The IAF is set to acquire Akash missiles as per a Rs 499 crore contract signed with Bharat Dynamics
These recent defence deals will aid in protecting our India’s airspace and strengthen the IAF’s capabilities
Every year, Indian Air Force (IAF) Day is celebrated on 8 October to commemorate the establishment of the IAF as well as honour its contributions in strengthening the national security of the country.
The IAF came into existence as a supporting wing of the UK’s Royal Air Force in 1932 and will celebrate its 89th Foundation Day this year. As the country celebrates the achievements of the IAF, here is a look at the recent defence deals that will benefit the organisation in protecting our country’s airspace:
24 Mirage-2000 Aircraft
The Indian government recently inked a deal to buy phased out Mirage-2000 aircraft from the French Air Force. The deal was signed “to improve the spares and airframe capability to help improve the serviceability of the around 50 Mirage-2000s in the Indian fleet,” according to a report in Business Standard. The contract has been signed for the force to acquire 24 Mirage aircraft.
BDL Akash Missiles
The IAF is set to acquire Akash missiles, manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), as per a Rs 499 crore contract signed by the two in July this year. The missile, which has been test-fired on several occasions, is capable of engaging aerial threats up to the maximum range of 25 kilometre and up to an altitude of 20 kilometre.
The missile operates at a speed range of 1.8 to 2.5 Mach and is being manufactured for both the IAF and the Indian Army. BDL is considered the prime production company under the country’s Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and Akash Missile is considered to be one of the best missiles in its category.
The Union government signed a Rs 38,000 crore deal with state-run company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd to procure 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) for the IAF in February this year. The Tejas aircraft is a highly agile multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft. The single-engine aircraft is capable of operating in high-threat air environments.
56 C-295 Airbus
The IAF is set to gain 56 C-295 medium transport aircraft as the government signed a deal with Airbus Defence and Space, Spain, in September. The IAF fleet will receive 16 aircraft in flyaway condition within 48 months, while a consortium of the Airbus Defence and Space and TATA Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) will manufacture 40 planes in India within 10 years of signing the contract.
The C-295 transport plane will replace the IAF’s ageing fleet of Avro-748 planes. It can also be used for tactical transport of up to 51 paratroopers or 71 troops.
The IAF signed a contract of Rs 155 crore for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CUAS) with Hyderabad-based Zen Technologies in September this year. This will be carried out in a 12-month time frame, according to the company and is aimed at improving the IAF’s capabilities in the anti-drone space.