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Aero India 2023

CDS Gen Chauhan calls upon IAF to chart 'clear path' towards fleet sustenance

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan has called upon the Indian Air Force to chart a "clear path" towards fleet sustenance while simultaneously taking steps towards increasing indigenisation.

Gen Chauhan made the remarks while addressing the IAF Commanders' Conference on Thursday. The three-day conference began here on Wednesday.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) was briefed about the operational readiness of the IAF.

"Later, speaking to the IAF commanders present, the CDS highlighted the need to chart a clear path towards fleet sustenance, while simultaneously taking steps towards increasing indigenisation," the IAF said.

He also discussed the contours of enhancing integration among the three services and the benefits that would accrue from the same.

The number of fighter squadrons of the IAF is going down as several of them have been phased out in recent years while a number of others are due for number-plating (retirement) in the next few years that include the Jaguar fleet.

At present, the IAF has around 30 fighter squadrons against the sanctioned strength of 42 fighter squadrons. Each squadron comprises around 18 jets.

In October last year, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari acknowledged that his force would not be able to reach the sanctioned strength of 42 fighter squadrons anytime soon, notwithstanding upcoming inductions.

The theme of this year's IAF Commanders' Conference is 'Beyond Boundaries: Robust Foundation".

The conference, which is held every year, involves discussions on the year gone by and the progress made on the path planned for the future.

Views of various government organs and academia are sought during the conference, which is also addressed by the chiefs of the Army and Naval Staff.

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