The Defence Ministry might be on the lookout for a new Air Superiority Fighter (ASF) aircraft for the Indian Air Force (IAF)
The IAF plans to buy an aircraft which Pakistan and other neighbor's have not used"
the IAF has already used Mirage 2000
Although India is satisfied with its arsenal of MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30, it wants an alternative to Russia-developed aircraft..
Although the purchase of aircraft has been in the pipeline, since January this year, the IAF was reported to have shifted its preference towards a twin-engine aircraft.
This effectively ruled out the Mirage 2000H, the F-16 and the Grippen, and brought the French Rafale, The RSK MiG's MiG-29 and the Eurofighter Typhoon into the picture.
In July 2005, Boeing had also offered its F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” for the IAF's consideration. Boeing said it was in talks with the IAF and the Navy and was also offering the co-production of the Super Hornet in India, subject to the US government’s approval.
In August 2005, Russia offered its MiG-35 for the IAF's consideration as well.
So if we take above's consideration seriously:
- Air Superiority Fighter ( ~ Mirage 2000, F16, Gripen out)
- not in service in Pakistan or China (F16s, Sukhoi's out)
- no further dependency on Sukhoi (SU MKI's out)
- 2 engined (F16, Mirage 2000, Gripen out)
- possible lisence production (Eurofighter, Rafale out)
Options could be :
- Mirage4000 (!)
If we take US Pakistan / China relations, weapon embargo and dependency on Russia's manufacturers into account ..