Days after Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat said that the Indian Air Force was planning to the locally-manufactured Light Combat Aircraft 'Tejas', Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria contradicted him while detailing a list of planned aircraft.
Bhadauria on Monday said that the list of aircraft planned to be inducted by the IAF includes 36 Rafales, 114 multirole fighter aircraft, 100 advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) and over 200 LCAs in different variants.
Bloomberg had quoted Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat as saying that in order to replace the ageing fleet of the Indian Air Force (IAF), 83 more jets will be bought from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
The purchase, in addition to an earlier deal to buy 40 of the aircraft, will cost $6 billion, he said. Rawat maintained that the induction of the LCA into the IAF will help establish India as an important defense exporter due to the relatively low prices.
The move will be a milestone in India's bid to start using locally-made weapons, even though there will be some quality issues in the beginning, the CDS was quoted as saying.
However, Bhadauria told ANI: "This project (114 jets) is in the middle-weight and is in the Rafale class, in this issue, we will deal with it in the Make in India region, with an increase in FDI, with support to the private sector. I think in future this will bring in technology which is required to support the aviation sector. I think it is important to have another generation of aircraft in terms of capability, technology as we go along."