Parliamentary Committee on Defence recommends procurement of additional fighter jets

The recently tabled report by Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence has stated that the Government should not further delay the procurement of additional fighter jets due to the continuous delays in the procurement of fighter jets, thereby leading to depleting of the desired number of squadrons with the Indian Air Force. The committee also stated that there is a considerable delay in the delivery of 40 Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) TEJAS jets from DPSU Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), and it should be expedited without any further delay. “The government should consider buying state-of-the-art fifth generation fighter aircraft over the counter without losing time to keep the force in a comfortable position,

Noteworthy, the IAF’s Perspective Plan examines that the force should have at least 42 squadrons; however as of now the IAF currently has 30-31 squadrons. Furthermore, the IAF plans to phase out its final four MiG-21 squadrons by 2025, reducing squadron strength to its lowest level.

Besides, the Parliamentary Committee on Defence also recommended the MoD to begin with the planning process for the third aircraft carrier for the Indian navy, which would eventually enhance India’s maritime capabilities. Two aircraft carriers are consistently required for meeting threat perceptions and for preparedness and striking capabilities during war. The third is needed as carriers have long maintenance schedules.