Asserting that Indian Air Force (IAF) is moving in the right direction at the required pace to be counted among the top air forces of the world in times to come, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria on Monday said it is fully committed towards the indigenous development of modern aviation platforms and systems in consonance with the Prime Minister’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.

The IAF chief also mentioned the scope for private sector’s involvement in the aerospace ecosystem development. “The requirements of the IAF would be best met with the effective mix and public and private partnership. We see a major opportunity for the private sector as we go along and feel that our requirements would be best met with the effective mix of public and private sector partnership in our aerospace ecosystem development,” he said.

“We have placed our trust in Light Combat Aircraft, and in the next five years, we will commence induction of 83 LCA Mark 1As. You will soon see the contracts for HTT-40 and Light Combat Helicopter in this area,” he said while addressing the media during the annual Air Force Day meet.

“We have operationalised Rafales, Chinooks, Apache and integrated them with our concept of operations in record time. In the next three years, we will see Rafale and LCA Mark 1 squadrons operating with full strength, along with additional MiG-29 being ordered in addition to current fleets,” he went on to say.

He added they have initiated processes for developing indigenous combat systems with sixth-generation technologies, including things like directed energy weapons for the future.

Notably, the newly-inducted Rafale fighter aircraft will fly in ‘Vijay’ formation, along with the Jaguars and then in the ‘Transformer’ formation with the Sukhoi Su-30MKI and LCA Tejas fighter aircraft during the Air Force Day parade this year. Additionally, 56 aircraft, including 19 fighters and seven transport, along with 19 helicopters will also take part in the aerial display.