First Rafale Jets In Indian Skies Only By May 2020
India Strategic|October 2019
Air Chief Bhadauria bets for 80 percent indigenous aircraft
Gulshan Luthra And Shweta Sehgal

NEW DELHI. India will get the first lot of four Rafale combat jets in May 2020, and there are no plans as of now to order another 36 of these aircraft from France.

Four days after assuming charge as the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria told at the customary pre-Air Force Day press conference on October 4th that the Air Headquarters was also looking at 80 to 90 percent of Made in India jets in the Indian skies in about two decades. That is indeed quite ambitious but it looks like the Ministry of Defence is encouraging the Indian Air Force (IAF) to plan in this direction as demands for finance from the armed forces are high, acquisition of global technology takes time besides higher costs, and it’s better anyway to develop and go in for high technology systems indigenously.

Development for the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for instance is a priority, and IAF has already given Final Operational Clearance (FOC) to HAL, and an order for 83 aircraft is on the anvil.

IAF is also extending full support for the indigenous development of AMCA, or the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft, that should have all the contemporary and futuristic EW and stealth capabilities. There should be some visibility on this project by 2025.

The Air Chief indicated that IAF was giving due consideration to counter the “new threat” of drones, and although he did not say, it appears that a chunk of its allocation will go towards acquiring various types of unmanned aircraft.

IAF is in talks with US General Atomics for Avenger unmanned systems while DRDO sources told India Strategic that work is already on to develop small (about 6 inch) and big remotely piloted aircraft with varying capacities of staying in the air.

They could be used for surveillance and also to hit hostile targets.

IAF marks its 87th anniversary on October 8th. The Air Chief expressed “pride and satisfaction” over the achievements during these years, and said that emphasis now was on newer EW (Electronic Warfare) technologies and precision systems “to deter and punish the enemy as and when the need arises.” Even helicopters were now being upgraded with ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) and EW systems while the acquisition of potent heavy lift Chinooks and Apaches “have given a punch to our capability.”

The emphasis now is on indigenous development of these systems, and DRDO’s Netra aircraft, which will be in the Flypast, was performing very well.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM INDIA STRATEGICView All

First Rafale Jets In Indian Skies Only By May 2020

Air Chief Bhadauria bets for 80 percent indigenous aircraft

5 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

Rafale The Game Changer

Acceptance now, Induction in May

6 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

Red Velvet Takes To Skies On Its First Commercial Service To New York City

NEW DELHI. Virgin Atlantic’s first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, G-VLUX, Red Velvet took to the skies September 10th for the very first time, flying customers from London Heathrow to new York JFK.

2 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

IAF's Senior Leadership & Force Structure In The Foreseeable Future

There will be an essential necessity to tailor the IAF’s thinking and planning to groom the senior leadership in a Joint Military environment, as well as, in the joint procurement and joint capability development parameters

3 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

Thoughts On The 87th Anniversary Of The IAF

Other than the brief excitement of Balakot strikes, during the year gone by, IAF remained on course to consolidate the credibility of its posture against perceived threats by absorbing in its fold new aircraft and weapon systems

4 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

“Howdy Modi” In Houston

A Big Push to India-US Relations.

8 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

Apache, Chinook And Way Forward For India

Multi-domain operations across a spectrum that stretches from Hybrid Warfare to lowintensity security situations within the country require capabilities that are responsive and adaptive

5 mins read
India Strategic
October 2019

Re-Energising India - Russia Partnership

The 36-hour visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Vlad Ivostok, Russia on September 4-5 to participate in the 20th Annual Summit and as Guest of honour in the 5th eastern economic Forum (eeF) at the invitation of President Vladimir Putin provided, in PM Modi’s own words, “a new direction, new energy and new speed” to relations between the two countries.

5 mins read
India Strategic
September 2019

India Honoured With Prime Minister Modi Getting Many International Awards

New Delhi. From Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates, from Bahrain to Israel and the Maldives, and away from this near neighbourhood, Russia, Japan and South Korea – with the United Nations to top them – all have honoured Prime Minister Narendra Modi with their highest civilian awards.

3 mins read
India Strategic
September 2019

Chandrayaan 2 - India's Quest For The Moon

NEW DELHI. Chandrayaan 2, India’s second mission to the Moon which was to land the Vikram rover on the Moon surface on 7th Sep 2019, faced a glitch at the proverbial last minute, just when it was 2.1km above the moon’s surface after successfully manoeuvring gravitational pulls and hazards for a little short of 400,000km.

5 mins read
India Strategic
September 2019