Indian Air Force plans modernization programme

January 18th, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Bangalore, Jan 18 (ANI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) in a bid to enhance every aspect of its capability, plans on a systematic modernization plan, which majorly includes launching a satellite in 2010 and an integrated air command and control system by the end of this year.

The IAF would have complex grade radar facilities in the next few years. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall, Fali Homi Major while delivering the Air Chief Marshall L M Katre Memorial Lecture in Bangalore said that the IAF has already redesigned its training patterns and most of its inventory will be upgraded or changed including a robust network of robust network of sensors.

On a query related to the steps the IAF had taken in the wake of heightened tension between India and Pakistan, he straightforwardly said, “We are ready to meet any situation,”

When asked about the possibility of a war-like situation on the Indo-Pak border, he made his position clear as a simple prosecutor who carries out orders of the authorities.
On modernisation plans, he said induction of Jaguars, MIG-27s, MIG-29s and Sukhois with upgraded avionics have been accelerated.
He further mentioned that the Inter-Governmental agreements for design and development of fifth generation fighter aircraft has been concluded and the light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Programme has gained momentum.
The initial operations are expected to start by 2010-2011. The first flight of the Light Combat Helicopter is likely by May-June, while technical evaluation of the medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMCA) had been completed.
The MMCA would go for test trials by April-May . IAF would soon commence work on upgrading AN-32 aircraft with better avionics, Major said.
He, further informed that India is expecting 70-80 tonne aircraft very soon as it is in talks with Russia for supply of aircraft.
Approval for four more Embraer jets has been secured and efforts were on to get more to strengthen air defense, he said.
Major said that IAF is trying the most for the attack helicopters which are supposed to be the best in the world, 38 ALH (Advanced light helicopters) and also 12 VVIP helicopters.
Contracts to upgrade 30 airfields also have to be signed soon. He stressed the need of public-private partnership to boost production, which would result in lesser dependence on foreign equipment.
Major said that the IAF authorities have decided that all the projects entered into will be turnkey projects. It would take up 30 airfields for infrastructure upgrade in the first phase, each of which would have an 11,000 feet runway.
Major payed tribute to Katre by recalling his able leadership under which prestigious products like LCA and ALH have originated.(ANI)

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