KEY POINTS

  • There are currently two contracts available in India, one of them totals out at $18 billion 
  • There are multiple competitors across the globe for these contracts 
  • Boeing already has the infrastructure in place to service the contracts

Even though its recent domestic issues with the 737 Max program have cast a shadow, U.S. Aerospace giant Boeing has continued to do well with its military programs particularly outside of the United States. There are a couple of substantial military contracts up for grabs in India, and Boeing stands poised to make a run for both of them. India is heavily considering two aircraft, the F/A-18 Hornet and F-15 EX.

In April last year, the Indian Air Force issued a request for information or initial tender to acquire 114 fighter jets. Boeing stands ready with its F-15 project. Boeing has applied for a license allowing them to export the jets from the United States to India. The recent licensure only applies to the F-15 as Boeing already has the license to produce the Hornet outside of the United States.

If Boeing can land this contract, it would be worth over $18 billion and would significantly update the Indian arsenal. However, competition for the contract is tight as there are multiple contenders from across the world. Lockheed's F-21, Boeing's FA-18, Dassault Aviation"s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, the Russian MiG-35 and Swedish SAAB's Gripen round out the competition.

F-15 Eagle F-15 Eagles on apron Photo: AF.mil

There is also a contract out from the Indian Navy seeking to acquire 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its aircraft carriers. There is no monetary value attached to that contract that is available; however, there are six planes that are currently compatible with aircraft carrier operations. These include the Rafale, the Super Hornet, the MiG 29k from Russia and two entries from Lockheed Martin -- the F-35b and F-35c.

Boeing already has a foothold in the country, and a spokesperson from Boeing India operations said last week in a report by Business Standard that the company was ready to expand its operations in the country. This comes on the heels of the Indian Air Force's purchase of a fleet of Boeing Chinook heavy-lift aircraft and AH-64 Apache Attack helicopters.

There has been no indication of movement on the contract as of yet, but Boeing already has the production facilities in the country to begin the process.

A source close to the project told International Business Times that Boeing enjoys a good relationship with India, and things are looking good. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the source went on to say that Boeing has a leg up on the situation as far as India is concerned because they are already there. Boeing certainly wouldn't mind landing something like this.