Eurofighter group in talks with India

A CONSORTIUM building the Eurofighter Typhoon jet may make India a partner in the project in return for a £7bn deal to supply the jets to its air force, it has emerged.

The group including UK defence giant BAE Systems is thought to be ready to offer key data about the aircraft to India to persuade it to buy 126 of the jets in a deal set to create up to 2,000 jobs in the UK.

The proposal to India is understood to involve making Delhi a fifth partner in the consortium, including providing technical sovereignty over the jet, access to computer codes and the ability to make the aircraft in India.

Defence secretary Liam Fox is set to promote the multi-role Typhoon during a visit to Delhi this week, in which he will meet his Indian counterpart.

The Eurofighter Typhoon consortium is facing rival bids to supply aircraft to India from Russia and France, who are respectively offering their MiG-35 and Dassault Rafale jets.

The Eurofighter consortium also involves Germany, Italy and Spain.

A BAE spokesman declined to give details of any potential deal with India, but said: “We consider ourselves to have a pretty good track record of working with customers including India.”