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India redoubles efforts to make up fighter squadron shortfall

28th February 2023 - 13:30 GMT | by Neelam Mathews in Delhi


India is looking to increase its orders for Tejas LCA combat aircraft as it faces a shortfall of 12 fighter squadrons. (Photo: Indian Air Force)

Mindful of the need to defend its border with China, India is evaluating how to overcome a shortfall of 12 fighter aircraft squadrons over the next decade.

Clashes with China over the past few years in Eastern Ladakh have pushed India into re-evaluating and speeding up development of delayed combat aircraft programmes.

The Indian Air Force's (IAF's) plan to order 50 more HAL Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Mk 1As comes at a time when the service is trying to address the depletion of its fighter aircraft squadron strength. 

The delayed $20 billion procurement of 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFAs) will create a shortfall of 12 fighter squadrons into the mid-2030s. 

Five MiG-21-equipped squadrons are due to stand down by 2025, and under current plans, the MRFA RfP is unlikely

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Neelam Mathews


Neelam Mathews

Neelam Mathews was born in India and completed her education in London.

She has written for …

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