The Indian Armed Forces (IAF) is in the process of giving final touches to the two “Make in India” projects of 56 medium transport aircraft and 114 fighter jets valued around Rs 1.5 lakh crore.
While the medium transport aircrafts manufactured by TATA Airbus consortium is due to kick-start this year, the other mega project still has a long way to go as the request for proposals(RFP) for the interested bidders might be issued by late 2019 or early 2020 ,according to the reports.
The 114 fighter jets deal is currently one of the world’s biggest aviation projects. In India, out of the 42 squadrons available, only 30 are in working condition and under the Rs 59,000 crore deal proposed in 2016 for 36 fighter jets, the first four will be received in France by September 2019.
However a source told TOI, “The 114 fighter project is crucial because the 36 Rafales and the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft will not make up for the fast depleting numbers. There is an urgent need to plan for the future.”
According to the source, the ASQR (Air staff qualitative requirement) for the 114 jets had been finalised after discussion with the vendors and IAF will soon move the defence acquisitions council(DAC) for acceptance of necessity and issuance of the RFP but the entire selection process would take atleast five years.
The TATA Airbus joint venture’s 56 transport aircrafts are almost finalised now. The C-295 aircrafts will replace the IAF’s old Avro aircraft which was first inducted in the early 1960s. The first 16 aircrafts will be provided by the Airbus however, the remaining 40 will be made in India in the next eight years.