Mumbai: India may decide on its order for 126 fighter jets next year, wrapping up the world’s biggest combat-plane contract under consideration.
The proposal to purchase the aircraft is at the stage of field evaluation, defence minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The contract may be concluded next fiscal starting 1 April, he said.
The field evaluation trials will be followed by commercial discussion and conclusion of the contract after approval of the competent authority, Antony said, according to an official release.
Six companies, including Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Dassault Aviation SA, had submitted their bids in April to supply the jets as India seeks to replace ageing Russian-made aircraft and modernize its air force.
The plan to buy 126 jets, estimated to be worth $11 billion (around Rs53,790 crore), is the biggest fighter-plane order in 15 years, according to Chicago-based Boeing.