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The Indian Air Force (IAF) has outlined its plans to retire the Jaguar strike aircraft from its fleet starting in 2027-28. The retirement process will begin with one squadron and will be carried out in multiple phases, with the complete phase-out expected to be accomplished by 2035.

Both the IAF and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) have developed comprehensive plans to sustain the Jaguar fleet until 2035. Even the latest upgraded Darin-III standard Jaguar fighter jets, equipped with the advanced ELM-2052 AESA Radar from Israel and featuring an overwing ASRAAM Close Combat Missile configuration, will be gradually phased out.

To maintain the current fleet, especially for addressing airframe defects and damages, the IAF received retired Jaguar aircraft from France as a gift after India concluded a deal for 36 Rafale aircraft. The Jaguar aircraft were initially acquired from 1975 onwards and were manufactured in India under license by HAL. It is estimated that approximately 80 Jaguar jets are currently operational in the IAF.

The IAF intends to replace the Jaguar fleet with the locally produced Tejas MkII aircraft, which is scheduled to enter production sometime in late this decade onwards. This transition signifies the IAF’s commitment to utilizing indigenous aircraft for its operational requirements.

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