Gripen has made presentations of its Sea Gripen fighter aircraft to the Indian Navy last week.
Tony Ogilvy, Vice President, International Marketing for Gripen informed StratPost that his company had made presentations to the navy last week and said the response was ‘very good’.
Ogilvy, who is also a former Royal Navy Buccaneer and Sea Harrier pilot, said the ‘inherent design characteristics’ of the Gripen aircraft make it ‘very similar to a deck based aircraft’.
He said that in the two-hour presentation, which took place last Friday, Sea Gripen’s salt water protection characteristics and maritime operational engine and its ability to operate off both CATOBAR and STOBAR carriers were some of the features highlighted.
According to Ogilvy, the Sea Gripen is being especially pitched to nations which are looking for compact carriers and are not necessarily interested in global force projection capabilities. The aircraft is said to have a very small footprint and is very easy to operate off smaller carriers.
So would the Sea Gripen be good for the Indian 40,000 ton Vikrant class carrier under construction? “Perfect,” said Ogilvy.
Gripen is also being pitched to the Indian Air Force (IAF) for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender. Edvard de la Motte, Director of Gripen’s India campaign told StratPost that the the third phase of trials of the aircraft are likely to begin in March, when the aircraft will be tested in Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh.