Indian AirForce To Add 350 Planes For Combat Readiness
India is consistently readying its combat capabilities to fight a possible attack from its formidable opponent, China. Towards this, apart from water power, it is heavily investing in air power as well. The Indian Air Force is all ready to add up fighter planes to its collection. Confirmed reports state the procurement of 350 aircrafts in the next two decades, according to Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria.
Addressing a recent Indian aerospace sector conference, he said India is focused on developing asymmetric capabilities to bolster its strength. “Looking at the northern neighbour, we have to have niche technologies which must be built in-house by our own industry for reasons of security,” the IAF chief said.
Indian Navy has been investing itself in developing its own light weight combat aircrafts for sea and air combat. The Tejas is an attempt to meet that dream; something that has seen over three decades of research and development efforts.
The Tejas was developed out of the Light Combat Aircraft program, which sought a replacement for the hundreds of MiG-21 fighters nearing the end of their service lives in the Indian Air Force. The single-engine Tejas has a tailless delta-wing configuration and supposedly costs only $25 million per airplane.
However, it took decades for the LCA to come together, and it continued to rely heavily on foreign components, including an Israeli Doppler radar and General Electric F404 turbofan engines. On the anvil is the Tejas Mark 2 with enhanced engine power in collaboration with Indian counterparts as a completely Indian made variant. The Indian Navy is looking at some 46 to 56 such aircrafts to be added to the fleet by 2022.