Indian Air Force established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Today, IAF possess wide range of fighter jets, attack helicopters which gives us a sense of pride and valour.
Since Independence, IAF has secured our borders and played an important part in combats and conflicts with our neighbours. The Indian Air Force has fought with valour and has always been committed to excellence and professionalism. It has also been the most effective in carrying out relief activities especially during partition.
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine delta-wing fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Rafale can carry payloads of more than 9t on 14 hard points for the Air Force version, with 13 for the naval version. Besides this, it has a twin gun pod and a Nexter (formerly Giat) 30mm DEFA 791B cannon, which can fire 2,500 rounds a minute. The Rafale is also equipped with laser designation pods for laser guidance of air-to-ground missiles.
France and India are in the final stages to finalise the deal of 126 Dassault Rafale aircraft for the Indian Air Force.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is jointly developed by Russia`s Sukhoi and India`s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). At present India has 190 Su-30MKIs and it plans to have a fleet of 272 by 2015.
The Indian Air Force is procuring 22 Apache attack helicopters from the US, which will give it the capability to strike down enemy choppers and UAVs. IAF is procuring the American choppers in a 1.4 billion dollar deal.
Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft
The Sukhoi PAK FA is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi for the Russian Air Force. It is a fifth generation jet and is still in advanced phase of development. The T-50 will be the newest main plane both for the Russian and Indian Air Force.
India is expected to shell over USD 25 billion to induct 166 PAK FA and 48 FGFA advanced stealth fighter aircraft.
The HAL Tejas is a lightweight multirole fighter developed by India. The idea of HAL Tejas was conceived in order to phase out India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters. The LCA has been designed by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) which is based in Bangalore.
The SEPECAT Jaguar known as Shamsher serve as the IAF`s primary ground attack force. At present IAF has a fleet of 139 Jaguars.
Boeing P-8 Poseidon
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is a military aircraft at present being developed in order to help the United States Navy (USN). The P-8I is likely to replace the Indian Navy fleet of Russian-origin Tu-142 and Il-38 aircraft for marine investigation functions.
Indian Navy has 8 aircraft on order with deliveries beginning in 2013.
These aircraft are designed to detect and distinguish hostile aircraft. The IAF currently operates the EL/W-2090 Phalcon AEW&C. A total of 3 such systems are currently in service, with possible orders for 2 more.
C-130J Super Hercules
Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules is the most advanced airlifter ever built. The C-130J has a judicious blend of latest in aerospace expertise and an excellent design, providing greater operational competence to the operator.
India is all set to induct the last of the six C-130J Super Hercules cargo plane. India has asked the United States for another six aircraft under a government-to-government foreign military sales (FMS) deal.
The four-engine turboprop military transport plane has a minimum crew of three members comprising two pilots and a load master, can carry 64 fully geared troops and has the capability for a 20-tonne cargo. It can touch speeds of 700 kmph and can take off from landing strips of about 1,000 metres.
The Mi-35 serves primarily as an attack helicopter in the IAF. The Mi-35 can also act as a low-capacity troop transport. The IAF currently operates 2 squadrons.
These aircraft are used for aerial refuelling which allows IAF aircraft to remain airborne for longer periods, hence enhancing their effective range. Aerial refuelling also allows aircraft to take-off with greater payload (by carrying less fuel during take-off). The IAF currently operates 6 Ilyushin Il-78MKIs for aerial refuelling roles.
It is a multi-role, multi-mission helicopter in 5.5 ton class, fully designed and developed by HAL. Built to FAR 29 specifications, Dhruv is designed to meet the requirement of both military and civil operators.