The Indian government has shortlisted the Eurofighter Typhoon, for which UK defence contractor BAE Systems is a consortium member, and the French Rafale fighter for the 126 combat aircraft order.The decision means that US defence contractors Boeing and Lockheed are now cut out of the deal, which could be worth $11bn (£6.7bn).Should the Eurofighter be selected, the deal could prove highly lucrative for a number of UK defence companies other than BAE.
Ultra Electronics, Meggitt and Cobham all manufacture parts for the Typhoon fighter, and would receive a najor profits boost from the additional orders.The decision to cut the US out will come as a blow after a concerted campaign by US officials. Timothy Roemer, the US ambassador to Delhi, resigned yesterday, citing personal reasons after accomplishing “all of the strategic objectives set forth two years ago” on taking the job.The contract will be one of the world’s largest in recent years and will cement a strategic partnership between India and Europe. Other contractors bidding were Sweden’s Saab Gripen and Russia’s MiG-35. The Indian government’s decision, if it goes to Eurofighter, will be seen as a small victory for David Cameron after his trade mission to India last year.The deal will also be seen as evidence of the country’s growing military and strategic might. India already has a nuclear programme. – Telegraph