Delay in availability of the HF-24 Marut for the ground attack fighter mission led, in 1966, to the Indian Air Force [IAF evaluating and the Government purchasing the Sukhoi Su-7BM, deliveries of which from the Soviet Union were to commence in March 1968. As the sixties translated to the seventies, the IAF consolidated its expansion plans, attaining its 45-squadron goal. Obsolescent equipment was steadily withdrawn to be succeeded by increasing numbers of HF-24s, MiG-21FLs and SU-7BMs.Indian planners anticipate that any future war with Pakistan will be a high-intensity, short-duration affair (partly because of diplomatic intervention by third parties). Consequently, the IAF is developing a powerful tactical strike force to facilitate rapid advances by ground elements. Offensive air support will be furnished by MiG-23BN and MiG-27 squadrons, augmented by the MiG-21M Fishbed-J and Ajeet (an upgraded version of the British Gnat). As of the mid-1980s aging Hawker Hunter Mk 56 and Sukhoi Su-7 fighter-bombers were being removed from the inventory. The HF-24 Marut served until 1985. The various development programmes to enhance the operational performance of the HF-24 Marut by HAL were abandoned for one reason or the other. The Government of India concluded an agreement with the Soviet Union for the MiG-23 variable-sweep fighter to meet the Tactical Air Strike Aircraft (TASA) requirement. Four squadrons, then flying the HF-24 and Sukhoi Su-7 were re-equipped with the MiG-23BN.
|Engines:||2 * 2200kg HAL/R.R. Orpheus Mk.703|
|Armament:||4*g30mm 48*r68mm 1814kg|