Hindon (UP), Oct 8 (IANS) The Indian Air Force will help the country’s firms in playing a major role in its fleet sustenance, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria said here on Tuesday, days after asserting that there will be no imports in the foreseeable future to replace the IAF’s ageing aircraft.
In his address on the 87th Foundation Day of the IAF, he said the force is committed to building strategic autonomy through indigenous design and manufacturing under the ‘Make-in-India’ initiative of the government.
“We will help Indian firms to play a major role in our fleet sustenance,” said Bhadauria.
Last week, he said there will be no imports whatsoever in the foreseeable future to replace the ageing aircrafts or increasing the fleet strength.
The IAF is short of at least 10-12 squadrons of fighter jets and the existing Bison and non-Bison versions of the MiG-21 planes are also set to be decommissioned very soon.
“The development of the indigenous fifth generation Advanced Multirole Combat Aircraft (AMCA) has been launched,” the Air Chief said.
The manufacture of the AMCA by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is being given priority by the government to make up for the depleting strength of the IAF.
“I am also happy to say that in the air force the nodal technology centres at the base depots have successfully completed 40 indigenous projects over the past one year with the help of industry, R&D centres and academia. Another 122 projects are in the pipeline,” he added.