Indian Air Force plan to buy 110 fighter jets takes off

Indian Air Force to Conduct its Biggest Exercise'Gagan Shakti Along Pakistan and China Border
IAF to conduct its biggest exercise'gagan shakti

08 April, 2018

The fresh efforts for procuring fighters could pit single and twinengine aircraft against one another, as the defence ministry had asked the IAF to draw up a proposal that would include both types.

IAF published a Request for Information on its website on Friday seeking supply of single- and twin-seat jets to be mostly manufactured locally under the Modi government's flagship Make in India scheme.

The MoD has specified that about 75 percent of the 110 aircraft will be single seat fighters while the rest will be twin seater aircraft. The production of four crucial military items - fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and new-generation tanks - are listed under this model. The RFI is likely to evoke interest from most major aircraft makers, including Saab, Lockheed Martin, and Dassault Aviation. An official said the deal could be worth over Dollars 15 billion.

"The procurement should have a maximum of 15% aircraft in flyaway state and the remaining 85% aircraft will have to be made in India" in collaboration with a strategic partner or an Indian production agency, the statement added.

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India was revising the specifications to allow manufacturers such as Boeing Co. and United Aircraft pitch their twin-engine combat aircraft in the deal, people familiar with the matter said in February.

The jets should fall under the category of multi-role combat aircraft capable of carrying out roles like air superiority, air defence, air to surface operations, reconnaissance, maritime operations and air refuelling. With talks stalling over price and quality guarantees, the government scrapped the purchase in 2015 and bought 36 jets separately to speed up the process.

It may be noted that the IAF is fighting a depleting squadron strength. against a sanctioned strength of 42, the IAF has an operational strength of about 31. U.S. aerospace major Lockheed Martin has joined hands with India's Tata Advanced Systems to build the planes in India.

Each squadron has 18 jets. The NDA government after coming to scrapped the entire deal and signed a fresh deal to procure only 36 Rafale jets in fly-away condition for Euro 7.87 billion (Rd 59,000 approx.) The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is still under development phase nearly after 35 years it was proposed. The same performance-based logistic clause had also been included in the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.

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