Shiv Arroor has some new information on the MIIF RFP. Expect more news articles along these lines to start appearing:
Boeing Unveils AMCA 'Sweetener'http://www.livefistdefence.com/2016/11/boeing-unveils-an-amca-sweetener.html
Link between choice of F-18 ASH and help on AMCA (IMHO the whole purpose of this MIIF exercise, the much talked about "second line")
First, as the slide most visibly suggests, Boeing proposes that the manufacturing facility and supply eco-system that it builds up for the F/A-18 in India in the event it is chosen, could be used to produce the AMCA. The existing facility could be leveraged, precluding the need for a greenfield setup elsewhere.
And now, the expected connection to F414 EPE:
Second, also mentioned specifically in the slide is the GE 414 enhanced engine pitch. Significant. Boeing here is proposing engine commonality from the get-go to support the prospective selection of the Super Hornet platform. Both Boeing and GE are in ‘multiple stakeholder discussions’ with the DRDO, Indian Air Force (and, presumably the MoD) on this aspect, said Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar during a presentation by Dan Gillian, Boeing’s VP on the F/A-18 programme headquartered at St Louis
There has been a sea change since MMRCA. Then, it was about selecting the technically most qualified fighter, and then expecting to get Indian participation in manufacturing through offsets. That did not work out so well. So now, the new framework is to directly ask for MII, and then negotiate on numbers based on what is on offer.
Election of Trump adds to the uncertainty. He might turn out to be extremely supportive, but then again, with his Make America Great Again theme, he might want to keep production in US which will kill the whole deal. At the very least, his election might add to the timelines, since now the incoming administration will have to get onboarded and own the deal.
However, so far, so good.