IAF needs fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft, SC told

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that there was no clear definition of the generation of fighter aircraft and that the existing fighters with it are of three-and-a-half or fourth generation.

The IAF officers’ response came during the hearing on a batch of petitions on the French Rafale fighter deal.

The Air Vice Marshal T. Chalapathi told the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice K.M. Joseph that the force was looking for fifth generation fighter aircraft as there was no new induction of fighters since 1985 when Dassault’s Mirage were acquired.

He told the bench that though HAL continues to produce Sukhoi 30 and Light Combat Aircraft, there is need for fifth generation stealth aircraft with advanced avionics.

AS CJI Gogoi asked “Your requirement is 5th generation aircraft”, Air Vice Marshal T. Chalapathi said the requirement is for a few squadrons of 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft.

No sooner than the AG concluded his arguments, CJI Gogoi asked all the senior Air Force officers to go.

“Air Marshal and Vice-Marshals can go back. It is a different war game here in the court. You can go to your own war rooms”, CJI Gogoi told the senior officers who were called to the court to address queries by the bench.