15 Powerful Military Aircraft of Indian Armed Forces

Indian Armed Forces consists of three services – Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. Here is the active aircraft used by the Indian military in service, from upcoming Rafale to home made HAL Tejas. HAL HF-24 Marut was the Indian bomber aircraft developed by HAL and was first Indian made jet fighter plane.

Tejas, India


HAL Tejas is a Light Combat Aircraft designed in India for the Indian Air Force and is the second supersonic fighter by HAL. The Tejas fighter plane is available for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy in variation and an upgraded Tejas Mark 2 is expected by 2025.

LCA Tejas – India’s Light Combat Aircraft – Picture Courtesy (Tejas.Gov.In)

Rafale, France


Dassault Rafale is a twin engine multirole fighter aircraft that can be equipped with a wide range of weapons. The Indian Air Force is purchasing 36 omnirole Rafale aircraft and France is all set to have all 36 jets within six years.

Dassault aircrafts have been part of the IAF, from Mirage 2000 to 36 Rafales fighter aircrafts. The first IAF Rafale Handover to the Government of India, The company is going to setup Dassault Reliance facility in Nagpur, an engineering center in Pune and facility in Hyderabad.

Sukhoi, Russia


Sukhoi Su-30MKI is developed by Russia and the variant is used by IAF under the licence of HAL. The Sukhoi 30 is a all-weather long-range fighter plane and made for Indian specifications and integrates systems, also the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet.

Jaguar, British-French


SEPECAT Jaguar aircrafts are an important element of the Indian military and part of the IAF fleet from 1990. The Indian Air Force has the upgraded variant fleet of Jaguar developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

Mirage 2000, France


Dassault Mirage 2000 is a multirole aircraft in service of Indian Air Force, The French plane manufactured by Dassault Aviation and available with several variants developed. There are 41 fleed of Mirage 2000 in IAF and Dassault Aviation is also the manufacturer of upcoming Rafale in India. Pic Courtesy- IndianAirForce

MiG – 21, Russia


Mikoyan MiG-21 is a supersonic fighter jet purchase and developed with India-Soviet Union military partnership. The MiG-21 and MiG-29 fighter aircrafts are in service of IAF with most advanced MiG-29 variant.

IAF fighter aircraft MiG-29, MiG-27 and MiG-21 BISON three variants of Mig with twin engine, single engine and single seater fighter aircraft of Russian origin with different speed.

Chinook, United States


Boeing CH-47 Chinook is a heavy-lift helicopter designed by Vertol, used for light to heavy transport purposes. The Chinook is part of the Indian Air Force with request total fleet of 15 CH-47F Chinooks, used for transport and utility. Image – IAF twitter.

Apache, United States


Boeing AH-64 Apache is primary attack helicopter and best suited for night vision systems. There are 22 in total on order Apache helicopter for IAF and It was a choice from Black Hawk, Mangusta, SuperCobra and Eurocopter Tiger.

Mil Mi – 17, Russia


Mil Mi series of helicopters are produced by Russia and part of the IAF fleet, The Mi-17 and Mi-24 helicopters are used in combat as well as for cargo, rescue operations in flood areas by Indian Air Force. Pic – ZeeNews

Dhruv – Rudra by HAL India


Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore is one of the largest aerospace companies in Asia that deals with the manufacturing of spare parts, materials, aircraft engines, fighter aircraft and Helicopters in India.

Cheetah and Chetak – HAL

Cheetah and Chetak Helicopters from HAL are suitable for evacuation, transport, survey and operations. The helicopters are best as per the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces, Now may be replace by HAL Light Utility Helicopter.

Kamov, Russia


Kamov Ka-226 is utility helicopters and an alternative option for ageing Cheetah and Chetak helicopters. The Made in India Kamov choppers are manufactured in India at Tumkur in Karnataka under an Indo-Russia joint venture. Image Courtesy: aame.in

Light Combat Helicopter – HAL

Light Combat Helicopter by HAL is a Indian made combat helicopter used by both IAF and the Indian Army. The multirole combat helicopter can also be equipped with missiles, payloads of rockets and rocket pods.

Attack helicopter and Light Helicopters by HAL includes Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah and Rudra along with few more upcoming multirole combat helicopter called HAL Light Utility Helicopter.

C-17 Globemaster, United States


McDonnell Douglas Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is the largest military aircraft in India used for transport, medical evacuation and airdrop duties. The C-17 is in service with Air forces of India and there are total 11 C-17s in IAF’s fleet that provides airlift of special forces and service to troops directly to small airfields. Photo Credit – Boeing India

C-130J Super Hercules, United States


Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules is a big military transport aircraft in the service of Indian Air Force. The C-130J was landed by Indian Air Force at the height of 16,614 ft at the Daulat Beg Oldi airstrip in Ladakh.

C-17 Globemaster Vs C-130J Super Hercules

C-17 Globemaster & C-130J Super Hercules both are military transport aircraft from United States. Both the aircraft are different in many ways, The manufacturer, size, length, crew, speed and capacity.

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