The Indian Air Force is set for modern-day war, but is China the only threat to India?

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In August, The Indian air force showed off its aircraft in multiple flyovers during the independence day parade in New Delhi. The flyovers included fighter bombers, fighter, helicopter gunships, transport aircraft. This show showed the updated and modern version and also the modernization of the Indian air force. 

India in the past was more focused on its rival Pakistan, but it is now preparing for a war with its biggest foe China. 

China has the most extensive aviation force in Asia and is on the third number in the world. What is more concerning is that China’s relations with Pakistan could put India under some pressure, leading to the joint development of fighter jets. 

With the increasing possibility of an air war against Pakistan and China, the IAF (Indian Air Force) increases its capabilities. 

Indian air force now includes over1,000 aircraft and are no smaller. It provides aircraft made in Russia. India has signed a contract for the Su-30MKI in the 1990s and has built more than 200 domestically since the midp2000s. 

It also has European models, such as SEPECAT Jaguars and Mirage 2000s, IAF’s primary strike platforms. Some air crafts including, MiG-21s and those which were added in the 1960s and 1980s, are expected to be retired by 2030.

Some jets have poor safety records and caused over 200 deaths; that’s why they need to get replaced. 

China is helping Pakistan to Put India under pressure

China has helped Pakistan with military hardware. The PAF (Pakistan Air Force) has also benefitted from Pakistan’s closer relations with China. 

Their air force regularly conducts joint exercises, and they are also developing new aircraft jointly. 

The two neighbour rivalries are planning to upgrade Pakistan’s JF-17 fleet and announced to give them drones. It is also being said that Pakistan may get its hand over Chinese strike aircraft. 

China’s air force poses a threat to IAF. The J-10 and the J-20 stealth fighters are particularly a worry for India. 

India has a more extended history of air operations in the areas, but China is rapidly building and expanding air bases in western borders alongside helping Pakistan. 

The commitment to modernization

Acknowledging the threats, IAF has committed to modernization. The IAF has purchased 15 CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 22 AH-64 Apache gunships. India has developed its lightweight fighter jet, the HAL Tejas, and has about 20 in service.

The original order was 40 fighters but is now being supplemented by 83 improved Tejas Mark 1A variants; the second product is also in line. 

To add more, India is buying another 21 MiG-29 and 12 Su-30MKIs. India has several high-profile domestic projects in development. 

As Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” aims at boosting domestic manufacturing, India is focusing on making domestic production. In the past, India was highly dependent on Russia for its Military Hardware. 

India is serious about the modernization of its Air Force as the two rivals China and Pakistan, are working together to build an Army against India. The new concern is Afghanistan, as it lost its independence and got captured by the Taliban.

These threats are encouraging India to update its security by specifically modernizing its Air force. 

Tanvi Sawant
Tanvi Sawant
I am a creative writer at Asiana Times. I have completed my Graduation in mass media/Journalism. I am a news writer at day and a Scriptwriter at night because I like to write on both Real and Reel. You can find me on Instagram, Linkedin and Facebook:)

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