INDIA’S FIGHTER CONUNDRUM

SPECIAL REPORT

With the recent spotlight on the Indian Air Force, Combat Aircraft assesses its plans to modernize its ageing fighter fleet.

THE GOVERNMENT-APPROVED STRENGTH of the Indian Air Force (IAF), given the country’s well-publicized security scenario and the possibility of a ‘two-front’ threat of combined Pakistani and Chinese air action to the west and north-east, is 42 fighter squadrons. There is little clarity on how this exact number was arrived at, but nonetheless, the IAF hasn’t come close to this strength for two decades, and has never approached anything near a force entirely equipped with modern aircraft.

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