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Air Marshal Ashutosh Dixit, Deputy Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has asserted that the winning bidder in the Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) tender for 114 jets must prioritize the integration of Indian-made weaponry.

The IAF has reportedly held discussions with various Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) participating in the MRFA tender, emphasizing the need for seamless integration of Indian weapons onto the offered fighter jets. This ensures that the IAF can leverage its domestic defence industry for armament, reducing dependence on foreign suppliers.

Sources familiar with the program revealed to that the IAF has held discussions with potential manufacturers, emphasizing that they cannot restrict the IAF’s choice of weaponry for the fighter jets. Openness in weapon selection ensures flexibility and allows India to leverage its own defence industry.

Significantly, the IAF has made it clear that it will not bear the financial burden of integrating Indian weapons if OEMs are unwilling to provide the necessary source codes. This places the onus on participating companies to demonstrate flexibility and openness to facilitate the integration of Indian-made armaments.

With the issuance of the Request for Proposal (RFP) to various international OEMs imminent, the IAF’s focus on domestic weapons integration is expected to be a key factor in the selection process. Companies that demonstrate a willingness to collaborate and offer transparent access to source codes will likely enjoy a competitive advantage.

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