The Indian Air Force (IAF) is finalizing a new tender for purchase of medium-sized multirole fighters. The tender’s main condition is that the supplier consents to the aircraft being assembled in India. The main issue to watch will be whether the Russian MiG-35 can out-manoeuvre its French competitor, the Rafale fighter, this time around.
After the Indian government opted to buy 36 Rafale jet fighters “off the shelf” during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France earlier this year, the Indian Defence Ministry is preparing to acquire more fighter aircraft to fulfil the needs of the armed forces.
According to the Indian news agency IANS, Indian authorities are preparing to issue an official tender proposal for the supply of 90 new medium-sized fighters for the Indian Air Force. According to IANS, participants in the earlier bid (to acquire 126 aircraft originally) for purchase of medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), which ended with the government deciding to buy only 36 Rafale fighters, will be invited to participate in the tender. This means that the Russian MiG-35, which lost out to the Rafale bid last time, can again take part in the bid.