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SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Officials of Mig Corporation while speaking to India media who were attending Army-2018 Int’l Military Technical Forum held in Moscow region of Russia, have confirmed that they have not received Request for Information (RFI) for 57 Carrier Based Fighter Aircraft issued in early 2017 by Indian Navy.

This is Strange since media reports in India have been Quoting Indian Naval officials which at one point had confirmed that four vendors reportedly Rafale (Dassault, France), F-18 Super Hornet (Boeing, US), MIG-29K (Russia) and Gripen (Saab, Sweden) have responded to the RFI which usually is sent to almost vendors even if they don’t have any carrier capable fighters.

Navy operates 45 MIG-29K jets, which from time-to-time face serviceability issues and if this information is true then only three vendors Saab, Dassault and Boeing will receive the request for proposal (RFP) which will be issued later this year, making it a three-way contest to serve onboard India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC I) which will be ready by 2020-21.

Sea Gripen is yet to move out of drawing boards to become a reality, which further makes this tender, a two-way race between Rafale-M and F-18 E/F which are only carrier-based fighter aircraft which are in service with their country of origin.

Now Dassault will have an upper hand in the tender due to Navy’s incline to buy fighter aircraft which are already in service with the Indian air force and India is set to receive 36 Dassault Rafale from 2019 onwards which were ordered in 2015 for its air force.

Boeing’s F-18 E/F is also participating in IAF’s tender for 110 fighter aircraft and if selected will likely mean Navy to will incline towards F-18 E/F over Dassault Rafale.

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