India’s richest military deal set to take off

India’s biggest air show has set the clock ticking for the subcontinent’s richest military contract: an order for 126 fighter planes potentially worth $9 billion.

Five contenders scrambled to press their case at the event ending Sunday, showing off the capabilities of their machines and enlisting the support of their governments before India formally invites bids for the deal.

US giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing are in the race with the Russian Aircraft Corp, France’s Dassault Aviation, Sweden’s Saab and the Eurofighter consortium. Each wants to clinch what a Boeing official said would be the world’s biggest fighter plane contract in 15 years. This is the first time India will buy combat aircraft after evaluating rival bids through a global tender.

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