The Indian Air Force has prepared a proposal to guide acquisition of multirole combat aircraft to meet future requirements.
Addressing the annual press conference on the 72nd anniversary of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Sriniwaspuram Krishnaswamy announced Oct. 6 that a detailed Staff Qualitative Requirement on acquisition of multirole combat aircraft has been submitted to the government and is under review.
Krishnaswamy clarified that no specific time frame has been laid down by the government for floating global bids to procure the aircraft.
To keep budgets under control, the Indian Air Force is modernizing its combat fleet and manpower in a phased manner, added Krishnaswamy.
Besides awarding contracts for procurement of three airborne early warning and control systems and 66 advanced jet trainers, the Air Force also is modernizing its MiG-21bis fleet, Jaguar fleet and MiG-27 fleet in a selective manner. The other major modernization programs include ground radar systems, Pichora air defense systems and inventory management systems.
Krishnaswamy disclosed that it is difficult for the Air Force to maintain its present fleet level of 39.5 squadrons (one squadron comprises 18 aircraft), and it is unlikely that the fleet strength will be increased at all in the near future.
Discussing a proposed Air Force Aerospace Command, Krishnaswamy said a senior expert committee has been constituted to study the use of space for strategic use.