February 13th, 2011 Deccan Chronicle Correspondent
Feb. 12: It is already known as the world’s biggest defence import deal in a long time. Now, it transpires, it is even bigger than that. The Indian Air Force is in the market to buy 126 Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) from one of six foreign vendors bidding for the contract. Over time, however, the IAF plans to buy 260 of them, Deccan Chronicle has learnt. That means, what has been talked about as a $10-12 billion deal will eventually fetch the winner of the contract close to $25 billion. While the IAF floated a request for proposal (RFP) for only 126 fighters, sources privy to the armed forces’ Long-Term Integrated Perspective Plan said that that document puts the number of medium fighter jets the IAF needs at is 260. Ministry of defence officials, however, refused to confirm that there was any plan beyond the current RFP.