The Indian Air Force (IAF) is currently going through modernization phase as most of IAF assets is going to retire soon and new platforms is going to take their places.
In coming years IAF is going to sign many new deals that directly going to replace the existing fleets or will fill the critical requirements of Indian Air Force.
The sudden conflict with China in Eastern Ladakh also forced IAF to modernize its platforms and equipment as soon as possible.
From Tejas MK1A to Light Combat Aircraft, here are the 6 deals that IAF going to sign in coming future.
1. 83 Tejas MK1A
The order 83 Light Combat Aircraft Tejas MK1A is one of the most anticipated deal and is going to sign by the end of FY 2020-2021 i.e. by March 2021.
Earlier there was rumoured that the deal for MK1A is going to sign during Aero India 2020, but it wasn’t and the date pushed by the end of 2020 and now the date is even pushed further by the end of FY 2020-21.
The deal for 83 Tejas Mk1A is going to cost somewhere around Rs 38,000 crore and once the deal will sign, it will take around 24-36 months to roll out first MK1A fighter from HAL facility.
The indigenous Tejas aircraft including MK1 & MK1A is going to replace the vintage MiG-21 Bison fleet in IAF.
2. 12 Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
Su-30 MKI is in the service of IAF from last 16 years now and as of now 10 Sukhoi have been lost in accidents and to fill the space of these 10 aircrafts, DAC already approved the deal for additional jets.
Most likely the deal for 12 Su-30 MKI from HAL is going to sign by the end of FY 2020-21 i.e. by March 2021 at the cost of Rs 10,730 crore.
3. 21 MiG-29 UPG
In order to sustain depleting squadron strength of IAF, DAC approved the procurement of 21 MiG-29 UPG for Air Force.
Although the experience with MiG’s aircrafts is not good for India but as IAF already operating MiG-29 in good number, 21 additional MiG will help IAF to maintain its squadron strength as Air Force pilots already well aware of this aircrafts and the new jeta will become operational as soon as they land in India.
The procurement of 21 additional birds and the upgradation of existing MiG-29 fleets will cost Rs 7,418 crore.
This deal is also planned to sign by March 2021.
4. 65 LCH (Light Combat Helicopter)
The order for indigenous Light Combat Helicopter from HAL is also very anticipated. LCH is already completed its trial and it is declared ready for production in February 2020. HAL’s Helicopter Division, based in Bangalore, has established a dedicated hangar to accommodate the LCH assembly line.
A total 162 order for LCH is planned, 65 for Indian Air Force and 97 for Army.
But unfortunately HAL is still waiting for order from Army or Air Force, maybe armed forces is suffering budget crunch or its just a bureaucratic delay.
Although it wasn’t clear that whether Army or Air Force going to order LCH first but definitely IAF is going to procure LCH in coming future.
5. 61 LUH (Light Utility Helicopter)
HAL’s Light Utility Helicopter successfully demonstrated its capabilities and is going to replace ageing Cheetah and Chetak light helicopters fleets in Armed Forces.
LUH has already received its Initial Operational Clearance for IAF variant in 2020 and The Final Operational Clearance (FOC) is planned for 2021.
The Indian armed forces have a requirement for 384 helicopters of which 187 helicopters will be LUH and the rest will be filled by Russian Ka-226T.
Of the 187 helicopters planned to be ordered, 126 LUH is planned for the Indian Army with the remaining 61 for the Indian Air Force and IAF is going to sign the deal for LUH very soon.
6. 65 Kamov Ka-226T
The deal for 65 Kamov Ka-226T is also in the final stage and by the end of FY 2021-22, most likely the contract is going sign with Russia.
As mentioned above Ka-226T will replace India’s ageing light helicopter fleets. While the intergovernmental agreements were signed are a long time ago, a formal contract is still pending.
Indian Armed Forces is going to procure 200 Ka-226T, out of 200 helicopters, 135 units will be made for Army and the rest 65 helicopter is for Air Force.
The timeline for the contract of different equipments as mentioned above may get delayed, at last it will depend upon IAF and on the bureaucrats.