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Process to buy 110 fighter planes for IAF takes off

Process to buy 110 fighter planes for IAF takes off

The RFI has sought information from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on the specifics of the aircraft for both single engine and twin-engine fighter jets.

A Request for Information (RFI) was issued on Friday for the procurement stating that majority of these will be indigenously made in collaboration with foreign manufacturers under the strategic partnership model and the "Make in India" policy.

According to the RFI, around 75% of the aircraft will be single-seat ones. India asked global companies to submit proposals for 110 fighter jets, the world's biggest such order now. The remaining 93-94 aircraft must be built in India by a "strategic partner/Indian production agency (SP/IPA)".

Nevertheless, this latest effort to get fighter jets is of immediate importance to the IAF, which now has a strength of 31 fighter squadrons (each of 18 jet planes), when it actually requires 42 to tackle the threat emanating from Pakistan and China. The multi-role combat aircraft will be expected to fulfil roles that include establishing air superiority, perform air defence and air to surface operations, conduct reconnaissance, undertake maritime operations, and electronic warfare capable among other attributes. The deal could be worth as much as $15 billion, Bloomberg reported, quoting an analyst.

Father Reunited with Missing Daughter After 24-Year Search
However, last year, a police sketch artist chose to help the family by drawing a picture of what Qifeng may look like as an adult. In 1994, Wang Mingqing and Liu Dengying were selling fruit at a busy stand in the city of Chengdu with their daughter Qifeng.

The urgent need for fighters has also been necessitated by the phasing out of Russian MiG fighters - India's mainstay. The NDA Government finally scrapped the proposed deal in 2014 and opted for buying 36 Rafales off the shelf from France.

Indias latest hunt for over 100 fighter jets is the first mega procurement initiative for fighter jets after the government scrapped the process to acquire 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the IAF around five years ago.

The IAF has been pressing for expediting the process to acquire the aircraft citing declining strength of its fighter squadron as some of the ageing jets are being phased out. The Indian Air Force was keen on a follow-on order of 36 additional Rafales but the government is yet to take a decision on it.

The IAF that is operating with only 33 fighter squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42 will be further reduced to only 16 by 2032 and 19 by 2027.

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