IAF’s acquisition of 114 fighter jets to be part of a major procurement plan

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Source: The post is based on the article “IAF’s acquisition of 114 fighter jets to be part of a major procurement plan” published in The Hindu on 17th February 2023

What is the News?

Indian Air Force(IAF) is reportedly planning to procure 114 Multirole fighter aircraft(MRFA) along with three different indigenous fighter development programmes.

This will result in a mega 500-fighter aircraft acquisition process for the armed forces. 

Why is the Indian Air Force(IAF) planning to go for such a mega fighter aircraft acquisition process?

Indian Air Force(IAF) is currently down to 31 fighter squadrons as against the sanctioned strength of 42.

These squadrons are set to come down further as the remaining three MiG-21 squadrons are phased out by 2025. By the end of the decade, phasing out of other aircraft would also begin.

Hence, IAF is planning to start a mega fighter aircraft acquisition process.

The acquisition process will start with 83 Light Combat Aircraft(LCA)-Mk1A that would begin coming in from next year followed by the LCA-Mk2 and Fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft(AMCA) in near future along with the MRFA. This will help in overcoming the shortage.

There is also a Twin-engine deck-based Fighter(TEDBF) on the drawing board for the Navy’s aircraft carriers.

Note: TEDBF is a twin-engine single-seat carrier-borne fighter aircraft. It has been designed for operations onboard Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers and is envisaged as a possible replacement for the Russian-origin MiG-29K that takes off from the decks of INS Vikramaditya.

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