"We have received the reply from all the four to whom RFI had been issued. Now, we will examine the RFI and will take it forward," Admiral Sunil Lanba, Indian Navy chief said on Wednesday.
Multi-role fighters are intended as day-night capable; all-weather multi-role deck based combat aircraft which can be used for air defense, air-to-surface operations, buddy refueling, reconnaissance, and EW missions from Indian Naval aircraft carriers. Solicitation issued on January had asked global vendors if it can perform Short Take-off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) or Catapult Take-off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) operations, or both.
Indian Navy is expected to issue the tender soon following the go-ahead signal from the government. "Hopefully, we will select and shall have deck-based carrier airborne fighter in next 4-5 years," Admiral Lanba added.
The selected aircraft will operate from indigenously developed IAC-1 aircraft carrier which will be conventional ski jump based STOBAR layout and INS Vikramaditya.
"The IAC-1 which is under-construction at the moment is going as per the timeline and she will start her trial in 2019, we will take delivery in 2020," Admiral Lanba said.