Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Indian Air Force to induct 400 new aircraft

The Indian Air Force (IAF) will soon acquire over 400 new aircraft into its fleet, including advanced fighter and transport aircraft in order to augment its fleet in tune with its changing requirements, said Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, said here on Saturday.

He was speaking to presspersons after reviewing an impressive Combined Graduation Parade at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal here. He said about 200 to 250 fighter aircraft, including 126 medium multi-role combat planes, C-70 and C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, apart from air-to-air refuelling planes would be inducted into the fleet. Besides, attack helicopters would be inducted from January, 2011 he said, apart from special heavyweight and VIP transport aircraft.

Asked whether the IAF would play a role in anti-insurgency and anti-extremist operations, he said the IAF was at the disposal of the government. “Our roles will be specified by the government and we are equipped to take on any challenge,” he said, adding that whenever asked for, the IAF was pressing its aircraft into service for such operations.

To another question about deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), he said their role was vital as they could stay up in the air for durations ranging from 24 to 30 hours. However, he said it unfair to call them ‘unmanned' as they required the intervention of humans. They could at best be described as remotely-piloted vehicles, he said. Addressing the parade earlier, the Air Chief Marshal said the IAF was poised to see a major transformation in the future, with technology playing a major role. “You need to prepare for change, absorb and operationalise the changing technology,” he said.

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