Lockheed Martin's F-16 "Fighting Falcon" is one of the main contenders for the Mega tender

by Dinakar Peri

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is close to finalising the technical parameters for the 114 fighter aircraft tender in process and the case is expected to be put before the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) in June.

“The Air Staff Quality Requirements (ASQR) are being finalised by the Air Force Headquarters. After that the file would be sent to the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) within two months for formulating within the Service Capital Acquisition Plans,” a defence official said.

However, the next meeting of the DAC is scheduled only in June after the elections, the official said and added, “We will put it up before the DAC then for getting the Acceptance of Necessity (AoN).”

After the AoN is granted, the IAF will issue the detailed Request For Proposal (RFP) to the vendors based on the ASQRs.

Last April the IAF had issued the Request For Information (RFI) which states that the government plans to buy 114 fighters jets, of which 85% will have to be built in India under the Make in India programme in partnership with a “Strategic Partner/Indian Production Agency.”

The procurement will be processed through the Strategic Partnership (SP) model of the Defence Procurement Procedure under which the selected global company has to tie up with an Indian private partner and build the jets locally under transfer of technology.

Seven global companies responded to the tender of which two are single engine jets and others are twin engine fighters.