New Delhi: Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday said that India will adopt a policy of 'staggered' procurement of major military platform including for the 114 fighter jets for the Indian Air Force (IAF).
General Rawat also said that the following move with address the problem of obsolescence and encourage the domestic defence industry.
"Going for mega deals at one go may make the platforms redundant after a period of time as technology is advancing at a rapid pace," he added.
When asked whether the government will follow the new model of staggered procurement for IAF's proposal to buy 114 aircraft, General Rawat said, "Yes. It will be under the new framework."
The chief of defence staff said the government is adopting the new approach to encourage the domestic defence industry as total reliance on import will not serve the Make in India initiative.
"I think we should go for staggered approach of placing orders for big-ticket purchases. If we are buying 100 aircraft, then it should be in four packages of 25 aircraft each," he said.
"That is why we ordered only 36 Rafale aircraft," General Rawat said without clarifying whether the government will go for procuring more Rafale jets from France.
In April last year, the IAF issued an RFI (request for information) or initial tender to acquire 114 jets at a cost of around US$ 18 billion, which is billed as one of the world's biggest military procurement in recent years.
The top contenders for the deal include Lockheed's F-21, Boeing's F/A-18, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Russian aircraft MiG 35 and Saab's Gripen.
The chief of defence staff, who has been tasked to prioritise military procurement, said utility and a futuristic approach will be major factors in deciding big-ticket purchases.
The government appointed Gen Rawat as the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) on December 31 to bring in convergence among the three services and restructure military commands to effectively deal with future security challenges.