Is the mega military project to acquire 114 fighters for the IAF in jeopardy?

IAF’s mega $20 billion Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) programme is nowhere in sight. Against the fast-depleting squadron of the Indian Air Force (IAF), the MRFA programme

which is about acquiring 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft, is one such programme that the Indian Armed Forces and the Government are treating as important.  There are

multiple projects underway in India’s aerospace ecosystem. India’s public sector defence undertaking, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) along with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA)

is working together to build Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). Tejas MK2 is another ambitious project which is evolving out of HAL’s Tejas fighter aircraft design.

Tejas MK2 is building upon Mark 1A. The improvement is significant in terms of the engine and firepower with multi-role advanced functional capabilities. For Tejas Mk2, the

Ministry of Defence has shown a willingness to speed up the process from design to prototype development, boosting its export potential in the global jet market.  LCA

Mk2 Project Director at ADA, V Madhusudana Rao outlined the sped-up process: “There is a huge push from the central government on increasing the production rate of aircraft with

India already getting inquiries about the aircraft from 16 countries.” Besides, the Cabinet Committee on Security has already approved the Tejas Mk2 programme at a total cost of

around Rs 9,000 crore which might increase during the course of development.  More so, there are clusters of other projects underway – some of them at the concept stage

to design like the twin-engine deck-based fighter (TEDBF) for the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the LCA Naval (LCAN) and the Omni Role Combat Aircraft (ORCA).