Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria
HYDERABAD: The phasing out of MiG-21 fighter jets, which have been involved in several accidents over the years, will happen over the next two to three years, Air chief marshal R K S Bhadauria said on Saturday.
He added that this would pave the way for the induction of the 36 Rafale jets by 2022, and then the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) would be added.
Speaking at the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Bhadauria said that mere ageing of aircraft doesn't make them accident-prone. "Discontinuation of flying the MiG-21 immediately is not the answer. In another 2-3 years they will be phased out as soon as they get to their life's end. Our plan to induct 36 Rafales is on target. Once the Rafales are inducted, the focus will be on the induction of the LCA over the next three-and-a-half years," Bhaduaria said.
He added that the country is focusing on indigenous projects, such as the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA) for the IAF and Navy. "The AMCA will be indigenously produced by DRDO in collaboration with industry. A decision in this regard has been taken in principle," he said.
In addition, Airbus 320-based airborne warning aircraft and follow-up on Embraer aircraft will take place,” he said.