WASHINGTON (Agencies): In a strategic move aimed at bolstering India’s air defense capabilities, the United States has actively promoted the Boeing F-15EX Eagle II to the Indian Air Force (IAF). With India’s ongoing pursuit of 114 Multi-Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA), the F-15EX emerges as a formidable contender, offering robust capabilities amidst India’s urgent need to augment its fighter squadron strength.

The IAF, currently facing a shortfall of fighter squadrons, has been exploring various options to bridge the gap, including the procurement of advanced aircraft like the Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon. Despite efforts towards self-reliance with projects like the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), the timeline for these indigenous programs poses challenges in meeting immediate operational requirements.

The F-15EX, derived from the F-15E Strike Eagle platform and equipped with advanced sensors, electronic warfare capabilities, and a significant payload capacity of 29,500 lbs., presents a compelling case for India’s consideration. This twin-cockpit fighter, closely comparable in size and capabilities to India’s existing Su-30MKI fleet, could potentially complement and diversify India’s air power strategy.

While the cost of over $90 million per aircraft and logistical considerations regarding integration and maintenance are factors to be weighed, the F-15EX offers unique advantages in terms of range, payload capacity, and operational flexibility. As India navigates its MRFA acquisition strategy, including evaluating contenders like the F-15EX alongside other leading aircraft, decisions in the coming months will shape the future landscape of the IAF’s combat capabilities.

By Media

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