IAF ‘harvesting organs’ of globally retired jets
NEW DELHI: Confronted with a fast-depleting number of fighter squadrons, and long delays in new inductions, the IAF is scrambling around the globe to acquire old jets retired and mothballed by other countries to bolster its existing combat fleet.
The hunt for airframes and spares has been particularly successful for the British-origin Jaguar strike fighters, with transfer of “assets” from Oman, France and the UK, which IAF will cannibalize for operational flexibility of its jets.
“IAF currently has 118 Jaguars (26 of them twin-seaters) but their operational availability has drastically gone down because of obsolescence, shortage of spares and closing down of assembly lines by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL). So, the search for airframes and spares from different countries is under way,” a defence ministry source said.
Simultaneously, IAF and HAL are also finalising the long-delayed $1.5 billion project to “re-engine” and upgrade five Jaguar squadrons (80 fighters), which also have a maritime strike and nuclear delivery role. IAF had inducted 40 Jaguars from the UK beginning 1979, which was followed up by licensed production of around 150 fighters by HAL.
But with progressive upgrades of avionics and weapon systems, the overweight fighters have been dogged by their “under-powered” Adour-811 engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce, with several accidents and loss of lives.
“France and the UK retired their Jaguars in 2005-2007. But after the Jaguars in IAF get new F-125IN Honeywell engines and upgrades, they can easily be flown beyond 2035,” the source said.
But that is in the future. For now, IAF is all excited about getting hold of 31 Jaguar airframes from France, two airframes, eight engines and 3,500 lines of spares from Oman, and two twin-seat jets and 619 lines of rotables from the UK. “While France and Oman have given them free, with India only bearing the shipping cost, the UK has charged Rs 2.8 crore,” the source said.
France was more than eager to “gift” its Jaguars, which will be shipped to India by December after dismantling by HAL, once India inked the Rs 59,000 crore (¤7.87 billion) contract for 36 new Rafales.
France, which has to deliver the 36 Rafales between November 2019 and April 2022, is also among the six contenders to bag India’s recently relaunched $20 billion competition for acquiring 114 fighters.
But this project will take time to be finalised, and just 36 Rafales will not do much to stem IAF’s depleting fighter strength.
IAF, after all, is down to just 31 fighter squadrons (16-18 jets in each) when at least 42 are required to address the twin threats from Pakistan and China. The number will continue to decline, with 10 squadrons of virtually obsolete MiG-21s and MiG-27s slated for retirement by 2024 as well as the continuing delay in production of the indigenous Tejas light combat aircraft, which last month missed yet another deadline to become fully combat-ready, as was first reported by TOI.
原创翻译：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45633.html 译者：Joyceliu
Good Idea. What Congress UPA were doing from last 10 years. Now Modi ji is struggling on all fronts alone and Congressculars are still busy in setting their families.
Vihin-Nihiv-6 hours ago-Follow
Next time when China will attack, show them the purchase order copy of Rafael Jet. They will afraid and run away like dogs.
Jai Shri Ram-6 hours ago-Follow
The 10 year gap in defence acquisitions between 2004 and 2014 has begun to tell. It is pathetic for the IAF to scour international markets for old discarded planes and parts and have them donated to it for free. What is the image of India in this situation?
I love Saffron-india-6 hours ago-Follow
IT SEEMS THAT HEAD LINE HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY AN ANTI-INDIAN. WE RESPECT OUR FORCES AS MUCH WE RESPECT MOTHER INDIA.
Rai Saheb-3 hours ago-Follow
Congress sat on the decision of buying 126 fighter jets for 10 years. Defense purchase for them was no priority. Only priority for them was distributing freebies to Muslims, reservation, jobs, and financial assistance to them. There are 29% of Muslims across India and secular parties have become lapdog for them. Congress used to clear reservation bills for Muslims in few hours. Former PM Man Mohan Singh had gone maximum for Muslim appeasement and pampering. MMS have screwed India beyond repair. Congress was planning to offer Siachin and Kashmir to Pakistan. Probably, that could have been reason former army chief VK Singh was moving army from UP to dislodge him out of power.
Hridoy-3 hours ago-Follow
TO SAVE THE COUNTRY THROW OUT CONGRESS PARTY AND RAHUL TO ITALY SO THEY CAN NOT MESS THE COUNTRY LIKE IT DID AFTER INDIRA'S DEATH.
MrBoobs-Right Here-5 hours ago-Follow
How much can Modi do? Can Modi speed up deliveries of arms and fighter jets? Can Modi speed up a million things that have been left neglected by COngress because it was and it is too busy looting India?