The Indian Air Force will spend about Rs. 2 lakh crore on procurements during the 12 and 13 Plan periods, Deputy Chief of IAF Air Marshal R. K. Sharma said here on Thursday.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the 7 international conference on “Energizing Indian Aerospace Industry,” co-organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Centre for Air Power Studies, he said contracts worth $4 billion had already been signed. “We are on the path of modernising our assets. In the last Five Year Plan, IAF procurements were around Rs 1.5 lakh crore and over the next two Plan periods, we envisage procuring assets worth more than Rs 2 lakh crore.’’

The IAF is planning to sign a number of big ticket deals in the near future, including one for 126 multi-role combat aircraft expected to cost over Rs 50,000 crore and another for the fifth generation fighter aircraft with Russia which is expected to cost Rs. 1 lakh crore.

The IAF Deputy Chief said there was a “huge potential” for the private sector in the defence sector. “You must adopt the best ethical practices and be extremely sensitive to IAF’s concerns about the security of information. Indian aerospace industry will have to focus on developing in-house infrastructure, training and research and development capabilities to energise this sector.’’

He said the DRDO and Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs) must not see the private sector as a competitor, but as a partner in developing an indigenous defence industry

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