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21st Century Indian Air Force (IAF)

21st Century Indian Air Force (IAF)
Indian Air Force (IAF)

The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the Indian Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Union of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950.

Since independence, the Air Force in India has been involved in 4 wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay – the invasion of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an Air Chief Marshal (ACM), is a four star commander and commands the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. One officer has been conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force, a 5-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.

With strength of approximately 170,000 personnel and 1,300 aircraft, the Indian Air Force is the world’s 4th largest air force after the United States Air Force, Russian Air Force and China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force. In the past decade, the Air Force in India has undertaken an ambitious expansion and modernisation program to replace its aging Soviet-era fighter jets.

21st Century Indian Air Force (IAF)

The Indian Air Force today is a modern, technology-intensive force equipped with a wide array of modern aircraft and support equipment, weapon systems, communications and detection systems which gives it formidable offensive and defensive capabilities. Since it’s formation on 8 October 1932, the Indian Air Force has come a long way from it’s modest beginning to become a pre-eminent Air Force in the region and a formidable bulwark of national defence. It is poised at the threshold of a new paradigm of modernization in keeping with the new security challenges faced by the nation, which the IAF may need to attend to.

The teeth of the Air Force are its air-superiority fighters, multi-role combat and strike/air defence/reconnaissance aircraft. The Indian Air Force believes in deterrence during peace and force projection during war. In addition to peacetime training for traditional wartime roles, the Indian Air Force also provides significant aid to civil authorities during natural calamities and internal disturbances.

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The IAF has served India with courage and effectiveness in peace time and war. It forms the core of national defence and hence contributes towards the stability and security of the region.

Indian Air Force Wallpapers
List Of Current IAF Aircrafts
COMBAT AIRCRAFT
Aircraft
Origin
Type
Versions
In service
Trainers/ 2 Seaters
Squadrons
Notes
Sukhoi Su-30MKI Flanker-H
Russia
Multirole Air Dominance
Su-30MKI Flanker-G
116 – 230 (eventual squadron strength)
0
8, 20, 24, 30, one more under trial
230 to be acquired in total. Initially 50 were ordered in knock-down kits and 140 to be built by HAL. Plus 40 more were ordered in 2007. All 230 aircraft to be delivered by 2015.
HAL Tejas
India
multi role fighter
HAL Tejas
0
0
20 on order, another follow on order of 20 aircraft to follow. Ultimate numbers 220 airframes.
Dassault Mirage 2000
France
multirole air-superiority
Mirage 2000H
39
12
1, 7, 9
Two seaters are all combat capable and are used as such. Mirage fleet to be upgraded to Mirage 2000-5 standards. As of 2008, Thales & Dassault chosen as Upgrade OEMs and RFP sent to them. Bid awaited.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 Fulcrum
Soviet Union
multirole air-superiority
MiG-29
57
6
28, 47, 223
To be upgraded, deal signed 2008. Upgrade to latest SMT standards but with additional Indian/Israeli/French equipment and new MiG-35 OLS, plus Zhuk ME radar, new Mission computers, airframe overhaul, new EW fit, new engines et al.
SEPECAT Jaguar
France United Kingdom
ground attack

maritime strike
Jaguar IS

Jaguar IM
91(37 was on order)

6
12+17(IB)

2(IB)
5, 14, 16, 27

6
40 IS being upgraded to DARIN 2, plus 37 new builds (including 17 two seaters) to DARIN-2 standards, rest DARIN-1 original fit. New DARIN-2 two seaters being used for night/ precision attack. IM received new avionics, especially a new MFD and a new Elta 2032/M radar for attack with the Sea Eagle missile.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-27 Flogger-D/J
Soviet Union
ground attack
MiG-27 ML
119
11
10, 18, 22, 29, 222, TACDE(0.5)
40 being upgraded, approximately 20 aircraft delivered already. Upgrade quite similar to Jaguar DARIN-2 upgrade.
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 Fishbed
Soviet Union
Interceptor
MiG-21 Bison

