Sweden’s SAAB group have made a pre-tender pitch to India for the Multi Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) procurement program by declaring that its Gripen E single-engine fighter jet is on offer for half the price India has paid for the Rafale along with full technology transfer. India paid an estimated of Rs 1,821 Crores a piece for the Rafale in the 2016 deal signed with Dassault for the procurement of 36 Rafale aircrafts. Without the weapons package, the cost was approximately Rs 1,634 Crores. The current Gripen price is Rs 1,050 Crores with the weapons package and Rs 854 Crores for the bare aircraft.
Previously, in 2018 a RFI was issued by the IAF for the procurement of 114 MRFA worth approx. USD 15 Billion. Six firms responded to the RFI including of - Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, SAAB’s Gripen and Russian United Aircraft Corporation’s MiG-35 and Sukhoi-35. India is expected to launch a global tender in the first half of next year.