The Indian Air Force requires 126 new aircraft and a request for a proposal on the same will be sent to the Defence Ministry within a week, Chief of Air Staff S P Tyagi said on Monday.

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Tyagi, who is Nagpur for the 14th National Seminar on Aerospace Structures, told reporters that a request for information had been given a year ago but the type of aircraft required is yet to be decided.

On Advance Jet Trainers, the Air Chief Marshal said the deal had already been signed but the aircraft would only be delivered next year.

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When asked about Dhruv helicopters being grounded, Tyagi said there was a problem in the tail rotor but asserted that there was nothing to worry.

"Some of them have been taken care of and cleared for flying while the remaining are being looked into by maintenance people. Approximately 50 Dhruv helicopters were inducted recently," he said.

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Tyagi said replacement of aged aircraft was not easy as it might take about 15 years from now for actual delivery of new aircraft. But the life-extension programme and indigenisation was going smoothly for these transport and fighter aircraft and helicopters, he added.

The Chief of Air Staff also said that he would be visiting Sri Lanka on a goodwill visit. "It is nothing but an exchange visit to neighbouring countries, including Sri Lanka," Tyagi said.