Current IAF modernisation to be completed by 2022
Signalling a push to modernisation of air power asserts and shoring up of dwindling squadron strength, IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne said on June 30 that the current spate of IAF modernisation would be complete by 2022. “All the contracts which are signed during the 11th Plan are about ` 1.12 lakh crore and they will be executed till 2017. At least 65 to 70 per cent of modernisation will be accomplished by 2017, and the rest by 2022. So 12th and 13th Five-Year Plans are very crucial for IAF,” said the IAF Chief. The massive capital commitment includes the monumental medium multirole combat aircraft (MMRCA), likely to be contracted to Dassault Aviation by the end of this year for 126 Rafale jets, primary trainer aircraft, Boeing C-17 Globemaster-III heavy lift transports, many more medium transports and several miscellaneous special mission aircraft and helicopters. In addition, the IAF will be investing in backbone network-centric architecture to consolidate AFNET, and begin investments in space-based assets as well. The IAF, as is well known, has also been pitching for a dedicated military satellite. The major thrust of procurement will be to shore up combat strength, and slowly pull squadron numbers up from 34 to 42—the ideal figure sanctioned to the IAF.
Pilatus PC-7 Mk.2