The central government is constantly trying to strengthen the Indian Air Force in view of the recent security challenges posed. The government is inducting new fighter jets into the Air Force fleet or equipping older aircraft with new technologies.
In this episode, the Indian Air Force is set to acquire 21 new MiG-29 fighter jets from Russia and equip them with indigenous weapon systems such as Astra Air to Air Missiles. This will make this aircraft more lethal. According to defense sources, the proposal for the acquisition of 21 MiG-29s will be placed before the Defense Acquisition Council soon.
The Indian Air Force wants to upgrade the MiG-29 to the new MiG-29, which are already in service. The Indian Air Force also wants the aircraft to be equipped with Indian weapon systems, including Astra missiles. After the deal, the aircraft will be equipped with other indigenous equipment and weapons, sources said.
The news of promotion of indigenous weapons comes at a time when Indian Air Force Chief RKS Bhadoria has made it clear that the Air Force will fully support indigenous efforts such as the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas and the fifth-generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft Program.
The MiG-29 is flown by the Indian Air Force and pilots are familiar with it, but the items offered by the Russians are different from the Indian list. The Indian Navy operates the MiG-29 ‘K’ and is the sole operator of this variant of the aircraft. Let us tell you that the MiG-21 fighter aircraft played a very important role in the recent Balakot Airstrike.