Defence Industry

India’s fighter jet plan likely to have another contender in F 15EX

India’s multi-billion dollar programme to acquire new fighter jets could see another contender in F 15EX of Boeing, with the company seeking formal US permission to offer it to India. New Delhi is planning to produce 114 combat aircraft at more than $15 billion in partnership with a domestic company.

The F 15EX, a heavy fighter jet capable of carrying up to 22 air-to-air missiles or a mix of ground-attack weapons, will be the third American aircraft in the fray. “The Indian Navy and Indian Air Force have distinct operational needs for fighters.

Also Read: DefExpo: Boeing accelerating efforts to grow local manufacturing in India

While awaiting further definition on the Indian Air Force’s requirements, we have requested a licence for F 15EX so that we’re ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate,” a Boeing spokesperson said in response to a query after a US official disclosed that export permissions had been sought.


The US company said the licence application is a routine procedural step that will give it flexibility to provide information on the jets when required. “We continue to offer F/A 18 Super Hornet to both Indian Navy and Indian Air Force,” Boeing said.

The US-made jet will be a challenger to F/A 18 Super Hornet and F 21 (a variant of F 16), which are already on offer. US’ F 22 Raptor and Lockheed Martin’s F 35 are not on the table as Washington is reluctant over India’s purchase of Russian S 400 air defence systems.

Also Read: Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Fighter: Headed to India?

The expected entry of the F 15EX, with IAF yet to invite an official expression of interest, will add an interesting mix to the acquisition process. Though in a heavier class than its competitors, it is the fastest aircraft in production and is known for its ability to carry a phenomenal weapon load.

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