List of active Indian military aircraft

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The following list of active Indian military aircraft is a list of military aircraft currently in service with the Indian Armed Forces. For a list of historical aircraft used by the Indian Military, see list of historical aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

Indian Air Force[edit]

Further information: Indian Air Force
Aircraft Origin Role Version Number[1] Comment
Fighter aircraft (578)
Sukhoi Su-30MKI Russia
Multirole air superiority fighter Su-30MKI 205[2] Total of 272 on order (to be delivered by 2018-2019).[3]All aircraft to be upgraded to Super Sukhoi standards.
HAL Tejas India Multirole fighter Mk.I
9 9 delivered with 39 more on order.[4] A total of 294 Mk.I and Mk.II aircraft may be ordered to equip 14 squadrons replacing the MiG-21 and MiG-27.[5]

The first aircraft entered service on 17 January 2015, with FOC expected by late 2015 and first full squadron operational by 2017-2018.[6]

Mikoyan MiG-29 USSR Air superiority fighter MiG-29 (9.12B)
Being upgraded to MiG-29UPG standard, the first six were upgraded in Russia. Remaining aircraft to be upgraded by HAL.[8]
Dassault Mirage 2000 France Multirole fighter M2000H
Being upgraded. To remain operational until 2040.[3]
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 USSR
Fighter aircraft MiG21Bis
245[1] MiG-21M/MF ("Type 88") to be retired in 2015. Being replaced by the HAL Tejas.[10] Remaining 150 aircraft, including upgraded MiG-21 Bisons, to be phased out by 2022 or 2025.[11][3] To be replaced by the Tejas.
Ground-attack aircraft (230)
Ground-attack aircraft M/S
Service-life upgrades to be completed by 2020.[3] Also operated in a naval strike role.[13]
MiG-27 Bahadur USSR Ground-attack aircraft MiG-27ML 85[1] All non-upgraded aircraft to be retired by March 2016, with remaining aircraft to be retired by 2018. To be replaced by HAL Tejas.[3][14]
Transport aircraft (242)
C-17 Globemaster USA Strategic transport C-17 9[1] Total 10 ordered, were to initially order 6 more as a follow on clause but due to lack of funds only ordered 3 more, they have now entered into a controversy as Boeing has only 1 more on its production line to sell due to delays by the IAF.[15]
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid USSR Strategic transport Il-76MD 17[1]
C-130J Super Hercules USA Tactical transport C-130J-30SH 5[1] 6 more on order.[1] An additional 1 aircraft was ordered in August 2014 to replace the loss of a crashed C-130J.[16]
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 UK
Tactical transport HS 748-100 59[1] To be replaced with 56 EADS CASA C-295 aircraft.[17]
Antonov An-32 Cline USSR Tactical transport An-32
All to be upgraded to An-32RE standard by 2016. To be eventually replaced by UAC/HAL Il-214.[18]
Dornier Do 228 Germany
Utility transport Do 228-201 40[1] 14 more ordered in February 2015.[19]
Boeing 737 USA VIP transport 737-200 ADV
Embraer 135,145 Brazil VIP transport ERJ 135
Special-mission aircraft (19)
Ilyushin Il-78 MKI Russia[Note 1] Aerial refueling IL-78MKI 7[1]
Beriev A-50 Phalcon Russia[Note 2] AEW&C A-50E/I 3[1] 2 more on order.[1]
EMB-145 AEWCS Brazil[Note 3] AEW&C 2 2 currently undergoing testing by DRDO and IAF. 1 more to be delivered.[21]
Gulfstream III USA Electronic-warfare aircraft IV SRA-4 3[1] Operated by the R&AW, India's external intelligence agency.
Bombardier 5000 Canada[Note 4] Reconnaissance aircraft Global 5000 2[22] Operated by the R&AW, India's external intelligence agency.
IAI Astra Israel Reconnaissance aircraft G100 Astra 2[1]
Trainer aircraft (230)
Trainer aircraft Hawk 132 90 [23][24] 15 more to be delivered.[23] Deliveries expected to be complete by the end of 2016.[25]
HAL HJT-16 Kiran India Trainer aircraft HJT-16
81[1] To be phased out by 2017 and eventually be replaced by BAE Hawk (20 Hawks currently on order).[23][26]
Pilatus PC-7 Switzerland Trainer aircraft Mk II 59[27] 16 more to be delivered.[28] A further 106 may be ordered.[28]
Helicopters (467+)
Mil Mi-35 Hind-E USSR Attack helicopter Mi-35 20[1] To be eventually replaced by Boeing AH-64D Apache.[29]
HAL Rudra India Attack helicopter ALH-WSI 7 Total of 38 on order.
HAL Light Combat Helicopter India Attack helicopter LCH 3 65 on order.[1] 3 prototypes delivered.[30]
Mil Mi-26 Halo USSR Transport helicopter Mi-26 3[1] Will be complemented by Boeing CH-47 Chinook of which 15 are ordered.
Mil Mi-8
USSR Transport helicopter Mi-8
300+[31] 34 more Mi-17V5s to be delivered.[1] Additional 48 Mi-17V5s may be ordered.[32]
HAL Dhruv India Utility helicopter Dhruv 46[1] 65 more on order.[1]
HAL Cheetah India Utility helicopter Cheetal 14[1]
HAL Chetak India Utility helicopter SA316B

