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Report: U.S. may offer Scorpion to India as part of agreement

The first prototype of the new Scorpion jet sits in a Cessna hangar near its east Pawnee facility in 2013. The jet was developed by Textron AirLand, LLC, a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises.
The first prototype of the new Scorpion jet sits in a Cessna hangar near its east Pawnee facility in 2013. The jet was developed by Textron AirLand, LLC, a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises. The Wichita Eagle

IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly is reporting that U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s scheduled visit to India in June may include an offer of Textron’s new Scorpion jet.

The Jane’s story said Carter will sign a 10-year India-US Defence Framework Agreement and fast-track the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative, which provides for the two countries to jointly develop and produce military equipment in India.

The story said under the DTTI, the U.S. could offer Textron AirLand’s Scorpion to the Indian Air Force, which is in need of an intermediate jet trainer.

The two-seat Scorpion jet was developed in Wichita, which also serves as the headquarters for Textron’s business jet and general aviation manufactuer, Textron Aviation. The airplane is currently undergoing flight testing, and Textron officials have been heavily marketing the multi-mission jet around the world since last year.

The jet was designed as a tactical aircraft with the ability to operate in a number of roles, such as irregular warfare, border patrol, maritime surveillance, defense operations and as a military trainer.

Interest in the jet is high by aerospace analysts who follow Textron, and CEO Scott Donnelly quarterly is asked by one of them for an update on the airplane, including any potential deals.

Textron spokesman David Sylvestre said Friday afternoon he didn’t have any information to support or refute the report.

“I wish I could say more,” he said. “I just don’t know the answer.”

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