IAF has seven commands including Western, Eastern, Central, South Western, Southern, Training, and Maintenance. The active-duty force of the IAF is approximately 140,000.
The IAF which operates more than 1,700 aircraft, including approximately 900 combat aircraft, has recently inducted several lethal flying machines, which give an edge to India over Pakistan and China in case of a war.
1) Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters enable the IAF to perform day/night, all-weather attack missions especially in rugged mountain regions of Indo-China borders. They are stealthy, versatile machines, designed for all kinds of missions.
It replaces Russian MI 35.
2) HALs indigenously Light Combat Helicopters (LCH) and Rudra attack helicopters are dedicated for combat missions. The IAF has deployed the home-grown Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas on the western front along the Pakistan border.
3) Chinook: India has an advanced rotorcraft fleet making it a strong contender to China. The IAF’s CH-47F Chinook, Mil Mi-26, Mil Mi-8, Mil Mi-17, Mi-17 1V, and Mi-17V 5 are intended for heavy and medium-lift strategic and utility roles.
4) C-17 Globemaster III: India’s state-of-the-art strategic air lifters, including the C-17 and C-130J, ensure rapid transfer of equipment and supplies to airbases near the LAC, which is the need of the hour for ground forces on the battlefield
5) DRDO’s Anti-Drone System: An anti-drone system developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) can detect and jam micro drones up to 3 kilometres and use laser to bring down a target up to 1-2.5 kilometres depending on the wattage of laser weapon.
6) AEW&C system: The IAF currently operates indigenously developed DRDO’s AEW&C system, which is based on the Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft, and the EL/W-2090 Phalcon AEW&C installed on the Beriev A-50 platform.
7) AN-32 transport aircraft: As compared to China, the IAF owns AN-32 transport aircraft and multi-role fighters for crucial bombing missions.
8) MiG-29 & Jaguars: The IAF fleet also includes all-weather MiG-29 multi-role aircraft and Jaguar all-weather attack aircraft.
9) Sukhoi Su-30 MKI: Sukhoi Su-30MKI serves the IAF as the primary air superiority fighter with the capability to perform air-to-ground strike missions.270+ Su-30MKIs and is fielding HAL-developed Tejas 4th-generation multi-role light fighters to replace MiG-21
10) Rafale: As compared to China’s Chengdu J-20, which is a 5th generation combat jet, the performance of Rafale hs already been witnessed in Afghanistan, Libya n Mali. Rafale hs bn customized acc to India’s warfare experience n is nuclear-capable fighter jets unlike Pak’s F-16.
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