A lot has been said about IAF staring at a depleting fleet size problem as many aircrafts are set to retire in next few years. As per the information in the public domain, the IAF should ideally have a strength of 42 combat squadrons to be fully prepared for a two-front war. With barely 32 squadrons of fighter aircraft currently in inventory, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is staring at a massive problem.
Rafale deal has been struck and the first French fighter would be delivered in September and in the next few years, 35 more would come. But, that is not enough. The IAF will be phasing out nine squadrons of the MiG-21 and 2 MiG-27 over the next 5 years.
Tejas was supposed to have played a key role in IAF’s scheme things. It was thought that India’s requirement for single engine fighters could be met with LCA Tejas. But due to multiple problems encountered during Tejas’s development and HAL’s failure to meet the delivery deadlines, IAF was forced to look at other foreign aircrafts. Read More