100703-N-7317W-023
U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (July 3, 2010) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Swordsmen of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32 and piloted by Cmdr. Timothy Hill, commanding officer of VFA-32, flies over the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during the VFA-32 change of command ceremony. Hill relieved Cmdr. Edward Heflin as commanding officer during the ceremony. VFA-32 is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matthew D. Williams/Released)

Move Over Tejas. India Wants A Second Line Of Fighter Jets.

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Written by Sudhi Ranjan Sen | Updated: April 20, 2016 16:39 IST

Move Over Tejas. India Wants A Second Line Of Fighter Jets.From July, the Air Force will induct 120 single-engine Light Combat Tejas fighters. The second line of fighters will be in the category of the medium multi-role combat aircraft.

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Second line of jets will be medium multi-role combat aircraft
  2. There are only around half a dozen fighter jet manufacturers in the world
  3. Manufacturer may have to build under the Make in India programme

India is keen on manufacturing a second line of fighters besides Tejas, and within 6 months, will begin the process of deciding which foreign manufacturer will make the jets in India, sources told NDTV.

The Ministry of Defence has already had several rounds of discussions on this issue.

The second line of fighters will be in the category of the medium multi-role combat aircraft, or MMRCA, sources said. The Tejas is a Light Combat Aircraft. The second line of fighters will be chosen so that besides meeting the requirements of the Indian Air Force, they can also be exported.

There are only about half a dozen fighter jet manufacturers in the world.  The manufacturer chosen will most likely have to partner with an Indian company under the “Make in India” programme. The Indian company will be the government’s strategic partner for the fighter programme.

During the recent visit of US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asked what kind of technology US companies can share.

Over the next 20 years, the Air Force will need at least 250-300 fighters besides the Tejas, as the aging fleets are phased out.

Starting July, the Air Force will induct 120 single-engine Tejas fighters. Besides, India is buying 36 Rafale jets from France.

But apart from just maintaining the current strength, “we also need to increase the numbers of fighters,” a top Defence Ministry official told NDTV.

India needs 42 fighter squadrons, but currently has 33 and the numbers are likely drop drastically over the next few years, when the Russian-made aging MiG-21 and MiG-27 fleets are retired. By the end of next decade, most of the French-made Mirage 2000 and the British-made Jaguars will also be ready for retirement.

During the recent visit of US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar asked what kind of technology US companies can share.

Before his visit, US defence manufacturing giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, which manufacture the F-16, met top defence ministry officials and proposed to manufacture F16 “Super Viper” and a customised version F/A-18 Super Hornet.

“They will be eligible for consideration once US clarifies the kind of the technology they will share with us,” a top Ministry of Defence official told NDTV.

April 20, 2016 14:46 IST | Last Updated: April 20, 2016 16:39 IST

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See related post:

Rafale deal in final stage, India to purchase 36 fighter jets from France

French Rafale stuck in negotiation; US firms Boeing, Lockheed Martin raises pitch for fighters for IA

India considers buying American F16 and F/A 18 fighter jets. What happened to the Rafale deal?

How fighter jet sales fit into America’s China-containment strategy

‘Make in India’ pitch to sell Swedish fighter for air force

India keen to buy F/A 18 Super Hornet fighter jets for IAF

India mulling manufacture of second line of fighter planes: IAF chief

See details of Rafale: HERE

See details of F-18E/F: HERE

See details of Gripen E: HERE

See details of F-16V: HERE

See details of F-16E/F: HERE

See details of F-16C/D: HERE 1350px-Flag_of_India_svg

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