Snapshot of India

Space exploration will remain a priority for India and the country will launch its own satellite-based navigation system into orbit in the next couple of years, according to a senior Indian military official. Further, he said, the Indian air force will forge ahead with its acquisition of C-17 and C-130J transports as it modernizes its airlift capability. This officer, speaking on background in Washington, offered scant details on India’s plans to acquire a new multirole combat aircraft. He said only that his country seeks a fighter fleet that offers more precision-attack capability. The US and India are working on a foreign military sales deal to furnish the IAF with at least 10 and perhaps as many as 16 C-17s. India has already ordered C-130Js, with deliveries expected to begin next year. Lockheed Martin F-16s and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets are MRCA contenders.