 employees in its defence engineering centre to more than 200 by the end of 2012, with many of them working on Eurofighter related tasks. Mr. Gerwert also said: “We strongly believe that Eurofighter Typhoon is indeed the best choice for safeguarding India’s autonomy and sovereignty. Its selection will elevate the strategic relationship between India and Europe to a completely new level.”
Enzo Casolini, CEO Eurofighter GmbH, said: “India and other nations in Asia are important markets for combat aircraft. All nations are watching closely how India is running this tough competition and will evaluate the final result in every detail. In the next 20 years the total world market for combat aircraft could reach a total of 800 units. We believe that Eurofighter Typhoon could potentially win orders for around 250 of these aircraft.”
Eurofighter Typhoon is currently the most modern multi-role combat aircraft available on the world market and the latest technology fighter aircraft on offer for the MMRCA. Its airframe is made of over 80 % composites, incorporating new-age materials like carbon fibre composites (CFC), glass-reinforced plastic, special alloys, etc. The aircraft entered into service in 2004 and has a life span of more than 40 years ahead. Since entry-into-service, more than 260 aircraft have been delivered to six customers. The worldwide Eurofighter Typhoon fleet just recently achieved the milestone of 100,000 flying hours.