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India to buy 40 French-made fighter jets

India to buy 40 French-made fighter jets

India wants to buy about 40 second-hand fighter jets from France and Qatar to bolster its defenses, the air force chief said.
Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi said Thursday night that the purchase of French-made Mirage 2000-5 planes would be a stopgap measure until the air force goes ahead with plans to buy 126 new jet fighters.
Tyagi said India wanted to buy about 40 of the jets, including about a dozen from Qatar and the rest from France, and that New Delhi already was negotiations with French officials.
Tyagi gave no further details about the deals, but it appeared that New Delhi was upping its offer for the Qatari aircraft. In 2005 Qatar called off talks over selling India the 12 jets, reportedly because the bid was too low.
The decision to buy the 40 jets follows an announcement earlier this week from India's neighbor and archrival, Pakistan, that the United States had agreed to supply it with new F-16 fighters.
Also, India has had to retire several of its aging air squadrons.
The Mirage 2000-5 is based on the aging Mirage 2000, however it has been upgraded with the latest in avionics technology, enabling the multi-role fighter to acquire multiple targets simultaneously in the air and on the ground.
The Indian air force currently has three squadrons of Mirage 2000 aircraft.
India's long-term plans include a complete overhaul of its air force with new fighters. Officials are currently considering American F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets, French Mirages, Swedish Gripens or Russian MiGs for the 126-jet deal.


Updated : 2021-08-01 02:43 GMT+08:00