Indian Air Force has not placed any specific request for F-16 or F-18 aircraft with any foreign firm although the US Government cleared two manufacturers' names to negotiate for the purchase, Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi said on Monday.
"The USA Government had written to the Indian Government a month ago clearing the names of two firms — M/s Lockheed for F-16s and M/s Boeing for F-18s — to negotiate. But we have not sent any Request for Proposal (RFP) to purchase," he said.
Elaborating, the Chief of Air Staff said IAF had approached the central government three years ago with its 'qualitative requirements' to buy F-16s and the then NDA regime had cleared the purchase of 126 'multi-role combat aircraft of medium variety' for the force.
After that a request for information (RFI) was sent to four firms — each one in the US, France, Sweden and Russia — to seek more details with broad parameters of the IAF requirement. But there was no RFP sent to any firm so far, he clarified.
Stating that procurement of 126 combat aircraft as per IAF requirements was a very complex exercise and huge contract, which very few countries in the world would do generally, the AIR Chief added that it would take sometime to finalise. "But there is no problem and no hitch," he said.
Refusing to comment on the F-16 deal between Pakistan and the US, he said it was their "own business".