Swedish defense firm Saab and Indian conglomerate Adani Group, which announced a collaboration to manufacture the Gripen E fighter in India in August 2017, announced that the agreement was no longer proceeding.
Mats Palmberg, chairman and managing director of Saab India told that they have decided not to pursue the arrangement with the Adanis.
The business daily reported that the defense ministry is considering original equipment manufacturers’ responses on the issue. Then, it is likely to draw up an acceptance of necessity and then issue a request for proposal.
Industry sources told that in all likelihood, Saab had entered into collaboration with Adani Defence, despite its total inexperience in the aerospace sector, believing that its head Gautam Adani’s proximity to the Bharatiya Janata Party government could ‘swing’ the lucrative fighter deal in Gripen-E’s favor.
The Indian company was optimistic about the collaboration and noted in 2017 that Saab sought long-term cooperation and was ready to share technology and expertise. At the time, Gautam Adani, Chairman of the Adani Group, said, “Gripen will be offered to the Indian government as one of the best solutions for India’s single-engine fighter aircraft.”
Saab is one of seven aerospace companies participating in the MRFA (multi-role fighter aircraft) initiative to provide 114 multi-role fighter jets to the Indian Air Force, with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Dassault. The tender is expected to be worth between Rs 60,000 and Rs 70,000 crore.