New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshall R K S Bhadauria has said that the ageing MiG-21 fighter jets will be phased out by the IAF in the next two to three years. He said the force is currently focusing on inducting the 36 Rafale fighter jets after which the focus will shift to inducting LCA Tejas jets over the next three and half years.
“Discontinuation of flying the MiG-21 immediately is not the answer. In another 2-3 years they will be phased out as soon as they get to their life’s end. Our plan to induct 36 Rafales is on target. Once the Rafales are inducted, the focus will be on the induction of the LCA over the next three-and-a-half years”, the IAF Chief said.
The IAF is also focusing on developing the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) in collaboration with the DRDO and the industry.
The IAF has so far received six batches of Rafale fighter jets. The arrival of this sixth batch of Rafale jets means that the country has now received two-third of the total number of planes that it had ordered i.e. 24 jets. Earlier, the fifth consignment of four jets had traversed a total distance of 8,000 km from the Merignac Air Base to reach India on April 22.