The first of the 66 advanced fighter jets that India is buying from the UK is likely to be delivered within this month, Air Chief Marshal F H Major said on Friday 7 September.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said the country would start receiving the jet trainers by the end of this month or first week of October. India had placed the order in 2003, at a cost of $1.3 billion.
He said that Indian military aviation is presently undergoing a major transformation, including a comprehensive capability building exercise.
"You will not recognise the IAF five years down the line," he said, while delivering a lecture on Strategic aerospace power: Technological and maintenance challenges, on the occasion of the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) foundation day at Bangalore.
He said the IAF is making a serious attempt to reduce its complex, multiple inventories. We want fewer types of aircraft, so that they're easier to maintain.
Under the proposed multi-role combat aircraft (MRCA) deal, India would purchase 126 more fighters. This would throw up a "golden opportunity" for the Indian aerospace industry, as it offered Rs22,000 crore of manufacturing opportunities as offsets; 50 per cent of the approximate project cost of Rs45,000 crore.