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  • Writer's picturesaradchandran2004

F-35 jets from the US Air Force make their historical premiere at Aero India 2023.

India had previously intended to work with Russia to co-develop a stealth fighter, but the proposed $5 billion fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project was shelved after IAF raised severe concerns about the project due to its high cost and challenges with technology transfer.

The multirole F-35A Lightning II and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the newest fifth-generation fighters from the United States Air Force, made their first landing on Indian soil on Monday to participate in Aero India-2023 at the Yelahanka airbase. The event, which takes place every two years, is expected to draw more than five lakh spectators from over 100 participating nations.

According to US sources, the two stealth jets took off from Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska and Hill Air Force Base in Utah and travelled to India. While the other will be on static display, one of them will participate in the flying demonstration.

"From February 13–17, in addition to the F-35, a pair of F-16 Fighting Falcons will perform daily aerial displays to demonstrate the capabilities of one of the USAF's top fighter jets. The F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets are multirole fighters when they are on static display, according to a statement from the US Consulate General in Chennai.

The F-35 represents the cutting edge of US fighter technology, according to Major General Julian C. Cheater, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs, who was quoted in the article. The most sophisticated, capable, dangerous, and interoperable weaponry the US has to offer can be displayed at Aero India. This device and others are made to get past and destroy sophisticated air defences used by enemies.

However, India intends to create its own fifth-generation fighter, the advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), with design, development, and prototypes likely costing around Rs. 15 billion. According to the Indian Air Force's modernization plan, six squadrons of around 120 stealth fighters will be deployed starting in 2032.

As previously reported by HT, it is possible to outfit the AMCA with unmanned systems, improved missile approach warning systems, directed energy weapons, and superior anti-missile systems.

India had originally intended to co-develop a stealth fighter with Russia, but the proposed $5 billion fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) project was shelved after the IAF expressed severe qualms about the proposal due to the high cost and issues surrounding knowledge transfer.

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