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09:16 AM, July 29, 2017
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Mig 29k Naval Fighter Jet Taking Off From Indian INS Vikramaditya (File Photo)

The Indian Navy conducted trials of French Rafale, Swedish Saab Sea Gripen, Russian MiG-29K and American F-18 for its $11B (INR 75,000 crore) fighter jet procurement deal for its aircraft carriers.

The Indian Navy recently invited foreign vendors to carry out trials to see if the planes could operate off the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, reported India Today Saturday.

All the four defense companies to a Request for Information issued by the Indian Navy in January to procure 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its carrier.

"The foreign vendors were asked to prove that their aircraft would be able to operate off our Russian-origin aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya," a senior Navy source was quoted as saying by the broadcaster.

Aircraft manufacturers were asked to provide more inputs on their respective plane's capabilities to be able to take off and land at the Vikramaditya, the sources said.

The trials were held at INS Vikramaditya's home-base in Karwar in Karnataka.

As regards the delivery schedule, the first lot of jets have to be delivered in three years after inking of the contract and all the 57 have to be delivered in the next three years.

he Indian Navy in January issued a Request for Information to procure 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its carrier after having rejected locally built 'Tejas' as too heavy.

Currently, Indian Navy operates 45 MIG-29K jets which face serviceability issues from time to time. The delivery of deck based fighter jets is expected to take four-five years.

The indigenously built aircraft-carrier Vikrant should complete trials in 2019.

It was likely to be commissioned by 2020, it was announced this week that the Scorpene submarine Kalvari is going through its final phase of trials and should be delivered by August.

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