Indian Air Force will upgrade its 120 Jaguar aircraft with Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and new Honeywell F-125N engines.
During his customary annual press conference ahead of the Air Force Day on October 8, the IAF Chief of Air Staff Arup Raha said: “The air force has plans to re-engine its fleet of Anglo-French Jaguar strike aircraft”.
The aircraft will also be equipped with indigenous DARIN-3 navigation-attack systems and the smart CBU-105 “sensor fuzed weapons” that India bought from Textron, USA, Raha said.
Honeywell will be supplying 270 F125IN turbofan engines to replace the twin Rolls-Royce Adour Mk 821s on 120 Jaguars.
The F125 is 600 pounds lighter and should enable 25-percent-shorter hot-and-high takeoffs. India’s Jaguars have become overweight and underpowered because of avionics and systems upgrades, Raha said. Honeywell will first be required to conduct a trial modification of the Jaguars with the new engines. The plan was first mooted in 2012.
Raha also confirmed acquisition of 36 Dassault Rafales for which the IAF has signed a contract recently. “We’d like more, but the decision has to be taken in the near future based on capability and price,” he added. The version for India would be more lethal than the French and other recent international versions.