Seeking to save time in view of a dwindling fighter force, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has called for fast-tracking its tender worth over Rs 1.3 lakh crore for acquiring over 110 fighter jets. The IAF wants the tender to be pushed through a government-to-government deal with the chosen vendor to avoid further delays.

The IAF has received responses from six foreign vendors, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin from the US, MiG 35 from Russia, Saab from Sweden, Eurofighter from the Airbus consortium and the French Rafale.

"The IAF wants the acquisition procedure for acquiring the new aircraft to be completed in the shortest possible time, and it can be made possible through a government-to-government deal with a foreign country whose aircraft is chosen after the due process," sources told MyNation.

However, according to sources, even if a government-to-government deal is done, it would take a minimum of four years to get the first plane. 

The Air Force had issued a request for information a few months ago asking the global vendors to submit information about their planes along with their prices and other terms of production in India. 

The aircraft are required by the Air Force for meeting its requirements as the number of planes in the IAF's fleet has come down to 31 from the sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons, due to retirement of MiG 21 units.

The Air Force is hoping to finalise the deal at the earliest using the government-to-government route to avoid delays as its plans for acquiring new fighter fleet have not fully fructified.

After a delay of over 15 years, the Narendra Modi government in 2015 decided to buy 36 more Rafale combat planes to provide interim solution to the force’s requirements.