NEW DELHI (TIP): After eight years, the defence ministry has cancelled the 2007 global tender to buy 126 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force, whose squadron strength nosedived in the last decade. “The Request for Proposal (RFP) issued earlier for procurement of 126 medium multi role combat aircraft has been withdrawn,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Rajya Sabha in a written response on Thursday.
The defence ministry informed all the six vendors, though it was the French aircraft Rafale, made by Dassault Aviation, which was shortlisted in 2012.
The plan was to buy 18 fighters off the shelf while the rest were to be manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.
After cancelling the tender to buy 126 fighters, the Narendra Modi government announced it would purchase 36 Rafale aircraft from France in a government-to-government deal.