India Rejects US Fighter Bids

The Indian defense ministry has rejected both US bids for India’s medium multi-role combat aircraft competition. Lockheed Martin’s proposed F-16IN and Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet failed the make the shortlist to supply the Indian air force with 126 fighters, worth $11 billion, reported the Financial Times. “We are reviewing the documents received from the Government of India and are respectful of the procurement process. We are, however, deeply disappointed by this news,” said US ambassador to India Timothy Roemer, reported India’s The Hindu Thursday. Only the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon remain in contention, after SAAB’s JAS-39 Gripen also reportedly failed to make the cut. Citing unrelated reasons, the US ambassador suddenly announced that he would step down following the rejection. The Obama Administration had aggressively advocated for the US bids in the competition. (See also FlightGlobal report)