Even as India moves toward a second-quarter launch of candidate fighter flight trials, participants are girding for what could be a long haul and a test of stamina for the $10-billion prize. Among the six bidders, some believe a downselect may yet occur—even if only de facto—if the decision process is slowed significantly and costs mount. The 126-aircraft acquisition, however, is at the heart of a broad modernization program for the Indian air force, and it is a key element of ...

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