Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Northrop Grumman Says India Could Tap Economies Of Scale For E-2D

Aerospace Daily
Feb 9, 2011
NEW DELHI — Northrop Grumman says that if India purchases the company’s E-2D airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) aircraft at the same time as the U.S., it will gain a price benefit from economies of scale.

India’s current requirement is for  one squadron of four AEW&C aircraft, with two more as options. It is believed the Indian navy will require 12 in the coming years.

With the warming of U.S.-India relations, India is among the first countries for which the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye has been approved for export. The Indian navy made a formal request for the sale last October.

“The challenge with the E-2D is we’re building small numbers,” says Tom Trudell, Northrop’s E-2D manager
for international business development. “This is a low-rate production/ niche program.”

The Indian navy is still awaiting a response from the U.S. on a request to add further capability to the export
version of the E-2D. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said the delay is simply due to bureaucratic inefficiencies, Trudell says.

“We believe the request for proposals should emerge,” says Gyanendra Sharma, managing director of  Northrop Grumman India. “We are in dialogue with the [Indian defense ministry].”

A sole-source contract is expected. The Indian navy is anxious to obtain the system, but India’s slow procurement process may hold up the decision.
- Neelam Mathews

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