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Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari recently addressed concerns regarding the impact of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine on the IAF’s fleet of Russian-made aircraft.

Chaudhari highlighted the IAF’s proactive approach towards “Indianization,” a strategy that involves manufacturing crucial components for its aircraft within India. This initiative has significantly reduced dependence on foreign suppliers, including Russia, for spare parts. As a result, the Ukraine conflict has had a minimal effect on the supply of spares for many Russian aircraft operated by the IAF.

However, Chaudhari acknowledged that some Russian systems are experiencing disruptions in spare parts supply. While he did not disclose the specific systems affected, a source at suggests that spares for the IL-76 heavy transport aircraft and older Russian air defense systems might be facing challenges.

The IAF is actively addressing these potential shortfalls. According to the source, the IAF is collaborating with local companies to develop indigenous substitutes for the affected spare parts. This long-term strategy aims to minimize reliance on external suppliers and ensure the operational readiness of the IAF’s entire fleet.

The IAF’s focus on Indianization and its efforts to develop domestic alternatives demonstrate a proactive approach to maintaining its combat capabilities amidst a global geopolitical crisis. While the full extent of the Ukraine conflict’s impact on certain Russian systems remains to be seen, the IAF’s commitment to self-reliance positions it to weather these challenges effectively.

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