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50 Billion For less than 300 Fighters ??

India will be spending more than 50 Billion $ Dollars in next decade to purchase less than 300 fighter aircrafts for Indian air force, even though it will be retiring more aircrafts then that.  

IAF plans to Purchase 126 French made Rafale and 144 Indo­Russian FGFA which might be cleared by Government of India but are yet to take off, Negotiation for purchase of French made Dassault has been going on for last 2 years now and according to media reports India will have to pay more now due to increase in cost and Estimated cost of FGFA is all set to rise due to delays in finalizing a deal with Russians.

According to Defence analyst India might end up paying more than 10 Billion extra over deal cost, this is seriously a worrying signs for Indian air force which still has to replace bulk of vintage Migs from its fleet.

IAF will be retiring close to 250 Mig­21 variant in 2017­19 period and post 2015 half the fleet of Mig­27 will also be retired too which will be around 60, Mig­27 due to poor workmanship and design defects in engine has suffered many crashes lately and IAF plans to retire them along with Mig­21 in the same period.

Another strike aircraft for Indian air force which is British made Jaguars might serve post 2025 but number will be limited. IAF has plans to upgrade Jaguars with newer Honeywell made engines but deal for that is still pending and it is likely that less than half the fleet of Jaguars will be upgraded with new engines and DARIN­III standard which will come with modern navigation, EW and weapon delivery system, which will keep small fleet of Jaguars going post 2030.

From 2015 to 2020 IAF will be retiring more than 350 fighter aircrafts from its fleet, keeping a side close to 100 aircrafts which already have been retired in last few years this will lead to lowest squadron strength of IAF at this period and probably will take IAF next two decades to bring back the squadron strength to sanctioned strength.

TOT (Transfer of Technology) and local Production is leading to higher Procurement cost of this fighter aircrafts. Failure to go ahead with either of the two deals will lead to more problems for IAF which is seeing growth of firepower in Chinese air force which with local produced aircrafts  and Russian copies of Sukhoi’s will have largest fleet of 4.5 generation fighter jets in Asia by 2020. Possible solution could be to order additional Tejas MK­1 aircrafts from current 40 to 80 or order additional Sukhoi­30 MKI directly from Russia.

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