Vice president, defence capability marketing, Airbus Military, Ian Elliott
How do you assess the Indian defence market? What opportunities and challenges do you see here?
India is one of the most important defence markets in the world and it is of particular interest to Airbus Military because we have world-leading products that address specific current needs of the country. The ongoing tanker competition is probably the one that will be decided first and we are very hopeful that our A330 MRTT will be selected. This is the only new generation tanker/transport flying and certified today and we think it is clearly the best solution for India.
But we are also well-placed to address other requirements. We are energetically
responding to India’s interest in a transport aircraft for the BSF for which the
C295 is an outstanding candidate that is thoroughly proven in hot, high and
austere operating environments. The maritime patrol versions of the C295, or
alternatively the CN235, are superb contenders to address the country’s MPA
requirement. And eventually of course, although further in the future, we
believe the A400M can play a key role in the nation’s heavier transport force.
It has been a challenge for us to learn the process that the Indian government uses in issuing tenders and the management of procurement. But we are now thoroughly immersed in the optimum ways of doing business with the Indian military and we look forward to signing contracts that will reward the efforts of both sides.