Boeing makes smart ‘super hornet’ pitch for Indian Navy

IDD Bureau

US-based giant Boeing has made a sharp digital pitch for selling its F/A-18 Super Hornet jets to Indian Navy’ for carrier based operations.

The Boeing’s India twitter handle @Boeing_In  tweeted a picture of a Super Hornet flying close to an aircraft carrier.

“The F/A-18 #SuperHornet can work with the P-8I in the future battle space to play a leading role in the evolving capabilities of the @indiannavy. #NavyDay,” said the Boeing tweet aiming to complete the matrix of India’s sea-going offensive operations. India uses the twin-engined Russian origin MiG 29K for deck-based operations.

The tweet on Monday came just two days ahead of the annual ‘Navy Day’ which the Indian Navy commemorates on December 4 to mark the sea-launched audacious attack on Karachi, Pakistan during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

Also the Boeing’s pitch comes just four  days after the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the apex decision making body of the Ministry of Defence in India on November 28, okayed the purchase of six more Boeing P8I maritime surveillance aircraft to widen the arc of operations of its Navy.

Boeing has also completed extensive analysis and testing on F/A-18 Super Hornet’s compatibility with Indian carriers that use ski-jump for STOBAR operations.  “Results show that the Super Hornet is capable of launching off a ski-jump carrier and could be operated from Indian carriers with a meaningful fuel and weapons load”, the Boeing India website says.

US carriers use  the CATOBAR method for operations and the Boeing F/A-18 was designed for same.

India is looking for 57 aircraft for the Indian Navy with the intended use as day-and-night capable, all-weather, multi-role, deck-based combat aircraft which can be used for air defence, air-to-surface operations, buddy refuelling, reconnaissance, etc, from Indian navy aircraft carriers.

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