IAF issues RFI for indigenous single, twin engine fighters

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New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Friday announced a plan to produce fighter jets in India and sought information from global majors for starting a line for their production here under the Strategic Partnership model.

A Request For Information (RFI) was issued on Friday by the IAF for production of approximately 110 fighter jets – about 75 percent single seat and rest twin seat aircraft.

It also says that the procurement will have a maximum of 15 percent aircraft in flyaway state and the remaining 85 percent aircraft will have to be made in India by a Strategic Partner and the Indian Production Agency.

It comes after India scrapped a two-year-old plan to produce 114 single-engine fighter jets with foreign collaboration at an estimated cost of Rs 1.15 lakh crore.

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The IAF currently has 32 combat squadrons against a sanctioned strength of 39.5, which is sought to be raised to 42. A former chief Arup Raha, in a press conference days before retiring, had said that the force needs at least 200 more fighter jets in next decade.

The Strategic Partnership policy envisages the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships with qualified Indian industry majors, wherein an Indian industry partner would tie up with global original equipment manufacturers to seek technology transfer and manufacturing know-how to set up domestic manufacturing infrastructure and supply chains in defence manufacturing.

Four sectors have been finalised under this model for present – fighter aircraft, helicopters, submarines and armoured fighting vehicles and main battle tanks.

–IANS

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