India to induct new combat jets from 2016

March 19th, 2012 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) Come 2016 and India will start inducting the first of the 126 combat jets it is purchasing for nearly $20 billion, parliament was informed Monday.

The first squadron of the medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) will comprise 18 Rafale aircraft that will be purchased in a fly-away condition from French manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The remaining aircraft will be progressively manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, with the last of them being inducted before the end of 2023.

The Rafale was chosen after beating off stiff competition from five other aircraft.

“The first squadron of MMRCA consisting of 18 aircraft is expected to be inducted within three to four years of signing the contract,” Antony told the Lok Sabha during question hour.

The deal is expected to be sealed before the end of 2012, as cost negotiations are on with Dassault Aviation.

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