The Financial Express in its latest report has claimed that the Indian Air Force (IAF) categorically has dismissed some media reports that it is planning to cut down on its fighter requirements under Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) from 114 units to 57 units. Last year former Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria had revealed that the Indian Air Force was planning to procure 450 fighter aircraft for deployment on the borders of Pakistan and China in the next decade and the fighter that is to be brought under the MRFA program will play a crucial role and can’t be cut back or it will not be able to meet its requirements.

IAF is yet to float its RFP (Request for Proposal) in the MRFA tender but the report claims that present Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari has instructed air force officials to fast track the framing of the RFP so that the long-delayed process is finally in motion after getting responses to the RFI issued in April 2018.

IAF Chief backed the Strategic Partnership Model, where an Indian Company will tie up with a Foreign OEM and will be responsible for manufacturing and delivering the aircraft as per contract and will also be responsible for undertaking any warranty and service-related issues with the fleet. IAF claims that RFI proposals received in 2018 are still under examination even when four years have passed it is yet to frame RFP for the same.

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