The Indian Air Force on Friday started the process to acquire 114 fighter jets, PTI reported. The IAF issued the initial tender, known as the Request for Information, to global aircraft companies to manufacture the jets along with an Indian partner.

The Air Force is acquiring the new fighter jets as its fleet is down to just 31 squadrons, 11 less than the minimum number of jets the Centre believes are required to tackle both Pakistan and China, The Times of India reported.

Each squadron has 18 jets. The Ministry of Defence had asked the Air Force to come up with a proposal for the manufacture of both single and twin-engine fighters.

In 2016, India had signed a Rs 59,000-crore contract with French company Dassault Aviation to procure 36 Rafale jets. The IAF wants a second order for 36 fighter aircraft, but the Centre has yet to make a decision on it, PTI said.