IAF reworking tender for 126 combat jets: air chief

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is reworking a tender it intends to float for purchasing 126 combat jets but the delay this will cause is not a reason for worry, said Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi Tuesday.

“No there is no cause for worry,” Tyagi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference of IAF station commanders here.

Apart from air refuelling ability and long-range capability, the IAF would also have to factor in life cycle costs as laid down in the new Defence Procurement Policy before the request for proposal (RFP) for the 126 multi-role combat jets is issued, he added.

“No, we don’t believe there is a problem (about the delay). The air force certainly is not worried,” Tyagi maintained.

The IAF has been waiting for the past two years to issue a tender for the aircraft. Four jets are said to be in the running – the US F-16 and F-18, the Russian MiG-29 and the Swedish Grippen. However, in the light of the impending India-US civilian nuclear deal, there is a growing feeling that the IAF order will be equally divided between the two US jets.

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