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Indian Navy to buy carrier-based fighter aircraft


Indian Navy's INS Viraat aircraft carrier decks the UK-made Sea Harrier aircraft.

NEW DELHI (BNS): Indian Navy, intending to acquire new generation multi-role fighter aircraft which would operate from its aircraft carrier, has floated a Request for Information (RFI) to five global firms.

Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornets, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company's Eurofighter Typhoon, Sweden’s SAAB Group's Gripen JAS 39 and French company Dassault's Rafale are the contenders for the deal, sources said.

The Navy has received the go-ahead from the Government to buy the aircraft.

The new aircraft would be based on the Navy's third aircraft carrier which is expected to be inducted by 2018.

After receiving the required information from the manufacturers, the Navy will shortlist the desired aircraft and initiate the process of evaluation trials, selection procedure and negotiations for acquisition, the sources added.

Earlier this month, the Navy had received the first four MiG-29K fighter aircraft in fly-away condition from Russia.

The aircraft are part of 16 MiG fighters which would be decked in aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov after India commissions it from Russia as INS Vikramaditya.

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