Thursday, February 08, 2007

The government is on the verge of inking a $1.6 billion deal with Russia for the supply of 40 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighters. The air superiority fighters will be inducted into the Indian Air Force's combat fleet "in about three years".
Air Chief SP Tyagi, who is in Yelahanka for Aero India 2007, revealed on Thursday that the contract would be signed before the current financial year ends.
This means the deal will be sealed before Tyagi retires on March 31. The government has invoked the fast-track procedure to buy the Su-30s.
The IAF will also be inducting, in the short-term, 80 medium-lift helicopters, 12 VIP choppers, advanced light helicopters, 10 Cheetahs and Israeli Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems).
Then there are the 126 multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) that the air force seeks to acquire and the request for proposal (RFP) for which is likely to be released anytime now.
The IAF is also planning to acquire six C-130 J Hercules aircraft from the US for special forces. This year the IAF will also receive the first of the 66 Hawk AJT (advanced jet trainer) being bought from the UK.
08/02/07 Rahul Singh/Hindustan Times

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