The Indian Air Force will retire three more squadrons of 18 aircraft each this year. The units are equipped with either the aging Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 or the MiG-27, defence sources told media in India.
Meanwhile the top brass is hoping to quickly field another unit of Sukhoi Su-30 multi-role fighters, while the strength is going down quickly. With a wished-for strength of 42 squadrons, the Indian Air Force might go down to 32 or 33 in 2015.
Already for some time the Indian Air Force is struggling to keep its older Soviet-era combat fleet airborne. With maintenance costs and more modern jet fighters wanted New Delhi negotiated directly with the French government earlier and signed a deal in April this year for 36 Dassault Rafale jets to equip two squadrons.
Hopes are high for the indigenous developed Tejas, but the light combat jet is not expected before 2019. In the mean time the Indian Air Force needs to do what it can to fulfill its tasks with an aging fleet.
© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: An Indian Air Force MiG-27 landing at Kalaikunda Air Force Station in 2012 (Image (CC) Abhi)