Why in News?
- The Indian Air Force (IAF), one of the world’s largest Air Forces, face challenges in modernizing its fleet, as delays in procurement have recently led to a shortfall in its fighter squadrons.
- A fighter squadron is a military unit consisting of fighter aircraft and the pilots who fly them.
- It is a fundamental component of an air force and is responsible for conducting air operations in a combat zone.
- A typical fighter squadron consists of 18 fighter aircraft.
- They are an essential component of any modern air force and are tasked with a wide range of missions, including air superiority, and ground attack.
- India has an ambitious plan to acquire over 500 fighter jets, with most of them being for the IAF.
- Many of these jets are still in various stages of development, and their manufacturing and timely deliveries are critical.
- The IAF has in total contracted 272 SU-30s.
- A deal to procure 12 additional SU-30MKI aircrafts to replace the ones lost in accidents and 21 additional MIG-29s from Russia has been stuck, though both IAF and Russian officials state that it has only been delayed but is on track.