New Delhi: Throwing his weight behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Make in India initiative, IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria on Friday said that his force would go for the indigenous AMCA plane for fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) requirements.
The Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) is being developed by the DRDO for the Indian Air Force at a time when India has virtually said no to the American and Russian offers in this regard.
"There are no plans for a foreign FGFA now or in the foreseeable future," he said. "The FGFA for the IAF will be the indigenous AMCA for which work has already started," Bhadauria said in his maiden press conference.
Asked if the Air Force could depend upon DRDO for aircraft development, the Air Force Chief retorted that he was there to fully back Make in India and no one should have any doubt on indigenous capabilities.
"Make in India will remain one of our main focus in the times to come. Will continue to induct indigenous systems to reduce dependence," he said.
On the future acquisition of 114 multirole fighters, the IAF chief said the process for getting the acceptance of necessity (AON) for the 114 fighters to be Made in India will be taken shortly.
He said the project would be done under the strategic partnership model.
Asked if there were any plans for the Air Force to buy 36 more Rafale combat aircraft, Bhadauria said he had also heard about such plans and suggested that there was nothing concrete on this issue.
Asked about the Pilates basic trainer project, he said the case has been scrapped for buying 38 more of these planes from Switzerland and the indigenous HTT-40 would be the next trainer plane for the force.
Bhadauria also revealed that due to high costs involved, the Air Force has scrapped the plan to re-engine the Jaguar deep penetration strike fighters and the IAF would now redraw its force structure plans in view of the fighter aircraft squadrons being phased out in the near future.