Indian Air Force To Boost Air Combat Capabilities, Will Spend $35 Billion

  • 12:00 AM, September 21, 2012
  • 2086
Over the next 10 years, India will spend over $35 billion increasing its air combat power capabilities. Deputy Chief of air staff Air Marshal R K Sharma made the statement during the "Energizing the Aerospace Industry in India" seminar on Thursday. The Indian Air Force will spend $35 billion on capital procurements during the 12th (2012-2017) and 13th (2017-2022) Plans while emphasizing the "huge potential" for the private sector to work in the defence sector. The new Plan will be developed in an effort to counter threats from neighboring countries, mainly China and Pakistan, who has been actively fortifying their militaries. The IAF is currently operating just 33-34 fighter squadrons as the MiGs are being phased out. It won’t be until 2017 that the Air Force is back to full strength with 40 squadrons. Earlier this year, India awarded a $20 billion contract to France’s Dassault in the MMRCA Project for the supply of 125 Rafale aircraft while actively inducting 270 Sukhoi 30MKIs worth $12 billion. From 2022, the IAF plans to begin operating over 200 5th Gen swing-role fighters. Over the next 20 years, India will spend about $35 billion on the futuristic fighter program. Meanwhile India and Russia are expected to sign the $11 billion R&D contract early next year.
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