The United States defence behemoth, Boeing may offer its twin-engine tactical fighter, the F-15EX, to the Indian Air Force (IAF) as the country looks to replace its dipping strength of squadrons. The offer, which is in the premature stage, will be the part of the project Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft 2.0 or simply project MMRCA 2.0 under which IAF is planning to induct 114 new combat jets which are worth around $ 18 billion.
As per a report in the Print, the offer for F-15EX will be in addition to the F/A 18 Block III Super Hornets that the American defence major, Boeing is already offering to IAF.
In an official statement, the company said, "While awaiting further definition on the Indian Air Force's requirements, we have requested a license for the F-15 so that we're ready to share the full spectrum of potential solutions across our fighter portfolio when appropriate." The development has come after Boeing has sought a licence from the US authorities for its possible export to India. Notably, as per the law in the United States, a manufacturer must get an export licence from its government before offering its product to a foreign country.
F-15EX Strike Eagle: A multirole strike fighter
F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather multirole strike fighter that traces its origin from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The aircraft was first designed in the 1980s for long-range, high-speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic-warfare aircraft. The F-15EX Strike Eagle is a single-seat variant with a series of improvements, including the AMBER weapons rack to carry up to 22 air-to-air missiles, infra-red search and track, advanced avionics and electronic warfare equipment, AESA radar, and revised structure with a service life of 20,000 hours.
Indian Air Force (IAF) has received responses to its "request for information" (RFI) from world's topmost fighter aircraft manufacturers for the purchase of 114 fighter planes. Six major military aircraft manufacturer including with American companies Boeing and Lockheed Martin, Russian Aircraft Corporation, Dassault of France, Swedish firm Saab and European consortium, Eurofighter GmbH are fighting to get this multi-billion dollar deal. However, the process is at an early stage and will take years to conclude.