Indian Air Force (IAF) celebrates its 84th Foundation day on Saturday with an extraordinary air show at the Hindon Air Force Base near Ghaziabad. IAF Arup Raha along with the chief of the Indian Army Dalbir Singh, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and others were also present at the function.
IAF is the 4th Largest Air Force in the world with the size of 1,27,000 active personnel and about 1820 active aircraft. The main responsibility of IAF is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare. Here are the top 10 aircraft currently in service with Indian Airforce.
10. Ilyushin I1-78
A four-engined Soviet-made aerial refuelling tanker based on the I1-76. IAF got the first two aircraft in the first half of 2003. IAF I1-78MKI made its first public appearance in the Air Force Day Parade on 8th October 2003.
The powerplant used is four Aviadvigatel D-30KP turbofan engines pushing out 27,000-pound force of thrust each. The aircraft can achieve a top speed of 850 km/h.
9. Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
A transport aircraft made by American-based manufacturer Lockheed Martin. IAF purchased six of them in early 2008 for its special operation forces. After the delivery, IAF added some indigenously produced equipment to the aircraft.
The aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engine with Dowty R391 6-blade composite propeller, 1 per engine. The aircraft is able to do a maximum speed of 671 km/h.
8. Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
A large military transport aircraft developed by McDonnell Douglas for United States Air Force from 1980s to the early 1990s. Indian Air Force and Boeing agreed on terms for the order of 10 C-17s in February 2011. IAF have 6 of this monster aircraft.
The aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofans producing 40,440-pound force of thrust each. The aircraft is able to achieve a cruise speed of 829 km/h.
7. HAL Tejas
A single-seat multi-role lightweight fighter jet developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for Indian Air Force and Navy.
The powerplant used in this aircraft is General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 turbofan engines with afterburn. The aircraft can fly at a speed of Mach 1.8 (2,205 km/h) and at a maximum altitude of 15,200m.
6. SEPECAT Jaguar
An Anglo-French jet attack aircraft manufactured by SEPECAT. IAF ordered 40 Jaguars built in Europe and 120 license-built aircraft from HAL under the local name Shamsher ("Sword of Justice").
The aircraft uses two Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour Mk 102 turbofans providing 5,115-pound force of thrust each. The jet is able to achieve a maximum speed of 1,699 km/h at 11,000m.
5. Mikoyan MiG-27
MiG-27 was originally built by the Mikoyan design bureau in the Soviet Union. IAF has over 170 MiG-27s optimised for the air-to-ground attack. This aircraft shares the basic airframe of the MiG-23, but with a revised nose.
It is powered by a single Khatchaturov R-29B-300 afterburning turbojet engine putting out 25,360-pound force of thrust. This fighter jet can do 1,885 km/h at 8,000-metre altitude.
4. Dassault Mirage 2000
It is a French multirole fourth generation fighter made by Dassault Aviation. IAF purchased 49 Mirage 2000s in the 1980s. Among them, 42 are single-seaters and 7 are two-seaters. Later in 2004, the Indian government approved to purchase ten more Mirages.
The aircraft is powered by a single SNECMA M53-P2 afterburning turbofan. It can achieve a top speed of 2,336 km/h.
3. Mikoyan MiG-29
A jet fighter aircraft manufactured by Mikoyan in the Soviet Union. IAF was the first international customer of the MiG-29. This particular aircraft was extensively used during the 1999 Kargil War in Kashmir by the IAF.
Powering the aircraft is twin Klimov RD-33 afterburning turbofans producing 18,300-pound force of thrust each. The maximum speed of the aircraft is 2400 km/h.
2. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
A supersonic fighter jet designed by Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. IAF is the third largest operator of the MiG 21s. Now IAF has 252 operational MiG-21s.
The aircraft's powerplant is a single Tumansky R25-300 producing 15,650-pound force of thrust with afterburner. The jet can do a maximum speed of 2,175 km/h.
1. Sukhoi Su-30MKI
It is a multirole air superiority fighter developed in Russia by Sukhoi Design Bureau and built under license by India's HAL. As of August 2014, IAF has 200 Su-330KMIs in service.
The fighter jet has two Lyulka Al-31FP thrust vectoring turbofans producing 27,560-pound force each with afterburner. The jet is able to achieve a top speed of 2,100 km/h.
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