U.S., Russia vie to produce India's jets

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, is doing all the usual things while visiting the U.S. There's the State Dinner he'll attend at the White House tonight. He'll be meeting with President Obama where economic ties and climate change will be high on his agenda. But updating India's military is a big issue for American aerospace companies. Marketplace's Jeff Tyler reports billions of dollars could be up for grabs.


Jeff Tyler: India plans to spend $10 billion on new fighter jets for its military. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are both vying for the contract. Other countries are competing, too. The Russians used be India's primary source for combat aircraft.

Equity analyst Anil Daka with Morningstar says the Russians are working hard to keep their client and sell India some Mig-35 jets.

Anil Daka: They are taking all the steps they could to win this contract. They actually flew that aircraft nonstop from Moscow to Bangalore, where they were demonstrating the aircraft for the first time.

Even if a U.S. company wins the multibillion-dollar contract, Daka says it wouldn't mean much in terms of employment.

Daka: I really doubt if it's going to create new jobs. It's more of a sustenance of jobs for the people working on that F-16 production line than any new jobs, actually.

Daka says Pakistan flies F-16, which could prejudice India against them. He thinks the Europeans have the most advanced technology, which gives them an edge in the fighter jet competition.

In Los Angeles, I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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