Indian Air Force Day 2021: Check List of Active Indian Military Aircraft

Indian Air Force Day 2021: Check List of Active Indian Military Aircraft

On the occasion of IAF’s 89th anniversary, here is a complete list of active aircraft of the Indian Air Force and the jets in its fighter fleet.

The aircraft is currently in service or on order with the Indian Air Force.  The Indian Air Force is the fourth-strongest air force in the world globally in terms of the number of personnel and the number of assets it operates.  With its origins in 1932 as the British Indian Air Force, which ended in 1947 as the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is celebrating its 89th anniversary on Friday, October 8.  The day will witness a spectacular aerial display by various aircraft including heritage, modern and frontline fighter aircraft at the parade-cum-investment ceremony at the Indian Air Force base at Hindon, Ghaziabad.  The mesmerizing aerobic performance will begin with skydivers from Akash Ganga team exiting AN-32 aircraft in colorful umbrellas. 

This will be followed by a demonstration by 47 Squadron deployed MiG-29 UPG aircraft, 116 Helicopter Unit with Advanced Light Helicopter Mark IV Rudra and 2255 Squadron Debt Air Force.

On the occasion of the 89th anniversary of the Indian Air Force, as per the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, here is the complete list of active aircraft of the Indian Air Force-

  • Aerospatiale Alouette III
  • Antonov An-32 (Kline)
  • BAE Hawk
  • Beriev A-50
  • Boeing (Hughes) AH-64 Apache
  • Boeing 737 (series)
  • Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
  • Boeing P-8 Poseidon
  • Dassault Mirage 2000
  • dornier do 228
  • HAL Dhruvi
  • HAL Tejas LCA
  •   IAI Inventors
  • Ilyushin IL-76
  • Ilyushin IL-78
  • Kamov Ka-226 Sergeyk
  • Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules
  • Mikoyan MiG-29 (Fulcrum)
  • Mikoyan Gurevich MiG21
  • Mil Mi-17 (Hip-H)
  • Mil Mi-26 (Halo)
  • Mil Mi-35 (Hind-E)
  • Mil Mi-8 (Hip)
  • Sukhoi Su-30 (Flanker-C)

List of aircraft in IAF’s fighter jet fleet

Out of the 27 active aircraft, here are the major jets that are part of the IAF’s dynamic fighter fleet-


The MiG 21 is one of the most famous fighter aircraft around the world and has served in more than 60 countries over the past six decades.  India is planning to gradually retire its last MiG-21s over the next 3-4 years, due to the increasing number of fighter jet crashes in the recent past.

Sukhoi Su-30MKI

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is one of the most advanced fighter aircraft that India has and is the current backbone and frontline fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force.  The aircraft is used as the primary air-to-air and air-to-ground  strik machine.


The Mirage-2000, first commissioned in 1985, is one of the most versatile and deadliest aircraft ever.  In India, the vimana is dubbed as ‘Vajra’ which refers to the Vajra weapon wielded by Lord Indra.  The Mirage 2000 aircraft played a key role in India’s victory over the iconic Tiger Hill during the Kargil War.


In the 1980s, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) began the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) program to replace the older Soviet-sourced MiG-21s.  In January 2021, the Defense Ministry signed a Rs 48,00 crore deal with HAL for the acquisition of 83 LCA-Tejas Mk1A aircraft.


The SEPECAT Jaguar or ‘Shamsher’ is a fighter jet jointly developed by the British Royal Air Force and the French Air Force.  Currently, it is only being used by the Indian Air Force in an upgraded version and serves as its primary ground attack aircraft.

Mig 29

The MiG 29 was produced by the Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the 1970s to counter US F-series aircraft such as the F-15 and F-16.  In India, the MiG29 is known as the ‘Baaz’ (Hawk) and forms the second line of defense after the Sukhoi Su-30MKI.


The induction of the 4.5 generation Rafale aircraft manufactured in France is being seen as a game changer for India.  The twin-engine jets are capable of a wide variety of missions from land and sea attacks to air defense and nuclear attack prevention.

India had signed an agreement with France for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore.

Aircraft  Origin          Type
Beriev A-50Soviet UnionAEW&C
Boeing 707United Statessurveillance
Global 5000            United StatesELINT
Gulfstream G100Israelsurveillance
AircraftOriginTypeVariantIn serviceNotes
Electronic Warfare  
Gulfstream IIIUnited StatesEW / ELINTSRA3 
AircraftOriginTypeVariantIn serviceNotes
Air Fuel Tanker  
Ilyushin Il-78Soviet Unionaerial refuelingIl-78MKI6equipped with Israeli fuel-transfer system

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