February 19, 2009, New Delhi -- Defence Minister A K Antony today said that by the end of the 13th Plan period, Indian Air Force's combat fleet would be of 42 squadrons, which is more than the strength sanctioned by the Government.
"During the period 2007-2022, the strength at the end of 11th, 12th and 13th Plan periods is expected to increase to 35.5, 35 and 42 squadrons respectively," Antony said in a written reply to a query in Rajya Sabha. Government has sanctioned the IAF to have a total of 39.5 squadrons of fighter aircraft.
He said that the air force will reach the peak of strength with the induction of Su-30 MKIs, Jaguars, Medium Multi-role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA), Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA). Antony said at the beginning of the 11th Plan period, the force had only 32 squadrons.
Defence Minister added that the the IAF was in the process of carrying out upgrades in its existing fleet of Mirage 2000, MiG 21, MiG 27, MiG 29 and Jaguar fighter aircraft and adding force multipliers such as the Airborne Early Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) and mid-air refueling aircraft.(india-defence)
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