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IAF is the 4th Largest Air Force in the world with the size of 1,40,000 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 the Indian Air Force.
10. Ilyushin IL-78
It is a four-engined Soviet-made aerial refuelling tanker based on the IL-76. The Indian Air Force received the first two aircraft in the first half of 2003. The IAF IL-78MKI made its first public appearance in the Air Force Day Parade on 08 October, 2003.
The powerplants used are 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. It is used for air-to-air refueling purposes and can refuel almost all aircraft and helicopters used by the Indian Air Force.
9. Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
The Super Hercules is a transport aircraft made by American manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The Indian Air Force purchased six of them in early 2008 for its special forces. After the delivery, IAF added some indigenously produced equipment to the aircraft in order to upgrade it.
The aircraft is powered by four Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 turboprop engine with a Dowty R391 6-blade composite propeller. The aircraft is capable of a maximum speed of 671 km/h.
8. Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
The C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft developed by McDonnell Douglas for the United States Air Force from the 1980s. The Indian Air Force and Boeing agreed on terms for the order of 10 C-17 aircraft in February 2011.
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. It is one of the best aircraft India has, in terms of tactical weapons and troops movement.
7. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21
The MiG-21 is a supersonic fighter jet designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. The Indian Air Force is the third largest operator of the MiG-21 in the world with around 252 operational MiG-21 aircraft.
The aircraft is powered by a single Tumansky R25-300 turbofan engine producing 15,650-pound force of thrust with afterburner. The jet can do a maximum speed of 2,175 km/h. It is also one of the most robust aircraft in the world.
6. SEPECAT Jaguar
The Jaguar is an Anglo-French jet attack aircraft manufactured by SEPECAT. The Indian Air Force had ordered 40 Jaguars built in Europe and 120 license-built aircraft from HAL under the Indian moniker - 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 an altitude of 11,000m.
5. HAL Tejas
The HAL Tejas is a single-seat multi-role lightweight fighter jet developed by Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.
The powerplant used in this aircraft is General Electric F404-GE-F2J3 turbofan engines with afterburner. The aircraft can fly at a speed of Mach 1.8 (2,205 km/h) and at a maximum altitude of 15,200m.
4. Dassault Mirage 2000
The Dassault Mirage 2000 is a French multirole fourth-generation fighter jet made by Dassault Aviation. The Indian Air Force purchased 49 Mirage 2000s in the 1980s. Among them, 42 are single-seaters and 7 are two-seater trainers. In 2004, the Indian government approved the purchase of 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. Even though it is old, it still is one of the most versatile fighter jets in the Indian Air Force.
3. Mikoyan MiG-29
The MiG-29 is a jet fighter aircraft manufactured by Mikoyan in the Soviet Union. The Indian Air Force was the very first international buyer 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. It has a maximum speed of 2400 km/h.
2. Dassault Rafale
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine multirole fighter aircraft developed by Dassault Aviation. It is recognisable by its unique arrangement of the canard up front and a delta-wing design.
In 2012, the Dassault Rafale was chosen by the Indian Air Force as the preferred aircraft for its omnirole fighter position. It has a top speed of over 1,920km/h and is equipped with Meteor BVRAAM missiles. The first few jets are expected to be delivered to the Indian Air Force by 2019.
1. Sukhoi Su-30MKI
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a multirole air superiority fighter developed in Russia by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and built under license by India's HAL. The Indian Air Force has 200 Su-30MKIs in service.
The fighter jet is powered by 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. It is equipped with the very best in terms of weaponry and is the Indian Air Force's crown jewel.
Amazing And Interesting Facts About HAL Tejas - Click Here To Read More