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MIG-21 to Rafale: Key additions to India’s air prowess over the years

From choosing the Russian Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau-made MiG 21 in 1961 to receiving the first batch of 5 French-manufactured Rafale multi-role fight jets on Wednesday, India has come a great distance in boosting its air-strike prowess.

Some of the key fighter jet acquisitions over the years and the fight capabilities they possess that made India’s airmen a pressure to reckon with are:

Rafale jets:

India on Wednesday obtained its first batch of latest multirole fight fighter plane in almost 20 years with the arrival of 5 Rafale jets, giving the nation’s air energy a strategic edge.

The NDA authorities inked a Rs 59,000-crore deal in September 2016 to procure 36 Rafale jets from French aerospace main Dassault Aviation. European missile maker MBDA’s Meteor past visible vary air-to-air missile, Scalp cruise missile and MICA weapons system are the mainstay of the weapons package deal of the Rafale jets.

The IAF can also be procuring new technology medium-range modular air-to-ground weapon system Hammer to combine with the Rafale jets.

SU-30 MKI:

Inducted in 2002, the Russian superior fighter jets are the main air-to-air and air-to-ground strike machines. It is a twin seater twin engine multirole fighter of Russian origin which carries One X 30mm GSH gun together with 8000 kg exterior armament.

It is able to carrying a wide range of medium-range guided air to air missiles with energetic or semi-active radar or Infra purple homing shut vary missiles. It has a max pace of 2500 km/hr (Mach 2.35).Representative Image of SU-30 MKI


The Mirage-2000, one in every of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) most versatile and deadliest plane, was first commissioned in 1985. The Mirage-2000 is developed by Dassault Aviation. It is a single seater air defence and multi-role fighter of French origin powered by a single engine.

It can attain max pace of 2495 km/hr(Mach 2.3). It carries two 30 mm integral cannons and two matra tremendous 530D medium-range and two R-550 magic II shut fight missiles on exterior stations.An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway during an IAF drill in Bangarmau, in Unnao district

An Indian Air Force Mirage 2000 fighter jet lands on the Lucknow-Agra Expressway throughout an IAF drill. Photo: PTI


The Soviet-sourced ground-attack plane was designed by Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau and was manufactured by HAL underneath a license settlement. It is a single engine, single seater tactical strike fighter plane of Russian origin having a most pace of 1700 km/hr (Mach 1.6). It carries one 23 mm six-barrel rotary integral cannon and may carry upto 4,000 kg of different armament externally.


An MiG-27 plane prepares for a sortie at the Air Force Station, Jodhpur. PTI


Another Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau produced MiG was launched in the 1970s to counter US’ F-Series planes like F-15 and F-16. It was commissioned in IAF in 1985. The MiG29 types the second line of defence after the Sukhoi Su-30MKI.

It is a twin engine, single seater air superiority fighter plane which is able to attaining most pace of two,445 km per hour (Mach-2.3). It has a fight ceiling of 17 km. It carries a 30 mm cannon alongwith 4 R-60 shut fight and two R-27 R medium vary radar guided missiles.MiG-29. Photo: Wikipedia


The SEPECAT Jaguar is a fighter jet developed collectively by British Royal Air Force and French Air Force. It is a twin-engine, single seater deep penetration strike plane of Anglo-French origin which has a most pace of 1350 km /hr (Mach 1.3). It has two 30mm weapons and may carry two R-350 Magic CCMs (overwing) alongwith 4750 kg of exterior shops (bombs/gasoline).

Jaguar IAF

Source: Wikimedia commons

                                                                                                                                  MiG-21 Bison:

In 1961, the IAF opted for the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau-made MIG 21. The single engine, single seater multirole fighter/floor assault plane of Russian origin types the back-bone of the IAF. It has a max pace of 2230 km/hr (Mach 2.1) and carries one 23mm twin barrel cannon with 4 R-60 shut fight missiles.MiG 21, indian air force, iaf

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