Today Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba said a request for proposal is likely to be issued by mid-2018 for the procurement of 57 Multi-role combat fighter jets for Navy’s Aircraft Carrier.
He also said, “Four Aircraft Manufacturers have shown interest in the interest. The Navy Chief also said the first indigenous Aircraft Carrier (IAC I) will be ready by 2020 and the navy was looking for deck based combat capable fighter for it.
He also added that the naval version of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas as developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited cannot operate from deck and that is why Navy was looking to other options.
The Navy Chief also said that the “Form and Fit” of the second indigenous aircraft carrier have been finalized and that it will be a 65,000- tone vessel with Conventional propulsion.
On asking the question from the media “Navy’s capital budget is declining”. He said that the matter is of concern and he had also raised the issue with the Ministry of Defence.