SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat said in an interview in New Delhi. that IAF will buy additional 83 jets, apart from an earlier deal for 40 aircraft, for $6 billion and also said that “The IAF is saying, I would rather take the indigenous fighter, it is good.” when asked about the global tender for jets under which IAF had plans to buy 114 jets from Global vendors like Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp, JSC Rosoboronexport , Dassault, Eurofighter Consortium and Saab AB who have send their proposals for their fighter jets.
Procurement of 114 jets from a foreign vendor was over 83 LCA-Tejas Mk1A jets which IAF had finalized with state-owned HAL and was due to be inked by now but was delayed due to CoVID-19 situation in the country. Amid recent calls by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who stressed the need to buy locally made products to boost an economy battered by the Covid-19 outbreak,it was expected that IAF might drop plans to buy from a foreign vendor.
Defense Analysts have been urging IAF and MOD to cancel procurement of 114 jets under possible contract for $15 billion and instead focus on the construction of Tejas Mk1A and Tejas Mk2 which is under development. India presently has three active fighter jet programs Tejas Mk1A, Tejas Mk2, and AMCA, and state-owned ADA recently also proposed Twin-Engined ORCA fighter jet concept which is air force derivative of the TEDBF planned for the Indian Navy for Carrier-based Jet requirements.
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