The two frontline fighters namely, Swedish made Gripen E/F fighter or the American made F-16 Block 70IN are on offer for India under the flagship Make In India initiative but the news reports coming suggest that country’s armed forces may now be looking much beyond.
This after the Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said her government has decided to back a heavily upgraded and revised variant of the home-built Tejas Light Combat Aircraft.
She also announced that provisions are being made for the next level fighter aircraft Tejas Mk-2 as well.
This is in context of around two years back when government had announced that it was looking to acquire a single-engine jet fighter to supplement the Tejas jet.
This fighter would be somewhat less capable than the Air Force’s Sukhoi-30s and Rafales.
The government has already announced that it is going ahead with the purchase of 83 Tejas jets in a contract worth more than Rs. 33,000 crore.
The Tejas, Ms Sitharaman indicated, will continue to be developed for the Indian Navy as well.>