MODERNISATION OF JAGUARS OF THE IAF
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is currently in the middle of a major $3 billion modernisation programme of its 118 Jaguar ground attack fighters which involves fitting of new engines, new avionics, communication equipment and AESA radars. The effort will probably continue for the next five years and will extend the operational life of the aircraft by another 20 years. The Jaguar made its maiden flight in 1968 and was produced in 23 variants. The IAF placed a $1 billion order in 1978 to procure 40 Jaguars and license to build 120 Jaguar aircraft at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under the local designation Shamsher. Main contractor will be India’s state-owned HAL which will receive decommissioned Jaguar fighters from France and Oman free of charge and will buy more planes from the UK at a throwaway price.