As India is looking to finalise what would be its single largest defence purchase ever, the Indian Air Force pilots on Tuesday (16 July) examined and tested the simulator of the F-21 fighter jet of American aerospace giant, Lockheed Martin.

Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi, India’s first female pilot, was among some of the fighter pilots who examined the F-21's Cockpit Demonstration Simulator (CDS).

The experience received mixed responses with some pilots saying that they had a good experience and others opining that it was 'mediocre'.

"We have the same technology, as far as simulators are concerned. What they have is old," said a pilot after the CDS experience.

With the IAF looking to plug in its ever depleting numerical strength by purchasing 114 jets, Lockheed Martin, in a joint venture with TATA Advanced Systems, is persuading hard to push its F-21s into the contention with an offer to produce them locally.

The F-21 multi-role fighter was unveiled during the Aero India show in Bangalore in February in 2019.

Other entities in the fray are Boeing's F/A-18, Dassault Aviation's Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian aircraft MiG 35 and Saab's Gripen.