A MiG-29 fighter jet of the Indian Air Force

Vibhas Pande, Air Officer commanding-in-chief, Maintenance Command, has said that the Indian Air Force has already achieved 95-97 per cent self-reliance in daily requirements and it now has to work to achieve the Prime Minister's vision of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.

Vibhas Pande said, "Our dependency on Sukhoi-30MKI is on HAL and we have done a lot of indigenization on MiG-29. The face of the Russia-Ukraine war has made no difference to the MiG-29. In Sukhoi-30MKI, with the support of HAL, we have been able to sustain the fleet very well, but if the conflict continues for a longer time and support from Russia stops, it may have some effects. But as of now because of the stalking policy which is for long-term storage, it has not affected us."

"We have already achieved 95-97 per cent self-reliance in daily requirements. For those, which require developed technology, we are still trying but it will take time because this is not an easy technology and there are a lot of critical calculations involved," he added.

He further said that the upgrade program of MiG-29 has been completed without the support of the Russian side.

"We will have to give a little more thrust to our indigenization and work harder to achieve our PM's vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat. Right now the plan is to manufacture the spare parts required by us in our country as soon as possible. While this conflict started, the new impetuous was also given by both these agencies (BRD and HAL) for the development of these new spares which were needed and you will be happy to know that the upgrade programme of MiG-29 has actually been completed without complete supply by the Russian side," Vibhas Pande said.

He also added that the Indian Air Force is in need of TEJAS Aircrafts and the delivery for the same will begin from 2024.

"TEJAS is a stealth aircraft and its delivery is to begin from 2024. The Air Force is in constant dialogue with HAL as we need more and more planes. We are trying to get the Aircrafts built and handed over to us as soon as possible so that we can increase our operation capability. We started the work of indigenization together with MSMEs since the dissolution of the USSR in the 90s. And now the spare parts of our Automatic Replacement system which are used on daily basis are 97 percent 'Made in India' as today. For that we do not depend on any foreign country," he added.