Important Fighter Jets and Helicopters of India

Important Fighter Jets of India

Tejas LCA

  • 4th generation supersonic, single-seat, single-engine multirole light fighter aircraft.
  • Conceived in the early 1980s to replace the Russia-made MIG 21 of the Indian Air Force.
  • Designed and developed by the Aeronautical Development Agency.
  • The combat-ready version of the fighter comprise of battle-time requirements such as mid-air refuelling, AESA radar, electronic warfare suites, bombs and weapons etc.
  • India does not have even a single squadron of the indigenously produced fighters.
  • In contrast, both China has fifth generation fighters already in the test flying stage.
  • Pakistan also has an operational indigenously built fighter jet, JF 17 developed with Chinese assistance.

Mig 29

  • India’s premier Air Defense Fighter aircraft
  • Light-weight air-superiority fighter aircraft developed by Russia.
  • Twin-engine jet fighter inducted into Indian Air Force in 1985.
  • With about 110 Mig-29s operated by Indian Air Force and Indian Navy combined, India is the second biggest operator of Mig-29s in the world after Russia.
  • The MiG-29 aircraft played an important role during the Kargil War of 1999.
  • Three squadrons of 16-18 MiG-29s aircrafts each are deployed in the strategically important Adampur Air Force Station, which is around 100 km from Pakistan and 250 km away from China borders.
  • The MiG 29s are far more superior to F-16s of the Pakistan Airforce with the capacity to launch Beyond Visual Range BVR missiles.

Sukhoi-30 MKI

  • Multirole combat fighter aircraft
  • Jointly developed by Russia and India.
  • India’s answer to F-16 of Pakistan.
  • Top speed of 2120 kph (Mach 1.7).
  • Capable of launching upto 6 air-air, 6 air-to-surface missiles, 6 laser guided bombs and 8500kg of cluster bombs.
  • Recently test fired the world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos from Sukhoi-30MKI.
  • This has provided a significant strategic deterrence against China and Pakistan in multi-mission roles, including precision strikes on terror camps across the LoC, against high-value naval targets, including aircraft carriers and nuclear bunkers.


  • Twin-engine medium multi-role combat aircraft, manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation.
  • Can carry weapons more than 9 tonnes including air-air, air-ground and air-ship missiles.
  • Main roles include missions including Air-defence/air-superiority, Reconnaissance, close air support dynamic targeting, Air-to-ground precision strike/interdiction, anti-ship attacks, and nuclear deterrence, buddy-buddy refueling.
  • Can carry out both air-to-ground, as well as air-to-air attacks and interceptions during the same sortie.
  • Maximum speed of 1.9 mach.
  • Range of more than 3700 km vs 400-550 of Su 30 
  • Weapon system include SCALP and METEOR missiles
  • SCALP: a precision long range ground attack missile that can take out targets with extreme accuracy. Has a range of 300 km, capped by the missile technologycontrol regime. 
  • METEOR: a beyond visual range air to air missile that is possibly the best in its class. Can take out enemy aircraft at range of over 100 km.

US-2 Amphibious Aircraft

Japanese amphibious aircraft that India is keen to import

Important Helicopters of India

Light Utility Helicopter

  • Developed as a replacement for Cheetah and Chetak helicopters
  • New generation 3-Ton class helicopter.
  • Being indigenously developed by Hindustan Aeronauics Limited (HAL).


Utility helicopter developed and manufactured by HAL.

Important Roles

  • Commuter Role
  • Evacuation
  • Rapid Deployment of Forces
  • Logistic Air Support
  • Search and Rescue



  • Acquired from USA under Foreign Military Assistance
  • Heavy-lift Capability
  • Modern heavy-lift helicopter with payload lifting capacity of 10-12.5 tonne.
  • Vertical-lift platform
  • It has contra-rotating tandem rotors. (2 rotors rotating in opposite direction)
  • Will replace the Mi-26 heavy-lift helicopters of IAF.


  • To ferry 4.2 tonne M777 Ultra Light Howitzer to high altitude forward areas with China and Pakistan which do not have road connectivity
  • Will airlift artillery, light armored vehicles, troops and supplies to difficult Himalayan mountainous terrains
  • It will assist Border Road Organisation to carry road construction and engineering equipments to difficult high-altitude terrains of North East.
  • Deployed in disaster relief operations to carry and mass evacuation of disaster victims.


  • Acquired from USA under Foreign Military Assistance
  • It is a multi-role combat helicopter.
  • All-weather helicopter that can engage both air and ground targets.
  • It is equipped with Hellfire missile (air to surface anti tank missile).
  • The Hellfire is the same missile used by the Predator drone to launch targeted killings of high-profile militants.
  • It uses Longbow radar


  • Can approach enemy troops covertly with relative stealth and launch as close range attack
  • Capability to operate in hostile airspace with threats from ground.
  • Capability to destroy enemy tanks, armoured personnel carriers and fortified positions in mountainous terrain.

Provides cover to army tanks and infantry during battle.

MH-60R (Romeo) Seahawk Helicopters

  • Acquired from USA under Foreign Military Assistance
  • Naval multi-role helicopter.
  • Capable of being operated from various types of warships including frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers
  • Equipped with state-of-art SONAR suite which provides navigation, situational awareness, target data and weapon guidance capabilities.


The final deal on the 200 Kamov Ka-226 light utility helicopters from Russia is in advanced stages and expected to be signed soon

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