India wants to buy about 40 second-hand fighter jets from France and Qatar to bolster its air defenses, the air force chief said.
Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi said on Thursday night that the purchase of French made Mirage 2000-5 planes would be a stopgap measure until the air force goes ahead with plans to buy 126 new jet fighters.
Tyagi said India wanted to buy about 40 jets, including a dozen from Qatar and the rest from France, and that New Delhi already was in negotiations with French officials. He gave no further details about the deal.
The decision follows the announcement earlier this week from Pakistan, that the United States had agreed to supply it with new F-16 fighters.
Also, several aging air squadrons had to retire. India is looking at American F-16s and F/A-18 Super Hornets, French Mirages, Swedish Gripens and Russian MiGs for the 126-jet deal.