The Air Force is taking many steps for boosting its air defense capabilities which include the operationalization of recently inducted defense systems like Rafale and LCA fighters and the S-400 air defense system among others. The airforce is also in the process of inducting LCA MK-1A, HTT-40 trainers, indigenous weapons, and different radars. The emphasis now is on self-reliance in the defense production
“We are in sync with the government on self-reliance in defense production. We are confident that with the domestic industries stepping up, we will be able to overcome any shortfalls in spares that we’ve been traditionally acquiring from Ukraine and Russia,” said Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari ahead of the Air Force Day on October 8 in a press conference.
He underscored that LCH has been inducted into the Air Force yesterday which will add teeth to the IAF’s strike capability.
He informed the media that one of the MiG-21 squadrons has been phased out and it has been replaced by a MiG-29 squadron in Srinagar.
“The squadrons of Jaguar would start getting number plated by 2025-26 and by the middle of next decade, all squadrons of Jaguar, Mirage 2000 and MiG-29 would be phased out,” added IAF chief.
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also stressed the importance of technology as the battlefields undergo significant transformation assuring that the IAF is ready for such a future and to secure the borders.
“As the battlefield of tomorrow transforms and becomes more technology-driven, we too are innovating to stay ahead of the curve. I want to assure the citizens of the country that the IAF is ready to take on the future and we’ll continue to touch the sky with glory,” the IAF Chief said, adding “we continue to be operationally deployed and ever vigilant.”
Speaking on the occasion IAF Vice Chief Air Marshal Sandeep Singh pointed out that the Air Force needs 42 squadrons of fighter jets in view of the threat emanating from the neighborhood.
“The environment around us remains hostile and there would be a requirement for 42 squadrons of fighter aircraft by the Indian Air Force. We have to see the case of China and Pakistan also. In the last many years, we have been upgrading the Su-30 with indigenous weapons like the Astra air-to-air missile and the BrahMos missiles. The sensors are also indigenous and we have been doing it indigenously,” said Air Marshal Singh.
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