MiG-21Bis

MiG-21M/MF
125

48

47
13

8

9
3, 4, 21, 32, 51

15, 23, 26

17, 35 ‘A’, 37,101,108
125 Bis upgraded to Bison standard, with Kopyo radar, R-77 and R-73E missiles, Glass cockpit, new avionics and self defence equipment.
HELICOPTERS
Aircraft
Origin
Type
Versions
In service
Squadrons
Notes
HAL Dhruv
India
utility helicopter
64
117, 132, 151
deliveries underway, over 300 to be acquired.
Aérospatiale SA 316B Alouette III
France
utility helicopter
SA 316B Chetak
92
111, 116, 141SSS F, 142SSS F, HTS
60 built by HAL
Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama
France
utility helicopter
SA 315B Cheetah
24
114, 131F, 132F
built by HAL
Mil Mi-17 Hip-H
Russia
utility helicopter
Mi-17-1V
0
112 HU
80 ordered
Mil Mi-8 Hip
Soviet Union
transport helicopter
Mi-8

Mi-17
82

93
105,109, 110, 112,119, 121, 122F

107,118,127, 128, 129, 130, 152, 153
Mil Mi-35 Hind-E
Soviet Union
attack helicopter
Mi-35
25
104, 125
Mil Mi-26 Halo
Soviet Union
transport helicopter
6
126HF
TRANSPORT AIRCRAT
Aircraft
Origin
Type
Versions
In service
Squadrons
Notes
Antonov An-32 Cline
Soviet Union
tactical transport
94
12, 25’B’, 33, 43, 48, 49, PTS, TTW
Avro 748
United Kingdom
tactical transport
HS 748-100
64
11, 41 ‘A’, 59, 106 ‘A’, 6 Cmd Flts (2 A/c)
A handful of AVROs are used for ELINT, fitted with indigenous eqpuipment.
Boeing 737
United States
transport
737-200
3
Air HQ Comn Sqn
Also used for ELINT, fitted with indigenous equipment developed by the DRDO and manufactured by BEL.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
United States
tactical airlifter
Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules
0
6 aircraft ordered. Delivery to start 2011 onwards.
Dornier Do 228
Germany
tactical transport
Do 228-201
28
41, TTW, 6 Comm Flts (2 A/c)
built by HAL; 12 more ordered
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid
Soviet Union
transport

tanker
Il-76

Il-78MKI
25

6
44, 25 ‘A’

78

ARP-3 refueling pods from Israel
Ilyushin Il-76 CandidPhalcon
Russia
AWACS
Phalcon
0
6 to be inducted progressively from July 2008 onwards
Embraer EMB 135 Brazil VIP transport ECJ-135 Legacy 5 Air HQ Comn Sqn
Gulfstream III United States VIP transport 3
TRAINERS
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service Notes
BAE Hawk
United Kingdom
trainer
Hawk 132
15
106 ordered (66 with follow-on order of 40)
HAL HJT-36 Sitara
India
trainer
HJT-32 Sitara
12
More to be delivered
HAL HJT-16 Kiran
India
trainer
84
HAL HPT-32 Deepak
India
trainer
70
FUTURE AIRCRAFT
Aircraft Origin Year Notes
Ilyushin/IAI Phalcon
Russia
Israel
2009
3 ordered, with 3 more to be ordered as a follow on order. AWACS with SIGINT/ELINT capabilities.
DRDO AEW & C
India
2011-2013
3 AEW&C aircraft on order. Aircraft to have ESM/ SIGINT/ CSM ability. Locally developed by the DRDO using the Embraer ERJ-145 as the carrier. Intended to act as a vital backup node to the more expensive Phalcons, for an in-depth air defence network. More orders expected but of a more capable derivative, based on a larger aircraft platform.
HAL Light Combat Helicopter
India
2010
Up to 200 LCH to be ordered. First flight expected in 2008.
Lockheed C-130J Hercules
United States
2011
Six ordered for Special Operations.
Ilyushin/HAL Tactical Transport Aircraft
Russia
India
2015
First flight expected in 2011. Irkut has pulled out of the project after an industry realignment and has been replaced by Ilyushin.
Medium Combat Aircraft
India
Under preliminary development. Project not yet formally launched. Expected to be cleared only once LCA enters service. Expected to be a Jaguar/ Mirage 2000 replacement.
Sukhoi T-50
Russia
India
First flight of the derivative expected in 2012. Indian Airforce plans for up to 15 Squadrons of the type.
Attack Helicopter
2010
Upto 80 helicopters projected to support existing Mi-25/ 35 attack helicopters. RFI issued. Boeing’s AH-64D Apache, MiL’s Mi-28N, Kamov’s Ka-52 and Eurocopter’s EC-665 Tiger are the frontrunners for this deal.
 
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