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The challenge of every Air Force, from acquisition to boneyard, is that of cost. Fighter aircraft need to be at the cutting edge of technology. At the same time, they need to fit into national budgets and be frugal in operations and maintenance. Countries like India, with a very large expanse of sea and land boundaries which are vulnerable from many sides, need that many more aircraft in the air. All this thinking went into Gripen from its very inception.
India’s vision for the Defence and Aerospace industry is based on manufacturing in India so that India can reduce imports of defence equipment, become self-sufficient and export more. For Saab, the approach fits well with its intent to build partnerships across domains. For instance, Saab plans to produce air defence systems with the Kalyani Group.
Cost-effective to operate and requiring minimal manning, very short range air defence (VSHORAD) systems fill the defence gaps left by longer range systems.