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Indian Navy faces tough decision over carrier fighters

22nd June 2022 - 01:04 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi

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Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet has recently been conducting trials in Goa as the Indian Navy tries to make up its mind over a new carrier-borne fighter. (Gordon Arthur)

It is a two-horse race for India's next carrier-borne fighter requirement, but will it go French or American?

Uncertainty has sprung up on the best option for the Indian Navy’s (IN) requirement for twin-engine carrier-based fighters. The two contenders are Dassault Aviation’s Rafale M and Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Block III, both having undertaken field trials at the naval station in Goa where a ski jump is set up.

The procurement has been reduced to 26 aircraft from the original 57. However, the dilemma faced by decision-makers include differences in price, upgrades, weapons, lifecycle costs, compatible processes/systems and commonality with the IN’s current inventory.

While it is unclear when a government-to-government deal will be signed, the fighters are required for

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