You are currently viewing AIRCRAFTS IN INDIAN AIR FORCE


The Indian Air Force (IAF) is known as the “air arm” of the Indian Armed Forces. It is ranked fourth in number amongst the air forces of the whole world. Indian Air Force’s primary mission is to safeguard India’s airspace from outer aggression.

It uses 3 kinds of Aircraft to do so:

1. Fighter Aircrafts

2. Helicopters

3. Transport Aircrafts

Fighter Aircraft of Indian Air Force

1. Rafale

  • This is the latest entry in the fighter aircraft fleet of the Indian Air Force. Considering decreasing squadrons of IAF, India purchased 36 Rafale in flyaway condition.
  • Rafale is a delta wing, twin-engine powered aircraft by Franch maker Dassault.
  • It is designed for air supremacy, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, anti-ship strike, and nuclear deterrence missions.

2. Tejas

  • Tejas is a single-engine, multi-role fighter jet designed by  Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). It is an outcome of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program that started in the 1980s to replace MiG 21 of the Indian Air Force.
  • It Is the second indigenously build supersonic aircraft, the first was HAL HF-24 Marut.
  • 45 Squadron IAF Flying Daggers is the first Tejas IAF unit.

3. SU-30 MKI

  • Twin seater twin-engine multirole fighter from Russian maker.
  • Can carry One X 30mm GSH gun in addition to 8000 kg external armament.
  • Can carry One X 30mm GSH gun in addition to 8000 kg external armament.
  • Maximum speed of SU-30 MKI is 2500 km/hr (Mach 2.35).

4. Mirage-2000

  • A single-seater air defense and multi-role fighter plane of French foundation.
  • Fuelled by a single engine.
  • The maximum speed of Mirage-2000 is 2495 km/hr (Mach 2.3).
  • Transports two 30 mm integral cannons, two-meter super 530D medium-range, and two R-550 magic II close combat missiles to external stations.

5. MiG-29

  • Twin engine, single seater air superiority fighter aircraft from Russian maker.
  • Capable of achieving a maximum speed of 2445 km per hour (Mach-2.3).
  • Has a combat ceiling of 17 km.
  • Carries a 30 mm cannon in addition to four R-60 close combat and two R-27 R medium-range radar-guided missiles.

6. MiG-27

  • Single engine, single-seater tactical strike fighter aircraft of Russian foundation.
  • Functioning on a maximum speed of 1700 km/hr (Mach 1.6).
  • MiG-27 carries a 23 mm six-barrel rotary integral cannon.
  • Also capable of transferring up to 4000 kg of another armament externally.

7. MiG-21 BISON

  • Single engine, single seater multirole fighter/ground attack aircraft from Russian maker.
  • Forms the backbone of the Indian Air Forces.
  • Has a maximum speed of 2230 km/hr (Mach 2.1).
  • Carries one 23mm twin-barrel cannon along with four R-60 close combat missiles.

8. Jaguar

  • Twin-engine, single-seater deep penetration strike aircraft of Anglo-French foundation.
  • Maximum speed of the aircraft is 1350 km /hr (Mach 1.3).
  • Carries two 30mm guns.
  • Can also carry two R-350 Magic CCMs (overwing) as well as 4750 kg of external stores (bombs/fuel).

Helicopter In Indian Air Force

1. Chinook

  • Chinook is a twin-engine, heavy lift, and tendon rotor helicopter from American maker Boeing.
  • Chinook is a heavy transport helicopter with many doors, a ramp at the rear of the fuselage, and three external cargo hooks to carry underslung loads.

2. Apache

  • Apache is an attack helicopter with a nose-mounted sensor suite for targeting.
  • Apache also has a night vision system which makes it more effective.
  • It has a 30 mm machine gun under the main fuselage. It is considered one of the most advanced attack helicopters in the world.

3. MI-25/MI-35

  • Twin engine turboshaft, assault, and anti-armor helicopter.
  • Capable of carrying 8 men assault squad along with four-barrel 12.7 mm rotary gun in nose barbette and up to 1500 Kg of external ordnance including Scorpion anti-tank missiles.
  •   Highest speed of MI-25/MI-35 is 310 km/hr.

4. MI-26

  • Twin-engine turboshaft, the military heavy-lift helicopter of the Russian foundation.
  • Has a carrying capacity of 70 combat-equipped troops or a 20,000 kg payload.
  • Can attain a maximum speed of 295 km/hr.

5. MI-17 V5

  • It is a potent helicopter platform, equipped with modern avionics and glass cockpit instrumentation.
  • In addition to that, stocked with state-of-art navigational equipment, avionics, weather radar and are NVG-compatible.

6. Chetak

  • Single engine turboshaft, light utility French helicopter.
  • Has space for either 6 passengers or 500 kg load.
  • Can achieve a maximum speed of 220 km/hr.

7. Cheetah

  • Single engine turboshaft, FAC/casevac helicopter of French foundation.
  • Room for carrying either 3 passengers or 100 kg external sling loads.
  • Has a maximum cruise speed of 121 km/hr.
  •  Can also climb to 1 km in 4 minutes.

Indian Air Force Transport Aircrafts

1. C-130J

  • The aircraft has the ability to perform paradrop, heavy drop, casualty evacuation.
  • Can be operated from short and semi-prepared surfaces too.
  • It was the heaviest aircraft to land at DBO in Aug 2013.

2. C-17

  • The aircraft has the potential to carry a payload of 40-70 tons up to a distance of 4200-9000 km in a single hop.

3. IL-76

  • A four-engine heavy duty/long haul military transport aircraft of the Russian foundation.
  • Can achieve a maximum speed of 850 km/hr.
  • Has a twin 23 mm cannon in the tail turret.
  • Capable of carrying either 225 paratroopers or 40 tonnes freight, wheeled, or tracked armored vehicles.

4. AN-32

  • Twin-engine turboprop, medium tactical transport aircraft of Russian foundation with a crew of five.
  • Capacity to carry 39 paratroopers or a maximum load of 6.7 tonnes.
  • Has a maximum cruise speed of 530 km/hr.


  • The role of this Aircraft is to convey VVIPs/VIPs.
  • Operated by Air HQ Communication Squadron.
  • It has been able to maintain a flawless incident/accident-free track record to date.


  • Twin-engine turboprop, military transport, and freighter of British foundation.
  • The capacity of carrying either 48 paratroopers or 6 tonnes freight.
  • Can achieve a maximum cruise speed of 452 km/hr.

7. Dornier

  • Twin-engine turboprop, logistic air support staff transport aircraft of German foundation.
  • Capacity to carry either 19 passengers or 2057 kg freight.
  • Has a maximum speed of 428 km/hr.

8. Boeing 737-200

  • Twin-engine turbofan, aircraft for VIP passengers from American maker.
  • Total seating capacity for up to 60 passengers.
  • Capable of achieving a maximum cruise speed of 943 km/hr.

If you like our content, then don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our YouTube channel.



The Editorial Team at ClearSSB consists of Retired Officers, Professional Writers, Journalists, and Defense Aspirants. JAI HIND!!
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments