Britan proposes help in upgrading Jaguar jets

New Delhi, Nov 27 ( Britain Friday proposed to help India in the upgradation of Indian Air Force’s (IAF) twin-engine Jaguar fighter jets, a defence official said.

A three-member delegation led by British Minister for Defence Equipment and Support Quentin Davies met Indian Minister of State for Defence M.M. Pallam Raju.

“Davies conveyed that the UK was eager to help India in the upgradation of the Jaguar fighter jets,” a defence ministry spokesperson said.

Capable of delivering nuclear weapons, the Jaguars were first inducted into the IAF from Britain in 1979 and subsequently manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd under licence.

By the mid-80s, the IAF had five squadrons of the deep penetration strike aircraft including one equipped with Sea Eagle anti-ship sea-skimming missile.

Jaguars, called Shamsher in the IAF, have always been a trusted war horse since the first of the fleet came to Ambala on July 27, 1979.

At the time of induction, Jaguar was considered to be the fastest aircraft and added a new dimension to air operations in the Indian sub-continent.

Under an agreement with the IAF, HAL has been entrusted with the upgradation of Jaguars that would extend their life by another 15 years, through the year 2020.

The British delegation has also offered help to overcome problems related to licensed production of Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, the official said.