Shortage of Fighter Aircraft In Indian Air Force

The deficiencies in number of fighter squadrons arise from time to time due to obsolescence and phasing out of equipment. These deficiencies are made good by planned induction, which is a continuous process. 

The Government has approved induction of four squadrons of indigenously designed, developed and manufactured TEJAS Mk-IA aircraft.  A total of 83 TEJAS Mk-IA are planned to be manufactured by HAL and inducted into IAF. 

The salient steps undertaken to achieve self-sufficiency in defence sector are as under:-

  • Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2016 has been revised as Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020, which is driven by the tenets of Defence Reforms announced as part of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’.
  • Opened North & South Defence Industrial corridors to promote setting up of industries supporting defence equipment.
  • Permitted acceptance of “Suo Moto” proposals from industry for undertaking indigenous design & development for items needed for defence services.
  • Formulated the iDEX (Innovation in Defence Excellence) framework to provide an ecosystem for Startups/individual innovators/MSMEs to engage with Ministry of Defence/Academia and other such agencies for manufacture of defence related items.
  • Institutionalised the Technology Development Fund and its processes to facilitate the DRDO to engage with Indian industry for technology development needs.
  • Army Design Bureau (ADB):  Indian Army (IA) launched the ADB on 31st August, 2016. The role of the ADB is to act as a facilitator for research & development efforts and  procurement of indigenously developed weapons and equipment extensive outreach programme for industry, MSMEs, Startups and Academia across the country for promoting ‘Make in India’.  The outreach programmes, apart from generating awareness about the modernization requirements, will help to meet the technology needs of the IA from within the confines of domestic resources and talent.
  • Army Technology Board (ATB): The ATB enables indigenous Research and Development efforts in accordance with the operational needs of the IA.
  • Technology Development Fund (TDF):  TDF has been launched by the Government to giving impetus to research and development projects beyond the proof of concept stage.  It has been provided with a budget of Rs.100 crores.
  • The Indian Navy in coordination with Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) is pursuing the indigenous development and acquisition of a Twin Engine Deck Base Fighter (TEDBF).
  • Ministry of Defence has notified a ‘Negative list’ of 101 items for which there would be an embargo on the import beyond the timeline indicated against them. This is a big step towards self-reliance in defence.  This would offer a great opportunity to the Indian defence industry to manufacture these items using their own design and development capabilities to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces in the coming years.

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