Tag Archives: MiG-27

India: “Only half the combat fleet operational”

On paper the Indian Air Force has roughly 700 fighter and strike jets, but in reality slightly only about half are operational raising concern about how effective the military of the 2nd largest population in the world is being protected.

The average aircraft availability measured over the entire year is about 50 to 55 percent, Defence officials have admitted towards the parliamentary committee on defence matters. About 20 percent of those jets are simply grounded because of the lack of spare parts, but Indian Air Force sources say that concerns mostly the older Soviet-era jets like the approx. 120 MiG-21 Bisons, 80 MiG-27 Bahadurs and 130 to 135 SEPECAT Shamshers (Jaguars).

An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 (Image © Marcel Burger)
An Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 (Image © Marcel Burger)

Indian MiG-29, Mirage 2000 and Sukhoi Su-30MKI

What the status is on the 60 to 65 MiG-29 Baaz’s and the 56 Mirage 2000 Vajras and the almost 230 Sukhoi Su-30MKI is not fully known – but the Airheadsfly.com article on the IAF MiG-29 is still one of the best read pieces on our web. In 2014 the Sukhoi Su-30MKI fleet had huge problems and despite the issue has been addressed somewhat the India’s Auditor General still called the matter “unresolved” in August 2015.

Ilyushing/Beriev A-50 AWACS

The government watchdog authority also slashed the reputation of the Air Force’s three Ilyushin/Beriev A-50 AWACS aircraft. Lack of trained aircrew, lack of bases to operate from, lack of funds and resources for the aircraft maintenance have seriously hampered the effectiveness of the airborne radar and intelligence gathering platforms.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): An Indian Air Force MiG-21 (Image © Indian Air Force)

‘Sri Lanka signs for JF-17’ – Nigeria named as first customer

UPDATED 6 January | Sri Lanka is said to have signed up for at least eight Pakistani-made JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. A memorandum of understanding was signed on Tuesday 5 January during a visit to Sri Lanka by Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif , confirming earlier rumours about an imminent deal.

Update | The first export customer for the JF-17 Thunder now appears to be Nigeria and not Myanmar, as reported earlier. Nigeria expects delivery of three Thunders this year, records in the country show.

The Thunders wil almost surely replace obsolete MiG-23 and MiG-27 fighter jets. Next to those, the Sri Lanka Air Force currently also operates Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Kfir and Chinese made Shenyang F-7 fighter jets.

In afterburner, the RD-93 mounted in the JF-17 delivers 18,920 lb of thrust. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
In afterburner, the RD-93 mounted in the JF-17 delivers 18,920 lb of thrust. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

India: opposed

Neighbouring India is said to oppose the deal between Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India had hopes to sell its indigenous Tejas jet to Sri Lanka and incidentally on Tuesday 5 January announced that aircraft’s international airshow debut at the Bahrain Air Show later this month.

Export customer

The apparent deal in Sri Lanka marks the second export success for the JF-17 Thunder. Last June, another foreign customer was announced at the Paris Air Show. On 6 January 2016, Nigeria revealed itself as that foreign costumer.

The JF-17 Thunder is the result of a joint program by Pakistan and China. In the latter, the same aircraft is designated Chengdu FC-1. Pakistan recently celebrated a milestone in the program.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A JF-17 Thunder takes to the sky. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

 

 

India retires more MiG jets, hopes for new Sukhois

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)