The United States of America (USA) on Wednesday has offered its F-18 naval fighter jets to the Indian Navy in a bid to fulfill India’s requirements of combat jets for its aircraft carriers.
Few years ago, the Indian Navy had expressed interest in the acquisition of 57 naval fighter jets for its operation from the Navy’s aircraft carriers including the present INS Vikramaditya and the under-construction Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.
“The American Government has offered to provide their naval fighter aircraft F-18 for the Indian Navy under a government proposal at the meeting between defence delegations of both countries during the 2+2 meetings,” government sources told ANI.
As per reports, the Indian Navy was offered to buy their F-18 fighters along with the unmanned aircraft Sea Guardian as well as a number of other systems.
At the moment, the Indian Navy has been assessing the F-18 and the Rafale naval fighters for its present and futuristic requirements as its present fighter is likely to be phased out by the end of this decade or the beginning of next.
The aircraft offered by the American government is said to be the advanced version of the plane which was on offer to the Indian Air Force for its requirement of 126 Multirole Medium Combat Aircraft in which only Rafale and European Eurofighter had been able to meet the qualitative requirements and finally the French plane had been selected.
Both Rafale and F-18 have been showcasing the simulated capability of their respective fighter aircraft to take off and land at the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy.
Furthermore, the Americans have also shared a lot of information regarding the deployment and activities of the Chinese military in the military standoff.