The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to begin the flight trials of the six contenders for the 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) next week. StratPost has been reliably informed that the trials are slated to begin in the last week of July or the first week of August.
Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet is to be the first aircraft that will be tried out for the estimated $ 10 billion order. The trials will be at three locations in India at Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh. The IAF has designated teams of pilots to test the aircraft. The aircraft will be tested by two teams of two test pilots each. StratPost has been informed pilots have already been trained for this purpose for the Super Hornet.
The weapons systems of each aircraft will be tested out of India, either in the country of origin or elsewhere.
The rest of the six contenders, the Swedish Saab’s Gripen, Lockheed Martin’s F-16, the French Dassault’s Rafale, EADS’ Eurofighter Typhoon and the Russian MiG-35 will be tried out over the next ten-eleven months, with the trial stage expected to end by April or May next year.