Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa addresses a press conference after the President's Standard and Colour Presentation to the IAF Number 118 helicopter unit and air Defence college, at Air Force Station in Gauhati, India, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018

GUWAHATI: Air force chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said that the air force will have the first Rafale jets by 2019.

Dhanoa who was in Guwahati on Thursday to attend the program of presentation Standards to 118 Helicopter Unit and Colours to Air Defence College while talking to media said that there is no delay in the Rafale program.

He said, “Process on induction of 231 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is in pipeline. We are supposed to induct a number of fighters .We have floated request for information (RFI) for 114 fighter aircraft. There was a proposal to induct LCA in big numbers and with this total number of LCA squadron will go up to 12.”

He added, “LCA mark 1 in IOC configuration of one squadron of 20 aircraft, LCA mark 1 in FOC configuration one squadron 20 aircraft, LCA MK-1A four squadron 83 aircraft, LCA mark 2 six squadron 108 aircraft. So total of 12 squadron and 231 aircraft, this will be the largest induction of indigenous aircraft ever in the country, in addition this is in RFI stage, from this we will come out with operational requirement and once the operational requirement is ready then we will go back to the government for acceptance of necessity based on which we will issue request for proposal( RFP) for the fighter procurement program.