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SOURCE: DNA INDIA

The acquisition of Rafale fighter jets and S-400 missile system will greatly enhance the Indian Air Force’s combat prowess giving it an edge over its neighbours, Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria said on the Air Force Day on Friday. The first four of 36 Rafale jets are expected to be delivered to India by May 2020 while the S-400 missile system is likely to be delivered in the early months of 2021.

Air Chief Bhadauria also made a big push for ‘Make in India’ as he ruled out the possibility of India opting for a foreign Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) or imported trainer. He also made it clear that the Indian air-to-air missile Astra — which has undergone several rounds of successful tests and is said to have a better range than the Russian R77 missiles used onboard the Su-30 MKI — will be inducted across platforms.

“The IAF remains committed to indigenous development in consonance with the Make in India initiative of the Prime Minister…I intend to carry forward this legacy and proactively ensure that indigenisation remains one of our main focus areas and, in times to come, indigenised equipment becomes our mainstay,” Air Chef Bhadauria said.