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Sunday, April 19, 2015

For building light fighters in India, Saab officials want government-to-government deal

Tejas LCAPrime Minister Narendra Modi had requested France for 36 Rafale fighters, built by Dassault Aviation, to meet the needs of Indian Air Force (IAF) for 126 fighters. Since then speculation is rising about a second global vendor that might fill the gap, building light fighters in India, alongside an Indian partner.

In interviews with state-run broadcaster Doordarshan and Hindustan Times, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had also explicitly stated the IAF urgently needs light fighters, a requirement the Rafale does not meet.

Likening light, medium and heavy fighters to a scooter, car and bus respectively, Parrikar told Hindustan Times it would be wasteful to deploy a big, heavy Rafale where a smaller fighter would do.

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