Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the Indian Air Force for inviting India's Academia, Scientific Community and Industry to Collaborate and partner in its thrust for Self Reliance. 31 invitations for Expression of Interest have been floated on the eve of Aero India 2023 as per the PM.
The PM, called it a great opportunity “for India’s sharpest minds and dynamic entrepreneurs to be vital partners in the mission towards self-reliance. In response to a tweet by Indian Air Force, the Prime Minister said; “A great opportunity for India’s sharpest minds and dynamic entrepreneurs to be vital partners in the mission towards self-reliance and that too in the defence sector, which has always made our nation proud.”
Indeed the Indian Air Force [IAF] will have to strike out to harness the Indian as well as global entrepreneurs and invite them in promoting capability building particularly in the combat fighter domain where the IAF has significant deficiencies.
At the Aero India 2023 Government and the Ministry of Defence are focused on exhibiting and expanding India’s aerospace industrial potential, a thought for the IAF’s capability building needs consideration as this is having a significant influence on India’s short and long term defence readiness in terms of Indian Air Force combat fighters deficiencies.
Presently multiple open sources reveal that this is down to 29-30 squadrons against what is variously described as 42-45 squadrons that is a deficit of one third of the force.
Across the board global defence majors are present at the Aero India 2023 to include Airbus, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Israel Aerospace Industry, SAAB, Safran and Rolls Royce amongst others. India’s lone public sector OEM in the aerospace sector Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is also present at the Aero India with Bengaluru being the home base of HAL.
Eight hundred and nine (809) defence companies, including MSMEs and start-up are said to be present at the Aero India 2023.
Under the circumstances, the Indian Air Force will have to make a concerted pitch and layout the plans for acquisition of the deficit combat fighter aircraft at the earliest and the Aero India is a good opportunity for the purpose but will this be used for the same remains to be seen?
AWAIT THE CONCLUSION OF THE AeroIndia 2023 where we assess how far the show will contribute to IAF capability development.