‘Indian aerospace sector to generate $30 bn offsets opportunities’

October 14th, 2008 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Oct 14 (IANS) The technology-driven Indian aerospace sector would generate around $30 billion in offsets opportunities in India in the coming years, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) chief, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major.The India Strategic show daily for the India Aviation 2008 released here Tuesday quoted the air chief as saying that the IAF was under an unprecedented “transformation” requiring an investment of around $100 billion for aircraft, equipment and infrastructure over the next couple of decades.

Under the Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), first enunciated in 2006 and fine-tuned earlier this year, 30 percent of the value of all defence contracts has to be reinvested in the country.

The IAF has already inked a $1 billion deal with US aerospace major Lockheed Martin for purchasing six C-130J transport aircraft. In addition to this, it is evaluating bids for 126 combat jets in a deal that is valued at around $10 billion.

The IAF also hopes to purchase an additional 80 Mi-17 medium-lift helicopters to add to its existing fleet and is also scouting for 197 light helicopters and 22 attack helicopters.

The IAF is also buying very heavy transport aircraft (VHTAC) - reportedly of 70,000 kg payload - to replace its IL-76 aircraft as well as the multi role transport aircraft (MRTA) being developed with Russia to replace its AN-32 fleet.

This apart, the IAF would get all its three Boeing BBJ aircraft for its VIP Squadron by early next year, while it had also chosen the Agusta Westland EH 101 (now designated AW 101) for ferrying VIPs. Twelve such machines will be purchased.

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