Indian Air Force to get more firepower! IAF to buy more MiG 29 and Su-30 MKI fighters

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Published: July 2, 2020 5:28 PM

According to the MoD, these equipment are to be manufactured locally with the help of the several MSMEs as the prime tier vendors and defence industry and these systems should have indigenous content.

 

These two procurement proposals have been under consideration for almost two years now (Reuters image)

In view of the current tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) the Defence Acquisition Council which met in New Delhi today has put its stamp of approval on the Indian Air Force’s proposal to procure 21 MIG-29, up-gradation of existing 59 Mig-29 aircraft and purchase of 12 Su-30 MKI aircraft.

According to an official announcement from the Ministry of Defence (MoD), “ this approval has been given to increase the IAF’s fighter squadrons.” The MiG-29 from Russia, including the plans to upgrade the existing fleets of the MiG-29 in service is estimated to cost Rs 7418 crore. And the Su-30 MKI (which are being manufactured here as per Indian specifications) are going to be procured from state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) at an estimated cost of Rs 10,730 crore.

Financial Express Online last month had reported first that DAC was expected to approve the procurement of MiG-29 and the Su-30 MKI, to help enhance the dwindling strength of fighter squadrons in service.

These two procurement proposals have been under consideration for almost two years now. And, in view of the security situation in the region, the DAC has given a green signal for purchasing these.

Though the approval has been given today, it is still a long way off before the contracts are inked and their deliveries which will take a couple of years. The IAF already has both the MiG-29 and a fleet of Su-30 MKI in service.

Upgrade of MiG 29

The upgrade of the existing MiG-29 in the IAF will change them from an air superiority fighter to a multi-role aircraft. With modern technology and customization, the aircraft will have an added life of 40 more years.

Upgradation of the MiG 29 has earlier been done by HAL and these are now MiG 29 UPG. “This means that the up-gradation of the fleet will take place at HAL and will have the kits will come from Russia. The technology transfer, as well as the training of the personnel who will work on these aircraft, is undertaken by Russia.

The plans are being modified at the HAL facility and upgraded machines have onboard include the latest avionics as well have been modified to carry new weapons.

The MiG-29UPG now has the capability of hitting the ground and naval targets (both static and moving) and with weapons of high precision.

DAC approves more deals

At the DAC meeting headed by the defence minister Rajnath Singh, cleared proposals worth Rs 38900 crore.

At today’s meeting the focus was on indigenous design and development of various platforms and their acquisitions from the private Industry of Rs 31,130 crore.

According to the MoD, these equipment are to be manufactured locally with the help of the several MSMEs as the prime tier vendors and defence industry and these systems should have indigenous content.

Read| Govt to fast track acquisition of Su-30 and MiG-29 fighters for the IAF in face of the situation along the border

Several projects have been made possible due to Transfer of Technology by DRDO to the local industry and these include Long Range Land Attack Cruise Missile Systems and Astra Missiles for Navy and Air Force, Pinaka ammunitions, BMP armament upgrades and Software Defined Radios for the Army. “The cost of these Design and Development proposals is in the range of Rs 20400 crore,” stated MoD.

Also, with the acquisition of new/additional missile systems more firepower will be added in the three services.

With the acquisition of Pinaka missile systems, additional regiments over and above the ones already inducted will be raised. The addition of Long-Range Land Attack Missile Systems having a firing range of 1000 Km to the existing arsenal will bolster the attack capabilities of the Navy and the Air Force.

And the induction of Astra Missiles with Beyond Visual Range capability will be a force multiplier and will enhance the strike capability of Navy and Air Force.

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