Speaking to news agency ANI, Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Monday that India plans to acquire 450 fighter aircraft for deployment on the northern and western frontiers of the country in the future.
The list of aircraft planned to be inducted by the Air Force includes:
- 36 Rafales
- 114 Multirole Fighter Aircraft
- 100 Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and
- Over 200 variants of Light Combat Aircraft.
Adding that the induction of these fighters would take place over a period of the next 35 years as the inductions have to be planned to keep in mind future requirements, the IAF chief said, “In the next 15 years, 83 LCAs are our primary focus, after that LCA Mark 2 will come in we are looking at close to 100 of those, that makes it near 200 of LCA class,” Bhadauria said in an interview with the ANI.
“AMCA, we are looking at six squadrons, so that puts it close to 100 (aircraft). So, in the indigenous domain areas which are already frozen in terms of our requirement, in terms of our understanding with DRDO in the fighter (segment),” said RKS Bhadauria. The Indian Air Force Chief said: “In the trainer aircraft segment, we are looking at 70 HTT-40 as a support aircraft to the Pilatus fleet. So, we are looking at 370 odd indigenous aircraft.”
The IAF chief was of the view that currently, it was the best time from the point of view for indigenous production. He said, “It is now the perfect time for industries to respond and come up with solutions which are rapidly put in place and come up to the challenge of delivering these aircraft.” Speaking on plans to acquire 114 multirole fighter aircraft, the IAF chief said that this project would be dealt with in the Make in India region, “This project is in the middle-weight and is in the Rafale class, in this issue, we will deal with it in the Make in India region, with an increase in FDI, with support to the private sector.”
“4I think in future this will bring in technology which is required to support the aviation sector. I think it is important to have another generation of aircraft in terms of capability, technology as we go along,” said Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria.
Indian Air Force inducted 8 lethal attack helicopters
On September 3 last year, the Indian Air Force had inducted eight lethal attack helicopters in the presence of Air Force chief BS Dhanoa at the Pathankot Air Force station.
Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has succeeded Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa to become the 26th chief of the Indian Air Force. BS Dhanoa retired on September 30 2019, after 41 years of stellar service. He was the chief of the IAF during the Balakot airstrikes. The Apache choppers received a water cannon salute, before induction at the Pathankot Air Base. This will be its first fleet of attack choppers. By 2020, the IAF will operate a fleet of 22 Apaches.