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For its USD 20 billion 114 fighter jet deal, IAF in favour of ‘Buy Global Make in India’ route

Source : Asian News International (ANI)

For its USD 20 billion 114 fighter jet deal, IAF in favour of ‘Buy Global Make in India’ route
An Indian Air Force Dassault Rafale on display on Indian Air Force Day (File Photo)

For over USD 20 billion tender for manufacturing 114 multi-role fighter aircraft (MRFA) the Indian Air Force (IAF) would prefer to take the ‘ Buy Global Make in India ‘ route over the strategic partnership policy model to produce the planes within the country.

‘Buy Global Make in India’ is a category of procurement process provided in the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 under Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to smoothen the acquisition of foreign weapon systems and their production within the country under the ‘Make in India’ in the defence programme.Along with the indigenous LCA Tejas and the 5th Generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft project, the 114 MRFA project would also be required by the IAF to maintain an edge over both the Northern and Western adversaries.

We would prefer to go in for the Buy Global Make in India route which is preferred by the vendors also who are expected to take part in the programme, government sources told ANI.Three American aircraft including the F-18, F-15 and F-21 (modified version of the F-16), Russian Mig-35 and Su-35 along with the French Rafale, Swedish Saab Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft are expected to participate in the programme.

The Indian Air Force had also sought the views of these companies on the acquisition procedure that they would like to opt for in the programme and most of them have shown a preference for the Buy Global Make in India route only, they said. The sources said that the force has also sought directions from the government on the project and when it can move the project for clearance from the Defence Ministry for further action.

Sources said the two squadrons of the Rafale combat aircraft were fully functional with 35 aircraft which have already arrived from France and only one plane is left for delivery. Sources said the IAF would certainly require a capability that is being provided by Rafale and more planes would be required as the two squadrons had only met the emergency requirements of the force.

The sources said that the two Rafale squadrons played a major role in containing the situation after the Chinese started aggression in the Northern sector in Ladakh and were operationalised within few weeks of their arrival and induction into the IAF.

The sources said the 83 LCA Mark 1A would help the IAF replace the MiG-series planes as the MiG-23 and the miG-27 have already been phased out and the MiG-21s are also on the verge of being phased out.The 5th generation AMCA is expected to be rolled out soon by the Defence Research and Development Organisation but its induction and trials are expected to take at least five to seven years from now.

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