India Intends to Spend $35B for Military Aircraft Over the Next 25 Years
Replacing India’s rapidly aging military aviation assets will cost at least $35 billion over the next quarter century to bring its air force, army and navy aircraft up to date, according to India Strategic Defense Magazine. The magazine was released by IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal S. P. Tyagi during the Aero India air show that ran between February 7-11, 2007 at Air Force Station Yelahanka in Bangalore, India. Aviation manufacturers from Russia, the European Community, Brazil, and the United States were all there vying for a piece of the potentially huge market. See the full India Defence Article, and also their coverage of the Aero India 2007 defense exhibition.
Except for Sukhoi’s SU-30MKIs (India is preparing to purchase 40 more), a majority of the aircraft flying in the Indian Air Force were initially ordered by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi or her son Rajiv Gandhi between 1966-1989. Many are being modernized to keep them flying; meanwhile, India’s Army projects it will purchase at least 500 new helicopters during the period to replace its aging Chetak, Mi-8, and Mi-17 aircraft, and additional priorities include the 100-200 plane MRCA medium fighter competition, the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft or its substitute, the MRTA medium transport jet, and other projects designed to modernize the force and extend its reach. The situation is no different for the Indian Navy, which says it will need about 100 aircraft in the next 15-20 years, including patrol aircraft and approximately 50 MiG-29Ks for deployment on the new aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and its successors.