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Later this year, the Indian Air Force (IAF) plans to approach the Ministry of Defence (MoS) for an Acceptance of Necessity (AoN), which typically marks the beginning of the procurement process, by setting aside budgetary outlays.

The IAF issued a Request for Information (RFI) for 114 MRFA tenders in 2019, but there has been little progress made since then. According to sources, once the Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued, the IAF aims to conclude a deal within three years of a technical round.

The IAF has already determined that to maintain a fleet of 35-36 combat squadrons by 2035, it must finalize a deal for 114 jets by 2025-26. This will allow for the establishment of a production line and for production in the country to begin by 2028.

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