Featured Image: President of India Pranab Mukherjee with IAF Chief, Air Marshall Arup Raha, at an exhibition at Hasimara Air Force Station on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy: Rashtrapati Bhavan)
By A Newsman
Siliguri, 28 November: OVER the next two to three years, Indian Air Force (IAF) will gradually phase out such MIG-27 fighter jets that have not been upgraded. The gap arising out of this move will be mitigated by introducing France made Rafale and indigenously built Tejas jets.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of honouring President’s Standards to 18 and 22 Squadrons by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Hasimara Air Force Station in northern Bengal on Saturday, IAF Chief Air Marshall Arup Raha said, “We have a road map and are planning to induct many more aircrafts. There are plans to replace Rafale and Tejas with old aircrafts”.
“All the MIG-27 which have not been upgraded are going to be retired from service in next 2-3 years”, he informed. He added by saying, “some of the squadrons will be effected with this”.
Air Marshall Raha also hinted on having one of the Rafale Squadron at Hasimara because of its strategic location.
On being asked about induction of women pilots in combat roles, IAF Chief said that from the month of January next year, women pilots would start receiving training for flying combat aircrafts.
He informed that IAF would select some women pilots currently undergoing training at the Air Force Academy to fly fighter jets once they complete the training. “Initially they will be trained in Hawk aircraft’, said the Air Marshall.