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India’s defense landscape is undergoing a transformation, with the Indian Air Force (IAF) poised to present a compelling proposal at the upcoming meeting of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) under the leadership of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. The proposal includes a request for approval to acquire an additional 97 Tejas Mk1A fighter jets, Super-30 upgrades for 84 Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft, and other critical enhancements, marking a significant stride in India’s modernization efforts.

The 97 additional Tejas Mk1A fighter jets are a follow-up to the 73 Tejas Mk1A units that received the green light for acquisition in 2021. The IAF, in collaboration with the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), is poised to determine whether any substantial modifications are required for these new jets or if they can be tailored to boost indigenous content, effectively minimizing the potential for system obsolescence. This commitment to indigenization reflects India’s resolve to strengthen its self-reliance in the defense sector.

Simultaneously, the IAF is seeking approval for Super-30 upgrades for 84 Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft, a program set to commence in 2025. To facilitate these upgrades, the IAF is planning to designate two Su-30MKI aircraft as flying test-beds, marking a pivotal step in enhancing the capabilities of these formidable fighter planes. The Super-30 program is expected to usher in a new era of advanced features and performance enhancements for the Sukhoi-30MKI fleet.

In addition to these initiatives, the IAF is actively pursuing clearance for the acquisition of 66 Light Combat Helicopters (LCH). This endeavor aligns with the Indian Army’s ambitions to acquire a total of 155 LCH helicopters, with 90 allocated for the Indian Army. The LCH is a versatile and potent addition to India’s aerial arsenal, capable of executing a wide range of missions, including combat and reconnaissance.

These proposals, poised to be presented at the DAC meeting, underscore India’s unwavering commitment to modernize and bolster its defense capabilities. The anticipated acquisitions and upgrades represent a significant step forward in ensuring the nation’s security and preparedness in the face of evolving challenges. As India forges ahead in its defense modernization journey, it stands poised to meet these challenges head-on and further enhance its defense capabilities on both land and in the air.

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