India to expand combat aircraft fleet with local warplanes

Bloomberg News has reported India is finalizing plans to induct indigenously made light combat aircraft to boost the capabilities of its aging combat aircraft fleet, the news source said.

Bloomberg reported India plans to switch to locally-made fighter jets, two years after asking global companies to submit proposals to supply 114 combat aircraft in the world´s biggest warplane.

India plans to buy an additional 83 jets, apart from an earlier deal for 40 aircraft, for USD 6 billion, he said.

The decision could be a setback for the likes of Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and Saab AB who were in the race for the USD 15 billion order, a sign that India is abandoning costly foreign defense purchases which have been plagued by bureaucratic delays and a funding crunch.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week stressed the need to buy locally made products to boost an economy battered by the Covid-19 outbreak.