According to sources, there is a significant enhancement in the firepower of the armed forces. The Defense Acquisition Council (DAC), under the chairmanship of Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, has granted initial approval for the purchase of 97 Tejas lightweight combat aircraft and approximately 156 state-of-the-art helicopters to bolster combat capabilities. The Indian Air Force is set to invest around ₹65,000 crores in acquiring these aircraft.
Su-30 Upgrade Approval
Sources reveal that the Defense Acquisition Council, led by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, has also given approval for upgrading India’s Su-30 fighter jets. This move aligns with the government’s commitment to modernizing the armed forces, with an expected expenditure of ₹1.3 lakh crores from the national treasury for mega procurement projects and the Su-30 upgrade program.
Joining the Air Force Fleet Next Year
The Indian Air Force is actively operating two squadrons of Tejas MK-1 jets. These include both initial and final operational clearance variants, totaling 20 squadrons. Additionally, the government has placed an order with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for 83 LCAs (Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas MK-1A variants, valued at $6 billion, with delivery expected by 2024. This order aims to replace the aging MiG-21 fleet.
Embracing Indigenous Fighter Planes
In a strategic move towards self-reliance, the Indian Air Force is also incorporating domestically manufactured aircraft into its fleet. Previously, the Indian Air Force integrated the first indigenously developed light fighter plane from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) into its squadron. The two-seater LCA Tejas is an effective asset for all-weather conditions.
The Indian Air Force has ordered 18 Tejas planes with two seats from HAL. By 2023-2024, eight Tejas planes will be handed over to the Indian Air Force, with the remaining ten expected to be delivered by 2026-27. Recently, Prime Minister Modi commended the Tejas program during his visit to Bengaluru, highlighting its significant contribution to enhancing India’s defense capabilities.