Indian Naval Air Arm[edit]

Aircraft Origin Role Version Number[1] Comment
Fighter aircraft (33)
Mikoyan MiG-29K Russia Multirole fighter MiG-29K
33[33] 12 more on order.[33]
Ground-attack aircraft (11)
BAE Sea Harrier UK[Note 5] Strike aircraft (V/STOL) FRS51
To be removed from service once INS Viraat is decommissioned in February 2016.[34]
Maritime patrol aircraft (20)
Boeing P-8 Poseidon USA Maritime patrol aircraft P-8I Neptune 7[1] 5 more to be delivered.[1] Possibly up to 16 more to be ordered.[1]
Tupolev Tu-142 USSR Maritime patrol aircraft Tu-142M 8[1] Being modernised in Russia.[35]
Ilyushin Il-38 USSR Maritime patrol aircraft Il-38SD 5[1] All five Sea Dragon variants are being overhauled, and will include a further minor upgrade.[36]
Utility aircraft (33)
Dornier Do 228 Germany
Utility aircraft Do 228-101
Do 228-201
Britten-Norman Islander UK Utility aircraft BN-2 8[1]
Trainer aircraft (37)
BAE Hawk UK Trainer aircraft Hawk 132 17[23] 6 more to be delivered.[23]
HAL HJT-16 Kiran India Trainer aircraft 20[1] To be replaced by the new HAL HJT-36 Sitara.
Helicopters (101)
Kamov Ka-31 Helix-B Russia Airborne early warning 14[1]
Kamov Ka-28 (Helix-A) Russia Anti-submarine warfare Ka-27PL (Helix-A) 14[1] 4 more on order.[1][37]
Westland Sea King UK Anti-submarine warfare
Transport helicopter
Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King USA Transport helicopter UH-3H 8[1]
HAL Dhruv India Utility helicopter 8[1] 16 more on order.[1]
HAL Chetak India Utility helicopter SA316B

Army Aviation Corps[edit]

Further information: Army Aviation Corps (India)
Aircraft Origin Role Version Number[1] Comment
Helicopters (136)
HAL Rudra India Attack helicopter ALH-WSI 20 40 more on order.[38]
HAL Light Combat Helicopter India Attack helicopter LCH 114 on order.[1]
HAL Dhruv India Utility helicopter 73[1] Total of 151 on order.[1]
HAL Cheetah, Cheetal & Lancer India Utility helicopter
Utility helicopter
18 more Cheetal on order replacing the older Cheetah.[1]
HAL Chetak & Chetan India Utility helicopter Chetak 4[1] Being withdrawn from service and replaced by HAL Dhruv.

Indian Coast Guard[edit]

Further information: Indian Coast Guard
Aircraft Origin Role Version Number Comment
Fixed-wing aircraft (38)
Dornier Do 228 India
Maritime surveillance Do 228-101 38
Helicopters (22)
HAL Dhruv India Utility helicopter 4[39] 16 more ordered in July 2014.[39]
HAL Chetak India Utility helicopter Chetak 18

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles[edit]

Note: The Indian Armed Forces operate a number of Unmanned aerial vehicles split between the three service branches.

