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IAF seeks 50 more Sukhoi fighter aircraft

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The Sukhoi fighter aircrfat in the IAF's fleet. File photo.

NEW DELHI (BNS): In order to further bolster its combat capability, the Indian Air Force is mulling to acquire 50 new Sukhoi-MKI multi-role fighter aircraft from Russia.

According to a report in The Times of India, the IAF is seeking the combat aircraft to meet any contingency on both eastern and western fronts of the country in the wake of China and Pakistan enhancing their air combat fleets.

IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik told the news daily that the air force was indeed “interested” in acquiring more Sukhois, which will be the mainstay of India's fighter fleet for the forseeable future.

He, however, stressed that the acquisition not “country or adversary-specific.”

“We need to develop certain capabilities which are required or will be required in the future in tune with India's aspirations,” the IAF chief said.

The 50 new Sukhois would be in addition to the 230 such twin-seater fighters already bought from Russia in three deals worth over $8.5 billion. Of these, 105 aircraft have already been inducted in the air force and they are being deployed in the North-East region.

The rest of the 140 fighters would roll out from the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under transfer of technology by 2015.

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