The Indian Navy is looking to purchase a newer generation of aircraft to operate from the two indigenous aircraft carriers the navy expects to commission over the next ten years.
To start the process the navy has issued a formal request for information (RFI) on the latest platforms and airborne technologies to companies including Boeing and Dassault, which are expected to propose their respective F18 Super Hornet and Rafale airborne platforms.
The new-generation aircraft to be procured will join the 45 Mig-29K aircraft, which the navy has already ordered from Russia.
The first Indian Navy 37,000t indigenous aircraft carrier is being built. At present, India has one small aircraft carrier, the INS Viraat and the country has leased a 44,000t Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, which will enter Indian Navy service in 2012 or 2013.
Boeing, Dassault and Eurofighter are the major contenders to supply newer-generation aircraft for the Indian Navy while Hindustan Aeronautics Limited would be the lead integrator for transfer of technology (ToT) for the aircraft.