By Ruchi Singh
The Indian Air Force intends to acquire 114 fighter jets, of which 96 shall be produced in India, while the rest 18 would be imported from the foreign vendor that has been selected for the project amid a big push for the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme by the Indian Prime Minister.
The Indian Air Force is planning to acquire around 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft under Buy Global And Make In India scheme, where the Indian companies would be enabled to partner with a foreign vendor.
According to the plan, once the initial 18 aircraft are imported, the next 36 fighter jets would be produced within the country, while the payments would be made partially in Indian and foreign currencies. However, the last 60 fighter jets would be a significant responsibility of the Indian partner, and even the payments would be made in Indian currency by the government.
To maintain superiority over the neighbouring rivals China and Pakistan, the Indian Air Force has to rely heavily on these 114 fighter aircraft.
On the other hand, the 36 Rafale fighter jets which were procured under emergency orders had aided immensely in maintaining the superiority over the Chinese during the Ladakh standoff that commenced back in 2020, but still, the quantities are not sufficient enough, and such capability shall be required by it.
Although orders for around 83 of the LCA Mark 1A have been placed by force, still it needs a much higher number of suitable aircraft because a large number of the MiG series fighter jets are either on their last legs or have been phased out.
The fifth-generation AMCA project is moving ahead at a satisfactory pace, but it will take a lot of time to be able to be inducted into an operational role.