The Indian Air Force is set to shelve its plan for an engine upgrade of the Jaguar jet due to the high cost involved, reports local media.
Instead, it could go in for additional Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs to replace the aircraft that will be grounded.
The initial plan was to have the Jaguar upgrade completed by December 2017, with the modernised fleet remaining in service with the IAF beyond 2030. But state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) has so far only delivered six upgraded prototypes after obtaining Initial Operational Clearance in November 2016.
With HAL struggling to integrate new radar on the jets, there has yet to be handover of a Final Operational Clearance unit.
The IAF, who is already short of 12 squadrons from its authorised fleet of 42, is now facing an even bigger aircraft shortfall as it abandons plan to upgrade 80 Jaguar fighters with new Honeywell engines@ajaishukla reports@IAF_MCC https://t.co/BhPkvsHd9l
— Business Standard (@bsindia) August 20, 2019
Currently, the IAF operates a total of six squadrons of the Jaguar. However, in actual strength, there are only five squadrons, as the sixth is not a complete squadron.