India to induct 200-250 fifth generation fighters

India today said it was looking to induct around 200-250 fight generation fighter aircraft (FGFA), which are being co-developed with Russia.

New Delhi: India today said it was looking
to induct around 200-250 fight generation fighter aircraft
(FGFA), which are being co-developed with Russia.

"We are looking for around 200-250 aircraft," Air
Chief Marshal P V Naik told reporters at a press conference
for the 78th anniversary of the IAF to be celebrated on the
Air Force Day on October 8.

He said the aircraft weighing over 30 tonnes are
expected to start joining the force by 2017.

Commenting on the capabilities of the most advanced
fighter aircraft, Naik said, "It would be a swing-role fighter
with highly advanced avionics, giving 360 degree situational
awareness, stealth to increase survivability and smart
weapons."

He added that the aircraft would be capable of covering
long ranges without air to air refuelling and will have the
super-cruise features along with the highly advanced mission
computers.

Replying to a query, Naik said in the near future, the
IAF fighter fleet would comprise mainly four types of aircraft
including the FGFA, Sukhoi-30MKIs, the yet to be procured
M-MRCA and the under-development Light Combat Aircraft.

At present, the IAF has seven different types of
aircraft in its fighter fleet including the MiGs 21, 23, 27
and 29, Jaguars, Mirage-2000 and the Su-30 MKI.

Asked if the IAF would want to further reduce the variety
of fighters with it, Naik said, "the ideal situation would be
that I only have one type of aircraft but the world is not
ideal".

To a query on whether the Strategic Forces Command (SFC)
was looking to procure more assets, the IAF Chief said,
"definitely we will need approval for more assets because the
present strength is for meeting our present tasks and for
additional tasks, we will require more".

Asked if the selection of the American GE-414 engine for
the LCA Mk II `Tejas` fighter would help two of the aircraft
flying with the same engine in the multi-role combat aircraft
deal, Naik said, "I don`t think so, they are not connected at
all".

-PTI

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