Indian army is known to be one of the best armies across the world and Indian airforce supports them well during the time of war. A strong airforce can bend any nation to its knees, and for that, the air force needs advanced fighter jet to fight. So here is the list of 7 best fighter jet owned by the Indian air force for India’s defence.
In recent years India is spending billions of dollars in strengthening its arm force and recently they have ordered the infamous Dassault Rafale from France and many other fighter aircraft from Russia and simultaneously building its own fighter jet by HAL.
1. Dassault Rafale
The Dassault Rafale is a dual-engine, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation a French company. It is one of the most advanced fighter jets ever owned by the Indian air force. In April 2015, when Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi visited Paris, France India ordered the rapid delivery of 36 Rafales jet in a fly-away condition.
India currently owned one Rafale that is handed over to India during a ceremony attended by the defence minister of India Rajnath Singh and his French equivalent, Florence Parly, on October 8, 2019, in Merignac. Oct 8 is also celebrated as Indian air force day.
The Dassault Rafale is powered by two Snecma M88 engines, each responsible for providing up to 50 kN (kilonewtons) of dry thrust and 75 kilonewtons with afterburners. Rafale is being used by arm force like the French Air Force Indian Air Force, the Egyptian Air Force, and the Qatar Air Force.
2. Mirage 2000
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is another multirole, fourth-generation jet fighter manufactured by Dassault Aviation used by the Indian Air force. The Mirage is 2000 powered by two variants of the M53—the M53-5, which generates 88 kilonewtons of thrust with afterburner.
In the 1980s when Pakistan had approached the US for F-16 fighter jet the Indian government was searching for fighter jets to counter them, India approach France for the Mirage 2000, as it was the lightweight and more advanced fighter jet compared to the F-16.
In 1999, during the Kargil War, the Indian Air Force used the Mirage 2000 fleet, and the multi-role aircraft didn’t disappoint and performed remarkably well during the whole conflict in the high altitude Himalayas and was considered as the game-changer during the two-month war. It is one of the best fighter jets owned by the Indian air force and a reliable one.
3. Mikoyan MiG-29
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a twin-engine fighter jet aircraft designed in the Soviet Union that is developed by the Mikoyan design bureau. India has 65 MiG-29 fighter jet and recently ordered 21 units from Russia. This fighter jet was developed to counter the F-15 Eagle and the F-16 Fighting Falcon from the US.
India was the 1st global customer of the MiG-29 fighter jet. The Indian Air Force had placed an order for 66 MiG-29s in the year 1980 when the aircraft was in the initial development phase. Recently, the fighter jet has encountered various changes like new avionics, sub-systems, turbofan engines, and advanced radars.
The main benefit of Mig-29 is the cost, as it cost lower than most of the recent fighter aircraft with a unit cost of $22 million for the latest Mig-29s. Overall, the Mikoyan MiG-29 is one of the best fighter jets owned by the Indian Air Force.
4. SEPECAT Jaguar
Introduced in 1973, SEPECAT Jaguar is a jet fighter aircraft formerly used by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force. This fighter jet is still only used by the Indian air force (IAF) in the upgraded form. This fighter jet is mainly suitable for the ground attack to support the territorial army.
Indian SEPECAT Jaguars were employed to carry out surveillance missions in support of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka between the years 1987 and 1990. Later they played an effective role in the Kargil War 1999 with Pakistan, dropping both laser-guided bombs and unguided bombs.
Jaguar is one of the best fighter jets and most useful during the war along with the Mirage 2000. It has been reported as one of the few aircraft that are fitted of making the nuclear strike role with good chances of success.
5. HAL Tejas
Introduced in 2015, Tejas is an Indian fourth-generation, single-engine, multirole light fighter jet designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
It is a Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and specifically designed to replace the aging MiG-21 fighter jet. It is also the second supersonic fighter jet designed by HAL after the HAL HF-24 Marut.
Tajas integrates technologies like relaxed static stability, multi-mode radar, fly-by-wire flight control system, integrated digital avionics system, and composite material structures. The Indian Air Force (IAF) has planned for a total of 324 Tejas in several variants, as of 2019, and as of now, IAF has 17 Tejas in service. It is one of the best fighter jets owned by the Indian Air Force.
6. Sukhoi Su-30
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a multi-role, twin-engine, two-seat fighter jet developed in the Soviet Union by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. The jet is a fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions. The fighter jet was first introduced in 1996.
As of March 2020, India has 272 Su-30MKIs and completed all the ordered under previous contracts. India is also considering getting extra 12 fighters to compensate losses of the variant for nearly 20 years of service. It is one of the best fighter jets owned by the Indian Air Force.
7. Mikoyan MiG-21
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is an interceptor aircraft and a supersonic jet fighter, designed and developed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It was once one of the most popular fighter jets and flown by nearly 60 countries.
The MiG-21 played an important role in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war and the IAF MiG-21FLs had destroyed four PAF F-104As, two PAF Shenyang F-6, one PAF North American F-86 Sabre and one PAF Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
Because of that performance during the war India’s MiG-21s, several nations, like Iraq, approached India for MiG-21 pilot training. In the 1970s, nearly 120 Iraqi pilots were being taught by the Indian Air Force (IAF). There are still 54 MiG-21 are in service, as of 2020, making it one of the best fighter jets owned by the Indian Air Force.
7 Best Fighter Jet Owned By Indian Air Force 2020
|Dassault Rafale||France||Multi-role||1 (35 on order)|
|Mikoyan MiG-29||Russia||Multi-role||65 (21 on order)|
|SEPECAT Jaguar||United Kingdom||Ground Attack||118|
|HAL Tejas||India||Multi-role||17 (23 on order)|
|Sukhoi Su-30||Russia||Multi-role||272 (12 on order)|
|Mikoyan MiG-21||Soviet Union||Interceptor||54|
Some of these fighter jets helped the country a lot during difficult situations and never disappoint the country. India has a record of never attacking any country first and always has a reputation for defending its territory. With this size of fleet and advance aircraft, no country will dare to attack India, or else they will face the consequences.