In modern warfare, fighter aircraft play a very important role. To win a modern war or at least to defend its territory a country needs a superior and dependable air force fleet.
India as a country, is facing challenges from two frots that are People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Pakistan. To defends its territory India has a large Airforce fleet.
Currently, the Indian Airforce has 7 combat Aircraft in active service with different roles.
In this article, we are going to mention the 7 Deadly Combat Aircraft of the Indian Airforce in active service.
The Dassault Rafale is a French-made twin-engine, multi-role fighter aircraft designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation.
The combat aircraft is Equipped with a wide range of weapons and it is built to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, and nuclear deterrence missions making it one of the most deathly combat aircraft of the Indian airforce.
Around August 2017, India considered ordering 36 more Rafales amid tension with China. By July 2022, a total of 29 Rafales had been received.
The Indian version of Rafale included Indian-specific enhancements like the long-range Meteor air-to-air missile, more capable radio altimeter, radar warning receiver, high altitude engine start-up, low band frequency jammers, advanced communication systems, and missile approach warning systems.
The Sukhoi Su-30 developed and manufactured by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter aircraft. The fighter jet was developed during the Soviet Union era.
It is a multi-role fighter aircraft for all-weather, air-to-air, and air interdiction missions to neutralize enemies.
On 28 December 2000, India and Russia signed a contract worth more than $US3 billion was signed for the license production of 140 Su-30MKI fighters at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) production plant in Nashik.
The combat aircraft was designed and upgraded according to Indian weather and conditions, making it one of the most deadly combat aircraft of the Indian airforce.
The HAL Tejas is an Indian indigenous, single-engine, lightweight multirole fighter, delta wing, designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) in collaboration with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s (HAL) the Aircraft Research and Design Centre (ARDC) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
The Tejas is the second supersonic combat aircraft developed by HAL after the HAL HF-24 Marut. The fighter jet achieved initial operational clearance in 2011 and final clearance in 2019. The first Tejas squadron became operational in the year 2016, as No. 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers replaced Mig-21 with Tejas.
As of now, the Indian airforce has currently 40 Tejas in its arsenal and Tejas Mach 2 is in development. HAL Tejas is considered one of the most deadly combat aircraft of the Indian airforce.
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine combat aircraft designed during the Soviet era and developed by the Mikoyan design bureau. It is an air superiority fighter during the 1970s.
MiG-29 along with the bigger Sukhoi Su-27 was developed to counter new U.S. fighters such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
India was the first global customer of the MiG-29 combat aircraft. The Indian Air Force (IAF) placed an order for around 66 MiG-29s in 1980 during its initial development phase. Since its induction into the IAF in 1985, the aircraft has undergone a series of modifications with the addition of new avionics, radars, trackers, sub-systems, and turbofan engines.
Indian MiG-29s are combat tested and it was used extensively during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir by the Indian Air Force to provide fighter escorts for ground laser-guided bomber Mirage 2000s.
Manufactured by the French company Dassault Aviation, the Mirage 2000 is a multirole, single-engine, fourth-generation jet fighter. The fighter aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as a lightweight fighter to replace the Mirage III for the French Air Force.
On 26 February 2019, the Indian Airforce used 12 Mirage 2000s to strike an alleged Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot, Pakistan.
The Mirage 2000 aircraft played an important role on the battlefield, on the frosty heights of Kargil during the nearly three-month-long clash, and also hit opponent targets bunkered in at the Tiger Hill, besides tasting success at Muntho Dhalo in June 1999, making it one of the most deadly fighter aircraft of Indian airforce.
Earlier the SEPECAT Jaguar was used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force in the close air support and nuclear strike role, still in service with the Indian Air Force.
It is an attack aircraft with close air support and a nuclear strike role. The combat aircraft is used for supersonic performance, aerial reconnaissance missions, and tactical nuclear strike roles.
The aircraft were manufactured by a joint venture between Breguet and the British Aircraft Corporation SEPECAT (Société Européenne de Production de l’avion Ecole de Combat et d’Appui Tactique), one of the first major joint Anglo-French military aircraft programmes.
Indian Jaguars were used to carry out aerial reconnaissance missions in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka between the years 1987 and 1990. They later played an important role in the 1999 Kargil War with Pakistan, dropping both unguided and laser-guided bombs, making it one of the most deadly fighter jets of the Indian Airforce.
One of the oldest combat aircraft owned by the Indian airforce, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic interceptor, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union.
Approximately 60 countries across four continents have used the MiG-21, and it is still serving many nations six decades after its first flight. It made flying records, becoming the most-produced supersonic combat aircraft and the longest production run of any fighter aircraft.
The MiG-21s are combat tested and were put to the test during the Bangladesh Liberation War. During the war, the MiG-21s played a vital role in giving the Indian airforce air superiority over vital points and areas in the western theater of the conflict, making it one of the most deadly combat aircraft of the Indian airforce although it is outdated and called as flying coffin because of several brutal incidents killing many pilots.