The IAF will start inducting the recently purchased Pilatus trainer aircraft from January 2013 at the rate of two aircraft per month.
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By July 2013, the IAF will have inducted 14 trainer aircraft from Switzerland. To keep pace with rapid modernisation, the IAF will start inducting the first batch of the trainer aircraft from July 2013. The IAF will be sending it’s pilots and technical staff to Switzerland for training on Pilatus-PC 7 by this year end.
Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, the Chief of the Air Staff, said that the modernisation of the IAF had been literally been put on the fast track. In the fast induction mode, the IAF in the coming years will induct state-of-the-art aircraft, including 75 Swiss Pilatus PC-7 basic trainers, Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA), ultra-modern simulators, advanced weapon and combat support system.
The IAF is also in the process of upgrading training command centres like the Air Force Academy at Dundigal. Also the famous Surya Kiran aerobatic team that performs daring air maneuvers will now perform daring stunts on the Hawk aircraft. Soon the total strength of the Hawk aircraft in the IAF’s inventory will increase from the current 66 to 106. A deal in this regard to purchase additional 40 aircraft will be signed early next year by the IAF.
One of main additions include increasing the combat aircraft squadron to 42 in the coming years. The total upgrade of the entire IAF fleet will be completed within the next decade.
All deals signed during the 11th five year plan will be executed by 2017. The much talked about MMRCA deal in which the IAF will be inducting 126 state-of-the-art Rafale fighter jet will also be executed on time. The air force will begin inducting the Rafale by 2016. The first 18 jets will be purchased off the shelf from the French and the remaining 108 will be manufactured in India by HAL. All of the 108 aircrafts will be manufactured and delivered to the IAF by 2023.
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