The Indian Air Force will acquire 126 medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA) in 2010 as part of its modernisation programme in an attempt to prevent threats from the country’s eastern and western fronts.

The IAF will begin the process of awarding contracts for the acquisition of MMRCA in April 2010, following the completion of flight tests, which are currently underway.

Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Dassault, SAAB, MiG and EADS are expected to bid for the aircraft contract, following which, the MMRCA will join air force service by 2013.

As part of the modernisation, the IAF will also induct 150 Sukhois and 80 Mi-17-1V medium-lift helicopters for its north-east base.

The IAF, which has had 98 Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter aircraft since 1996, has plans to acquire 230 more such aircraft by 2015.