Indian Air Force (IAF) will be retiring 4 squadrons of Mig-21Bis starting from this year till 2025 and now also has revealed that nearly 3 squadrons of the upgraded Mig-29UPG that were procured in the mid-’80s to counter Pakistan’s Purchase of 40 F-16A/B will also be retired beginning from 2027 onwards.

Mig-29UPG squadrons that will be number plated one each per year and will be getting Tejas Mk2, a Medium-weight fighter jet from 2028-29 onwards. In the next 5 years, IAF also has plans to start retiring some of the older Jaguar DARIN-I and DARIN-II Jaguar ground-strike aircraft but the whole fleet will continue till 2034, but only upgraded Jaguar DARIN-III will fly past 2030.

IAF in the next 15 years is planning to induct nearly 340 fighter jets, that includes 40 AMCA Mk1, 83 Tejas Mk1A, 106 Tejas Mk2, and 114 MRFA jets. In this period, IAF will be retiring 4 Squadrons of Mig-21, 3 Squadrons of Mig-29, 3 Squadrons of Jaguar DARIN-II, and 3 Squadrons of Jaguar DARIN-III.

It is also likely that IAF might procure up to 3 squadrons of dual-use trainer cum combat jets based on the LCA Trainer configuration called LCA LIFT. While IAF is still tight-lipped about its plans for the 3 squadrons of Mirage-2000-5 that it operates but it will likely operate beyond 2030.

Tejas Mk2 was to replace all three Mig-29UPG, Jaguar, and Mirage-2000 fighter types and it is likely that after 106 more will be 3 squadrons of Tejas Mk2 will be ordered.

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