Despite India reaching a five-point consensus with China, including the disengagement of both respective soldiers from the contested Himalayan Border, it is likely that the blazing fire between the two nations might not diffuse just yet.
Adding Pakistan in the mix along with its “Iron Brother” China, the future paves way for a series of escalations along India’s volatile border and thereby highlights India’s need to enhance its military arsenal and there is just the fighter jet which might do that – the new US “F-15EX”.
The most advanced version of the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter jet, the F-15EX uses the frame of the classic F-15 and incorporates generations of technological improvements developed over the period of the last thirty years.
Developed by American aerospace juggernauts Boeing, the two-seat fighter possesses a deep magazine that can carry an array of advanced weapons on board and overshadows its predecessor F-15s because of its Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture.
According to Boeing, “The most significant difference between the F-15EX and legacy F-15s lies in its Open Mission Systems (OMS) architecture. The OMS architecture will enable the rapid insertion of the latest aircraft technologies.”
While India’s recent induction of the first five of the 36 French Dassault 4.5 generation Rafale Jets is considered a promising sign for the Indian Air Force which is bolstering its air fleet, the current strength of 31 squadrons against the sanctioned one of 42 squadrons would need further procurements of advanced fighters – as India needs to be ready for a possible two-front war.
While the F-15EX were said to be running for the Indian Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) contract, they could yet again return for the MMRCA 2.0 which is to be phased by the IAF for the procurement of further 114 fighters.
With emerging conflicts on the border against neighbors China and Pakistan, there is a need for the future IAF fighters to fulfill different sets of roles. India needs fighter jets which have the ability to strike deep into enemy territories, while also being able to stay up in the air for longer hours, something which will be offered by the F-15EX.