India: order for new fighter planes in 2020?
After the elections, the go-ahead by the Ministry of Defense
The plan for the acquisition of 114 fighter planes for the Indian Air Force is getting closer to being approved, as the list of minimum requirements for the aircraft would have been sent to the Delhi Ministry of Defense which will have to give the final go-ahead and allocate the necessary budget after having rejected the previous project of ordering 126 aircraft. A stop, however, linked to the fact that the government of Narendra Modi wanted to sign a bilateral agreement with France for the acquisition of 36 Dassault Rafale at a cost of 7.8 billion dollars, responding to the need for aeronautics to have new fighter-bombers in the short term due to the obsolescence of those in the fleet.
The new plan, on the other hand, should be approved without any problem -to the Indian press- immediately after the new government takes office after the April-May elections, to be able to proceed with the actual order in during 2020 when one of the Dassault Rafale, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Saab Gripen and the Lockheed Martin F-21 will be chosen -an Indian configured version of the F-16 (see AVIONEWS). The Eurofighter Typhoon, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 and Sukhoi Su-35 also participate in the competition, although they would be considered the underdogs for the final victory.
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