IAF to induct 114 fighter jets under 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' scheme: Boeing, Dassault offering THESE aircrafts - A list

As per the plan, IAF will import the initial 18 aircrafts, while the next 36 aircrafts would be manufactured within the country and the payments would be made partially in foreign currency and Indian currency.

IAF to induct 114 fighter jets under 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' scheme: Boeing, Dassault offering THESE aircrafts - A list

The Indian Air Force is planning to acquire 114 fighter jets to modernize its fleet under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme initiated by the PM Narendra Modi-led government. The IAF will initially procure 18 fighter jets from a foreign manufacturer and the rest 96 would be built in India. The 114 Multirole Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) under 'Buy Global and Make in India' scheme will allow Indian companies to partner with a foreign vendor. This will be the single largest fighter jet order by the Indian Air Force in the recent times after the govt acquired 36 Rafale fighter jets from French plane maker Dassault.

"Recently, the IAF held meetings with the foreign vendors and asked them about the way they would carry out the Make in India project," government sources told ANI. As per the plan, after the initial 18 aircrafts are imported, the next 36 aircrafts would be manufactured within the country and the payments would be made partially in foreign currency and Indian currency, the sources said.

The last 60 aircraft would be the main responsibility of the Indian partner and the government would make payments only in Indian currency, the sources said. The payment in Indian currency would help the vendors to achieve the over 60 per cent 'Make-in-India' content in the project, the sources said. Global aircraft manufacturers including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab, MiG, Irkut Corporation and Dassault Aviation are expected to participate in the tender.

Here’s a list of all the fighter jets that will compete against each other to win the massive bid from the IAF:

1. Dassault Rafale – The French multi role combat aircraft Rafale is the frontrunner to win the mega deal as it’s already used by the IAF and the force is satisfied with the performance of the jets

2. Boeing F-15EX - The F-15 has been launched in various upgrades over the years, with the F-15 EX being the latest version. It is also the only fighter jet in the world to score more than 100 air-to-air kills and experience no air-to-air losses. 

3. Boeing F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet – The Boeing Super Hornet is a trusted twin-engined wardog and among the most advanced planes to be offered to foreign forces by the United States.

4. Saab JAS-39 Gripen – This is a single engine aircraft from Swedish aerospace and defence brand Saab. The light multirole fighter aircraft has a delta wing and lost to Rafale earlier when IAF inducted the latter over Saab.

5. Lockheed Martin F-21 – Among the offerings is the Lockheed Martin F-21, the trimmed down version of F-22 Raptor, widely considered as the world’s most advanced and first ever 5th-gen fighter jet. Interestingly, US doesn’t allow F-22 to be sold anywhere else.

The Indian Air Force has to rely heavily on these 114 fighter jets for maintaining its superiority over the neighbouring rivals Pakistan and China. The force has already placed orders for 83 of the LCA Mk 1A aircraft, but it still requires a higher number of capable aircraft as a large number of MiG series planes have either been phased out or are on their last legs.

The fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft project is moving ahead at a satisfactory pace, but it will take a lot of time to be able to be inducted in an operational role. The IAF is highly satisfied with the operational availability of the Rafale fighter jets and wants similar capability in its future aircraft.

With ANI inputs

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