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With the indigenous twin-engine deck-based fighter still a decade away, the Narendra Modi government will purchase 26 carrier-based aircraft on a government-to-government basis for the soon-to-be-commissioned INS Vikrant, based on the Indian Navy's suggestion.

While the Indian Navy's shore-based test facility in Goa has already performed flight test trials of the French Rafale-Marine alternatives, the testing of the US F-18 super hornet is slated to be completed by June 15. The Indian Navy needs 8 twin-seater trainers out of the 26 planes, which may also be deployed in battle. Both fighters are nearly identical in age, and both manufacturers have facilities in India for maintenance, repairs, and overhaul.

Both aircraft have undergone extensive testing at the Goa test site, but are yet to land aboard India's sole aircraft carrier, the INS Vikramaditya, which is currently undergoing substantial maintenance in Karwar and is expected to resume service later in June. The INS Vikrant, India's indigenous aircraft carrier, is undergoing sea trials and will be commissioned on August 15, 2022, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.