Israel Opts Out of Indian Air Force’s Fighter Jet Bid

7 July 2009 (Last Updated July 7th, 2009 18:30)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has opted out of a partnership with Saab to compete in a bid for the Indian Air Force’s multi-role fighter jets deal due to pressure from the US. IAI had intended to provide electronic systems including radar, communications and electronic-warfare eleme

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has opted out of a partnership with Saab to compete in a bid for the Indian Air Force’s multi-role fighter jets deal due to pressure from the US.

IAI had intended to provide electronic systems including radar, communications and electronic-warfare elements to Saab to jointly develop an advanced model of the Gripen fighter for the competition.

The Israeli Ministry of Defence has asked IAI to back-off from the bid since the Pentagon is apprehensive that US technology used by Israel in the Gripen will find its way to India through the deal, The Jerusalem Post reports.

The Indian Air Force plans to spend about $12bn to purchase over 120 multi-role combat aircrafts.

Israeli officials are speculating that the US is concerned that IAI’s participation would lower procurement prices offered to US competitors.

The other competitors for the IAF deal include Russia's MiG-35 and BAE's Eurofighter.