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SOURCE: AFI

In a rare treat for defense enthusiasts, the Indian Air Force (IAF) recently shared an image on its X platform (formerly Twitter) showcasing its fleet of Jaguar IM maritime strike fighters equipped with AGM-84L Harpoon anti-ship missiles. This image sent a wave of excitement through the defense community, highlighting the capabilities of this specialized unit.

The IAF operates 10 Jaguar IM aircraft within its No. 6 Squadron, specifically dedicated to maritime strike missions. These jets have undergone significant upgrades over the years, receiving IAI ELta’s EL/M-2032 radar and improved electronic defense systems. Prior to the integration of the Harpoon missiles, the Jaguar IMs carried Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles.

In September 2010, India procured 24 Harpoon Block II missiles from Boeing to bolster the offensive capabilities of its Jaguar fleet. This acquisition significantly enhanced the air force’s ability to conduct long-range, over-the-horizon anti-ship attacks, deterring potential maritime threats and safeguarding India’s strategic interests.

The image shared by the IAF sparked discussions and analysis among defense experts. Some commentators lauded the visual as a testament to India’s growing maritime prowess and commitment to safeguarding its vast coastline. Others emphasized the strategic significance of the Jaguar IM fleet, underlining its role in maintaining regional stability and deterring adversaries.

While the exact context and purpose of the IAF’s image sharing remain unclear, it undoubtedly served to generate interest and discussion within the defense community. It also offered a glimpse into the capabilities of the IAF’s maritime strike arm, equipped with modern weaponry and dedicated to protecting India’s maritime interests.