Modernization of the Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air warfare wing of the Indian Armed Forces. By virtue of the size of its personnel (140,000+) and aircraft assets (nearly 1800), it ranks as the fourth largest amongst all the air forces of the world (only the airforces of United States, China, and Russia are larger). The primary mission of the Indian Air Force is to secure the Indian airspace from foreign adversaries and to conduct aerial warfare if any armed conflict breaks out.
Future Plans of the Indian Air Force
To maintain its technological edge and to replace any lost or retired aircraft, the Indian Force is looking forward to inducting several new aircraft in the near future. This includes 36 Rafales (France), 120 HAL Tejas fighters (India), 65 HAL Light Combat Helicopters (India), 139 Mi-17V-5 helicopters (Russia), over 18 SPYDER Surface to Air Missile (SAM) (Isreal), 6 Airbus A330 MRTT air transport/refuelers (Europe), 22 AH-64E Apache Longbow heavy attack helicopters (US), 15 CH-47F medium-lift helicopters (US) and new IAI Harop UCAVs (Isreal).
Why is it in the news?
The U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing has the IAF the first 4 of the 22 Apache attack helicopters.
The AH-64E Apache is, arguably, the world?s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter.
It is the only available combat helicopter with the capability to perform a spectrum of missions.
It performs missions that include reconnaissance, security, peacekeeping operations, and lethal attack – in both land and brown water environments.