TCS Bangalore to develop fighter jets for Saab

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Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is all set to design and develop the next-generation fighter jet Gripen for Swedish aerospace major Saab.

The Swedish company has set up an design and development centre with TCS Bangalore for the multi-million, multi-year contract.

Saab is presently in a bidding war for the supply of 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) to the Indian Air Force (IAF). Saab vice president, Kjell Moller, said, "As part of the contract, we will transfer technology and competencies in the aerospace sector to the TCS centre, which will play a key role in the development of the next-generation Gripen and other products."

Moller added, "The contract will continue irrespective of us getting the IAF order, which envisages technology transfer and production license to state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd for manufacturing about 100 of the 126 aircraft."

TCS vice-president for engineering and industrial services Regu Ayyaswamy said, "The centre will function as part of TCS and not as a joint venture with equity participation either by Saab or us. We will, however, invest in setting up advanced simulator from Saab, in developing aerospace structures and simulating software for avionics."

IT Examiner earlier reported that Saab recently inked a lucrative defence contract with India to upgrade the defence systems of Dhruv advanced light helicopters. The firm received two serial production orders for the Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (IDAS) in a deal valued at SEK 196 million.

Vice president of Saab International Jan Widerstrom earlier noted the corporation had discussed its extensive defence portfolio with the Indian Aamy, air force and navy. It has opened an office in New Delhi.

TCS chief executive and managing director S Ramadorai said the tie-up will utilise Saab's technology solutions and global engineering model, helping TCS to cater for emerging markets in the aerospace and defence sector.

If Saab goes on to acquire the IAF order for its Gripen, TCS will benefit from the defence offsets clause that allows the manufacturer to reinvest 30 per cent of the contract in the country for outsourcing components and sub-systems.

TCS will explore market opportunities in structures, systems and avionics. About 100 TCS engineers will work at the centre in the first year of operations.

Both Saab and TCS declined to reveal the deadline for the project.