Indian Air Force Day 2022: List of Fighter Aircraft of IAF

Indian Air Force Day 2022: It is observed on October 8 to celebrate one of the strongest armed forces in India. Let us have a look at the list of fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
Indian Aircrafts List
Indian Aircrafts List

Indian Air Force Day 2022: Indian Air Force (IAF) is the fourth largest air force in the world. It consists of about 139,576 active personnel, about 140,000 reserve personnel, and over 1,850 aircraft. Let us have a look at fighter jets used by the Indian Air Force.

List of Fighter Aircraft of Indian Air Force

1. Dassault Rafale

Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
Role: Multirole fighter 
First flight: Rafale A demo: 4 July 1986, Rafale C: 19 May 1991
Inducted: 18 May 2001
Country of Origin: France

It was designed and manufactured by Dassault Aviation. It is a twin-engine, canard delta-wing, multirole fighter aircraft.

It is capable of carrying out a wide range of short and long-range missions and can be used to perform ground and sea attacks, reconnaissance, high-accuracy strikes, and nuclear strike deterrence.

In 23 years, Dassault Rafale was India's first major acquisition of fighter planes after Sukhoi jets. An inter-governmental agreement was signed by India with France for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets. When all the 36 Rafale jets are delivered by the end of 2021, it will take it to 32 squadrons. 

2.  Sukhoi Su-30MKI

Role: Multirole Fighter Aircraft
Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)
Operator: Indian Air Force
Service Entry: September 2002
Maximum Speed: About Mach 1.9
Range: 3,000 Km
First flight    Su-30МК: 1 July 1997, Su-30MKI: 2000

It is a multirole combat fighter aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Air Force (IAF). It is based on Su-30 fighter aircraft and is a heavy, all-weather, long-range fighter.  Su-30MKI is equipped with thrust vectoring control and canards.

3. MiG-21

Role: Fighter and interceptor aircraft
Designed by: Mikoyan-Gurevich
First flight: 16 June 1955
Country of Origin: Soviet Union

It was designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. It is a fighter and an interceptor aircraft. On 16 June 1955, it took its first flight and in 1959, entered into service.

In 1963, it was inducted into India and is the first supersonic fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force. Russia stopped production of the aircraft in 1985 but India continued operating its upgraded variants. MiG-21 aircraft will be phased out of service by 2025. It has a single-seater cockpit. 

4. Mirage-2000

Role: Multirole fighter 
Manufacturer: Dassault Aviation
First flight: 10 March 1978
Inducted: July 1984
Country of Origin: France

It is a multirole combat fighter from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. Since 1984, it has been operational with the French Air Force.

It is also equipped to carry a range of air-to-surface missiles and weapons, including laser-guided bombs. More than 500 Mirage 2000 operational in world. 

It took its first flight in 1978. An order for 36 single-seater and four twin-seater Mirage 2000 jets was placed by India in 1892. The aircraft played a decisive role in the 1999 war of Kargil.

5. HAL Tejas LCA

Role: Multi-role supersonic fighter
Manufacturer: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
First flight: 4 January 2001
Speed: 1.6 M

It is a single-engined, lightweight, highly agile, multi-role supersonic fighter. It has a delta wing which is designed for air combat’ and ‘offensive air support’ with reconnaissance’ and ‘anti-ship' as its secondary roles.

It is manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and entered into service with the Indian Air Force in July 2016.

In January 2001, the first LCA Demonstrator I aircraft made a maiden flight with the LCA Demonstrator II flying in June 2002.

The HAL started the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) back in the 1980s to replace the aging Soviet-sourced MiG-21. Officially, the LCA was named "Tejas" in 2003. 

Tejas Mark 1 production began in 2016 for the Indian Air Force. Till now, the Indian Air Force has placed an order for 40 Tejas Mk 1 and IAF has also initiated procurement of a further 73 single-seat fighters in Mk 1A configuration.

Indian Air Force Day 2022: History, Significance, and Key Facts

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