New Delhi: In a major move, the Indian Air Force which is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the airforces of the world will start the process this month to acquire a fleet of single engine fighter jets which are expected to significantly enhance its overall strike capability.
Chief of Air Staff B S Dhanoa said having a new fleet of single engine jets was a “priority” for the IAF and the request for information (RFI) for it is likely to be issued “very soon”.
Another top official of the IAF told that the RFI, kick starting the acquisition process, will be issued this month. The fighter jets will be produced jointly by a foreign aircraft maker along with an Indian company under the recently launched strategic partnership model which aims to bring in high-end defence technology to India.
“The RFI for the single engine fighter is likely to be issued very soon,” Dhanoa said addressing a press conference. A request for information is a business process aimed at gathering information on the capabilities of various suppliers.
Swedish defence giant Saab and Indian conglomerate Adani group last month had announced collaboration, mainly eyeing the contract for single-engine jets for the IAF. US defence firm Lockheed Martin is also seen as a major competitor for the deal.