While delivering a speech at L M Katre Memorial Lecture here on Saturday, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne said: “We are more than Pakistan at this time, it’s not just Pakistan what we are saying is that we need to maintain this force level at least in the 12th plan period. We will not allow it to go less then 34 and it is only in the 13th plan that we will start going up to 42,” said Air Chief Marshal Browne.
The IAF chief further said that Air Force is looking forward to acquire GSAT from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as this will help them to a very large extent but its delivery has been delayed by a year for which ISRO was responsible.
“We have a contract with ISRO for GSAT-7A, there are some delays there but we will get a fair amount. It will meet our number of requirements but there are some delays there in the GSAT-7 in the communication side,” added Air Chief Marshal Browne.
Air Chief Browne also clarified that the IAF is keen on upgrading one of the trustworthy aircraft of its squadrons, Jaguar, once the government grants the green signal to the RFP (request for proposals).
“So once the RFP (request for proposals) gets issued, then we will start working on that project. Well this will take us at least three years for the engine work to take place. There is a lot of work required on the aircraft and the engine,” said Air Chief Browne.
The Jaguar, better known as the ‘Shamser’ in IAF’s parlance, forms a sizable unit in the world’s fourth largest air force.
India is the biggest Jaguar operator today, with 90 aircraft forming five squadrons.