Aircraft Origin Role Version Number Comment
IAI Harpy Israel UCAV 5+ A small UCAV that homes into enemy radar emissions - destroying both itself and the enemy radar. In service with Indian Air Force.
IAI Harop Israel UCAV 10 A small UCAV that homes into enemy radar emissions - destroying both itself and the enemy radar. In service with Indian Air Force.
IAI Heron Israel UAV Heron I
Heron II
50+ In service with Indian Air Force and Indian Navy. 15 more ordered in December 2013.
IAI Searcher Israel UAV Searcher II
Searcher I
100+ In service with the Indian Army.
DRDO Nishant India UAV 12+ In service with the Indian Army.
DRDO Lakshya India Target drone 39 A small target drone in service with the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Assembled in Uzbekistan, with Israeli designed fuel-transfer system.
  2. ^ With Israeli EL/W-2090 radar system.
  3. ^ With Indian radar system.
  4. ^ Fitted with Israeli radars.
  5. ^ Fitted with Israeli EL/M-2032 radar and Rafael ooDerby Beyond-visual-range missile.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf "World Air Forces 2015" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. [page needed]
  2. ^ "India to review safety of Su-30MKI fighter fleet". Indian Defence Research Wing. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Chandra, Atul (4 August 2014). "India's air force modernisation challenge". Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  4. ^ "32 years on, IAF gets first Tejas light combat aircraft". 
  5. ^ Ajai Shukla (11 February 2014). "IAF will buy 14 Tejas squadrons, lowering costs". Business Standard. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  6. ^ PTI (17 January 2015). "After 32 years, India finally gets LCA Tejas aircraft". Economic Times. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "Russian overhauled Mig-29s take to the air with Indian air force". Russia & India Report. rbth. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  8. ^ The first modernised in India Mig-29UPG took to the skies,, 14 March 2014
  9. ^ Hoyle, Craig (25 March 2015), "Pictures: India accepts first upgraded Mirage 2000s", Flightglobal 
  10. ^ Simha, Rakesh Krishnan (2014-06-27). "Sukhoi-30MKI is India’s fallback fighter". Russia & India Report. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  11. ^ "IAF Transformation: Happening but delay on MMRCA is worrying". India Strategic. October 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Jaguar Fighter Aircraft Crashes Near Allahabad, Pilots Eject Safely". NDTV. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Jane's Fighting Ships 2004-05. p. 407 (of part 1). 
  14. ^ Mathrani, Mukesh (27 January 2015). "IAF's MiG-27 aircraft crashes in Rajasthan, pilot safe". Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "IAF clears proposal to buy three C 17; Boeing says only one plane left to sell". 
  16. ^ "Indian Air Force to replace crashed C-130J medium-lift aircraft". August 19, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Airbus Wins $1.9 Billion Indian Military Cargo Plane Order". Bloomberg business. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  18. ^ "India Refurbishing its AN-32 Transport Fleet". Defense Industry Daily. 6 April 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Indian Air Force to acquire 14 Dornier planes from HAL". The Economic Times. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "Boeing 737". Bharat Rakshak. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  21. ^ "Second Brazilian plane with Indian AEW&C System flown". The Hindu. 5 April 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  22. ^ Gupta, Shishir (3 May 2012). "After 20 years, R&AW upgrades to super spy jets". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c d e "HAL eyes export potential of light attack Hawk". Flightglobal. 28 May 2015. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  24. ^ "IAF Hawk jet trainer aircraft crashes in Jharkhand". Economic times. India Times. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "Hawk Jet Trainers". PIB, Govt of India. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  26. ^ "Pilatus PC-7 gives boost to IAF Academy". The Hindu. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  27. ^ Rahul Bedi, New Delhi (2 March 2015). "Indian MoD approves PC-7 follow-on buy". IHS Jane's 360. Retrieved 16 August 2015. 
  28. ^ a b Ajai Shukla (14 February 2015). "Defence ministry official questions whether Pilatus was cheapest trainer". Business Standard. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  29. ^ "India Offers to Buy More US Helicopters to Lower Costs". Voice of America. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  30. ^ "HAL’s third LCH prototype conducts maiden flight". Flightglobal. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  31. ^ Rakesh Krishnan Simha (23 July 2015). "No turbulence: Russian choppers rule subcontinental skies". Russia & India Report. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  32. ^ Manu Pubby (20 July 2015). "IAF moves proposal to acquire 48 Mi 17 choppers from Russia to strengthen transport fleet". The Economic Times. Retrieved 26 July 2015. 
  33. ^ a b "INS Hansa getting crowded, Navy starts moving Mig-29Ks". IDRW (29 June 2015). Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  34. ^ Anandan, S. (12 February 2015). "INS Viraat to be decommissioned in 2016". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 May 2015. 
  35. ^ "Indian navy took delivery of another Tu-142ME antisubmarine aircraft". Russian Aviation. 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  36. ^ "Russia to repair Indian anti-submarine aircraft". ITAR-TASS. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  37. ^ "Indian Navy to Upgrade its Kamov Ka-28 Anti-Submarine Warfare Helicopters". 3 April 2015. 
  38. ^ "Army gets attack helicopters as India eyes China threat". Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  39. ^ a b "Indian Navy And Coast Guard To Get 32 Dhruv Helicopters". Defense World. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  40. ^ "Hindustan Aeronautics Limited delivers 'Lakshya-1' aircraft to Bharat Dynamics Limited". Indian Express. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 

External links[edit]