Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari while delivering a lecture at the 20th Major General Samir Sinha Memorial denied any talks being held with Russia on leasing Six Tu-160 strategic bombers that has been going around for the last few weeks after former Air Chief Arup Raha had supported the operating a squadron of Tu-160 strategic bomber for Nuclear delivery by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC)

Chaudhari argued that the Tu-160 which was designed in the ’60s requires escorts and had no self-defense systems of its own and the IAF will rather prefer long-range weapons to take out targets. Air Chief also added that IAF simply doesn’t have the budget to operate a fleet of such strategic bombers.

IAF is doing away even with fighter bomber types as it recently retired Mig-27 Ground Strike aircraft and has plans to completely retire Jaguar Deep Strike fighter bomber jets from its inventory from 2034 onwards and has no plans to procure such types as it will rely more on multi-role fighter jets for the same roles.

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