NEW DELHI: An Indian Air Force plan to replace its MiG fighter fleet with a 'Made in India' combat aircraft is heading for trouble. As of now the choice is between two aircraft from Sweden and the US, both of which failed a comprehensive technical evaluation process in 2010. Plus, there are grumbles that other countries which have fighter jets were not called at all.
ET spoke to senior officials for this report. They did not want to be identified. An IAF spokesperson told ET he could not comment on the issue.
IAF's communication to the US and Sweden earlier this month said the force was looking for a modern, proven single-engine fighter aircraft in operational service. IAF didn’t offer any details of minimum performance levels, asking only for a "4th generation fighter" — a broad qualification that also fits India’s long-under-development light combat aircraft (LCA).
People familiar with the situation said since IAF's communication asked for fighters in operational service, there was little logic in restricting it to Sweden (which has Saab-manufactured Gripen) and the US (which offers Lockheed Martin's F-16)
This, said experts, is even more surprising given that Gripen and F-16 didn't make the cut after IAF held an evaluation exercise in 2010. France's Mirage 2000, no longer in production but in service, could have also met IAF’s broad criteria.
14 minutes ago
F-16 is the most proven aircraft in the world in its category. There is no conflict with our Made in India LCA. India actually stands to benefit if the Lockheed Martin moves its entire production line to India as the technology transfer will move India''s capability by leaps and bounds and will benefit our LCA and future Make in India programs. Further, India''s requirement for fighter jets are very large and can accommodate both Tejas and F-16 and more importantly as India''s needs are most urgent, this will be the way to go. Any article that tries to run down this strategy is in the interest of our enemies.
34 minutes ago
First of all defence minister has already taken a decision that Mig 21 will be replaced by Tejas. The new policy of the Government is that any country can come and set up factories in India. So where the question of calling other countries? The offer of F-16 and not considered because IAF was very much particular that the fighter plane should be operated by twin pilots. After the commissioning of GPS/ AWACs, twin pilots are not required now.
1 hours ago
Replace all MiG by Tejas
1 hours ago
once again negative news before any decision taken
2 hours ago
It is high time to discard MIGs, as there is unlimited loss of life and property.
3 hours ago
A small country like Sweden can makr better planes than India! Shame on you. Do I smell "Varun Gandhi?"
60 minutes ago
Name the countries other than the "developed" countries that can be relied on to provide fighter jets.
3 hours ago
As usual our defense purchases are under cloud, delays, problems and scams.