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Boeing Targets $15 Billion Defense Orders in India in 10 Years
« on: February 13, 2008, 03:51:18 PM »
Boeing Targets $15 Billion Defense Orders in India in 10 Years
By Gautam Chakravorthy

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co., the Pentagon's second- largest supplier, said it plans to bid for as much as $15 billion of military orders in India over the next 10 years to shore up sales at its defense unit.

The Integrated Defense Systems unit will offer its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighters, the P-8I patrol aircraft, the CH-47 Chinook and the AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters, Vivek Lall, the India head for Boeing's defense unit, said in a telephone interview from New Delhi today. The Harpoon, JDAM and SLAM-ER missiles will also be on sale in India, he said.

Chicago-based Boeing, which trails behind Lockheed Martin Corp. as a supplier to the U.S. military, is seeking overseas defense contracts after sales at its unit fell 1.1 percent to $32.1 billion last year. India's military-equipment imports are expected to increase 12-fold to $30 billion by 2012, according to lobby group Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India.

Boeing and Lockheed Martin will be among the 273 overseas exhibitors that will participate in a defense exhibition in New Delhi, organizer Confederation of Indian Industry said in a statement today. Almost 32,000 visitors are expected at the three- day DEFEXPO India 2008, which will start on Feb. 16.

India, which operates Russian MiG and Sukhoi planes in its air force, in August invited bids for 126 fighter jets worth $11 billion, the biggest order for combat planes in 15 years.

Lockheed Martin, which started a unit in India last month ahead of the government's plan to purchase the fighter jets, will display the latest version of its F-16 jet fighter and the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, according to a company statement e-mailed today. The company's missile and sensor systems will also be exhibited.

The nation bought 100.2 billion rupees ($2.6 billion) of defense equipment in the year ended March 31, becoming the world's 10th-biggest military spender last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.



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