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F-18s, F-16s fighters racing to reach Bangalore for trials

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BANGALORE (BNS): F-18s and F-16s fighter aircraft are racing to reach Bangalore for commencement of test trials by the IAF.

According to the English daily The Times Of India, the trials will begin soon in the next three weeks. The locations selected are Leh, Jaisalmer alongwith Bangalore. IAF plans to buy 126 new fighter aircraft.

While the display of its frontline fighter aircraft is itself a statement about changing Indo-US relations, Boeing with its F-18 is upbeat about long-term R&D collaboration and technology transfer projects.

"We do have long-term plans. We are looking at research in breakthrough technology with the premier scientific institution in the country, the IISc. We will also look at defence R&D," Chris Chadwick, vice-president, Global Strike Systems, Boeing IDS said, as per the news report.

Lockheed Martin with its F-16s are also all geared up to fly ahead in the race. "A cockpit simulator is being brought for familiarization with electronics and overall atmosphere of the F-16 cockpit," Lockheed representatives said to the English daily.

The IAF needs new aircraft to replace its Soviet-era MiG-series fighters.

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