With countries around the globe ramping up the air defence ecosystem in order to get strategic advances over their enemy, the Indian Air Force (IAF) recent defence details are the same shot towards making India foolproof.
83 Tejas fighter jets
In a whopping ₹48,000 crore deal with state-run aerospace & defense company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), the Indian government ordered 83 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas for the Indian Air Force in February this year.
Tejas is a single-engine, highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft. The fighter jet has a quadruplex digital fly-by-wire Flight Control System (FCS) along with associated advanced flight control laws.
The aircraft’s delta wing is designed for ‘air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with ‘reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship’ as its secondary roles, which allows the aircraft to operate in the high-threat air environment. Further, extensive use of advanced composites in the airframe provides a high strength to weight ratio, long fatigue life, and low radar signatures to the aircraft.
56 C-295 trasport aircraft
In a landmark ₹22,000 deal, the Indian Air Force is set to welcome 56 C-295 transport aircraft. Under the deal, which was recently inked by the Indian government with Airbus Defence, Spain, the IAF fleet will receive 16 aircraft in flyaway condition within the span of 48 months, while a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space and Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will manufacture 40 planes in domestically within 10 years of signing the contract.
Notably, the C-295 transport plane will replace the IAF’s aging fleet of Avro-748 planes and transport will also be used for tactical transport of up to 51 paratroopers or 71 troops.
The Airbus C295 is a new-generation tactical aircraft in the light and medium segment. With its robust and reliable versatility, the aircraft can be used for different missions in different circumstances.
The multi-role C295 aircraft can operate worldwide under all weather conditions from desert to maritime environments, from extremely hot to extremely cold temperatures.
24 Mirage 2000 aircraft
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is set to acquire 24 second-hand Mirage 2000 fighters, made by French manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The Indian government recently inked a deal to buy phased-out Mirage 2000 aircraft from the French Air Force.
The deal aims “to improve the spares and airframe capability to help improve the serviceability of the around 50 Mirage-2000s in the Indian fleet.”
Akash air defence system
Apart from fighter aircraft, the IAF is also set to acquire Akash missiles, manufactured by India’s manufacturers of ammunitions and missile systems Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). The ₹499 crore contract was signed by the two in July 2021.
The Akash missile has been test-fired on several occasions and is capable of engaging aerial threats up to the maximum range of 25 kilometers and up to an altitude of 20 kilometers.
With the speed range of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach, the missile will be manufactured for both the IAF and the Indian Army.
BDL is considered the prime production company under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and Akash Missile is considered to be one of the best missiles in its category.
On September 9, the Indian Air Force officially introduced the Barak 8 air defense system in Jaisalmer, northwest of Rajasthan. This system provides air defence for ground assets against a wide range of threats – like helicopters, UAVs, fighter jets, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. It has a capability of engaging multiple targets at ranges up to 70 kms.
The Barak 8 Air and Missile Defense system (Barak 8), also known as the LRSAM, is a medium-range ship-borne air defense system. The system includes a battle management, command, control, communication, and intelligence center (BMC4I); vertical launch system with Barak 8 interceptors, and a multi-function surveillance, track and guidance radar.It can fire Barak 8 or Barak 8ER interceptors for a 360-degree defense against a variety of airborne threats.
Under the ₹155 crore pact, the Indian Air Force is also scheduled to induct Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CUAS) manufactured by Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies. This will be carried out in a 12-month time frame, and the technology will improve the IAF’s capabilities in the anti-drone space.