By Shweta Sehgal
(By Arrangement with India STRATEGIC)
Boeing is offering the same capability on its Super Hornet Block III to the Indian Navy that has been developed for the US Navy, inclusive of any India-specific requirements.
The US Navy has ordered 78 of these latest Boeing F/A 18 Block III strike aircraft for its carrier-based operations over the next decade, and it is the same aircraft that the two Navies are discussing for a possible government-to-government FMS deal. Boeing says that the advanced warfighter technologies of this aircraft will enable the Indian Navy to “take-on the challenges of the present and the future.” The Indian Navy has placed a requirement of 57 shipboard fighters, and Boeing has already responded to the Indian Navy’s Request for Information (RFI).
A significant feature of the aircraft will be its connectivity to the various Indian Navy assets, like the aircraft carrier, other ships, helicopters, satellites and the P 8-I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance (LRMR) Anti-Submarine-Warfare (ASW) aircraft as well as any unmanned aircraft.
Here is what Ankur Kanaglekar, Boeing’s Director, India Fighters Sale, elaborates in an interview:
Can you share an update on your talks with Indian Navy for the F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet?
We are engaging with the Indian Navy on their future requirements and have responded to the Request for Information for the Multi-role Carrier Borne Fighter program, MRCBF. We are quite excited to see how the most-advanced, multi-role, F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III, which is the frontline fighter of the U.S Navy, offers unmatched advantages to the Indian Navy. Block III variant will offer advanced warfighter technologies to the Indian Navy to take-on the challenges of the present and the future.