Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff speaking to SP aviation, said that IAF plans to induct six squadrons of MRFA in a phased manner. IAF is studying the responses to the RFI issued in April 2018 and the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements for the current proposal are being finalized before seeking Government approval.

The case will be progressed as per Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. While the IAF chief claims that IAF is processing the case for 114 MRFA to meet its operational requirements, it has still not put when RFP (Request for Proposal) will be issued to the selected vendor and no timelines were disclosed.

The IAF presently does not have its full complement of 42 authorized fighter squadrons, with retirement planned for 2 more Mig-21 Squadrons in 2024 it will only go down further. IAF plans to procure 12 Su-30 and already has inducted 36 Rafale fighter jets will start getting 83 Tejas Mk1A from 2024 onwards but still won’t be able to go past 35 Squadrons in the next 5-10 years.

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