India has been importing fighter jet planes for Indian Air Force since independence. No Indian private company has ever made an indigenous fighter jet plane even though many have expressed interest like the Tata Advanced Systems, Adani Defence, Relaince Defence and Bharat Forge Limited.
However after inviting FDI in Defence many foreign companies have tied up with domestic private companies in India and started manufacturing fighter jet planes. Reliance Defence along with France Dassault Aviation is manufacturing components of Rafale fighters. Tata Advanced Systems along with Lockheed Martin is planning to manufacture F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Similarly Adani Defence has announced its association with Sweden’s Saab AB to make the Gripen Jet.
Here we will discuss
- History of Indian Air Force (IAF)
- The List of Fighter Aircrafts Indian Air Force owns
- Career in Indian Air Force
- The bottom line
History of Indian Air Force (IAF)
The Indian Air Force was established in the British in the year 1932. It was established as an auxiliary arm of Royal Air Force with the enactment of Indian Air Force Act 1932. The uniform, badges and insignia were of Royal Air Force itself. Ever since the air force wing of the defence have played a crucial role in many major war like situations.
World War II was officially first war that Indian Air Force has taken part in. After WW II many other unfortunate events have called for participation of the Air Force Wing. The partition in 1947, First Kashmir War in 1947, Congo Crisis 1961, Sino-India War 1962, Second Kashmir War 1965, Bangladesh Liberation War 1971 and Operation Meghadoot 1984, Operation Poomalai 1987, Opertion Pawan and Kargil 1999 are some of the events.
The List of Fighter Aircrafts Indian Air Force owns
The Indian Air Force owns military equipment and aircrafts that are made in Russia, Britain, United States, France, and Israel with Russian equipment dominating the inventory. The aircrafts bought from these countries are given specific name and also widely differ in terms of their performance, use, etc. Some of the fighter planes are:
This jet plane is the latest addition to the Indian Air Force inventory. It is a French twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft. It is designed to perform air supremacy, interdiction, ground support, in depth strike, anti ship strike and nuclear deterrence mission etc. France is the sole developer of airframe, avionics, propulsion system and armament. The design of this jet fighter is such that it has very high level of agility.
Sukhoi fighter jets
The Sukhoi fighter jet planes of the Indian Air Force are made in Russia exclusive for Indian defence inventory. It is a heavy, all weather, and long range fighter. This version of fighter plane was tailor made for Indian requirements by a Russian Defence company. The manufacturing methods have kept in mind specifications given by the Indian government. Though it was made in Russia it contained French and Israeli sub-systems.
MIG Fighter Jets
This series of fighter planes were also made by a Russian manufacturing company which was previous known as Mikoyan. The MIG-29 flight which is one of the many fighter planes made b this company is a dedicated air superiority fighter. MIG-21 another from the same series is an inceptor aircraft in the series. Though the government has phased out most of the MIG-21s they are planning for a re-launch in 2021.
Apart from the fighter jet planes Indian Air Force also own combat Helicopters as well. The Apache helicopters are a series of combat aircraft helicopters which are manufactured b an American company. It is a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tail wheel type landing gear arrangement.
Chetak Helicopters are manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited and also a French defence equipment manufacturing company. This version of the aircraft is multipurpose. It is suitable for commuting, cargo, material transport, casualty evacuation, search and rescue operation, patrolling, emergency medical services, for disaster management etc. Till date Hindustan Aeronautical Limited has manufactured and transported nearly 350 helicopters.
Career in Indian Air Force
Making a career in Indian Air force is very rewarding in many ways. Working for the Air Force means working in between many fighter jets, combat aircrafts etc. The Indian Air force has job opportunities for graduates as well as students who have just finished their schooling. This makes for a great start for a successful career.
The Bottom Line
Indian government is planning for a major overhaul of its defence equipment. In this exercise the government is planning to procure fighter jets from United States of America and also Russia at the same time. The government is also believed to indulge in some technology transfer in terms of manufacturing of fighter jet planes, combat aircraft etc.
Post the invitation of Foreign Direct Investment in Defence sector many Indian companies have signed agreements with some of the popular defence equipment manufacturing companies of the world. This has increased the manufacturing capacity of those Indian companies.
India gets Rafale fighter jets from France, this makes IAF even more powerful. Do you know how powerful Rafale fighter jets are?