India has issued a request for information (RFI) on nine turbofan aircraft capable of performing a range of roles such as surveying, target towing, communications intelligence and signals intelligence (SIGINT).

Of the nine aircraft, two will be dedicated SIGINT platforms. The other seven will have equipment installed for survey and target towing missions, and three of these will have equipment installed for communications jamming (COMJAM).

"Seven aircraft should be suitably integrated by the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] and certified for the survey, target towing and COMJAM roles including dropping of flares, passenger and cargo roles," says the RFI. "Two aircraft should be certified to perform the SIGINT role."

The RFI states that all nine aircraft be based on the same platform, with the airframer responsible for integrating and certifying the role equipment.

Reflecting India's varied geography, the requirement stipulates that the aircraft be capable of operating in a range of environments from tropical to very high altitudes.

In addition, the aircraft must be capable of being converted to a passenger or cargo transport configuration at the flight line level, have a galley suitable for catering to 15 personnel, and a fully enclosed toilet.

"The [SIGINT] system must be a futuristic, state-of-the-art system using cutting edge technologies, algorithms and software," says the RFI. "The system must be capable of rapid system acquisitions and data processing with a high degree of automation. The system should be capable of transmitting data to ground through data links."

The deadline for interested parties to submit bids is 24 May 2012.

Source: Flight International