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Indian Air Force (IAF) is expected to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) to interested vendors and OEMs under its tender for 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) by late 2023 or early 2024. RFP will likely see proposals being submitted from Lockheed Martin’s F-21, Boeing’s F-15EX and F-15EX, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen JAS-39 E/F, Russian MiG-35, and SU-35, and Eurofighter Typhoon. has been told that the Vetting process alone for all RFP received might take another year or more and after that, a short technical evaluation round that has been planned for bidders that will be shortlisted might take another year or so and it is likely winner might be announced by late 2025 and deal might be concluded after price and ToT negotiation by late 2026 if there are no further delays in negotiation round with the winning OEM.

If the contract is concluded by 2026 then the first Made in India fighter jet is expected to be rolled out by late 2029 or early 2030.

MRFA Process

In 2018, IAF issued a Request for Information (RFI) for the procurement of 114 MRFA under ToT to be locally made in India but delays in the framing of the Air Staff Qualitative Requirements (ASQRs), which are often considered essential parameters that it sought from the aircraft it desires based on the RFI it received. ASQR framing has been fast-tracked and it is almost to be concluded soon.

After ASQR

The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) will accord the acceptance of necessity (AON) and then starts the process to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to interested vendors.

After RFP has been told that MRFA Technical evaluation trials will be limited to testing additional capabilities that are on offer which were not on offer or were not available at the time of the technical evaluation trial that happened under the now-canceled MMRCA tender. Fighter jets that meet most of the Technical requirements will be cleared or shortlisted for Price negotiations.

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