Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief-designate Air Marshal F.H. Major said that the MiG-21s will stay longer through mid-life up-gradation as new aircraft are inducted over the next eight to nine years. Major reminded that even as India plans to induct 126 new fighters, it has "third and fourth generation aircraft like Sukhois and Mirages." This apart, the IAF is also in the process of including 80 medium life helicopters and a dozen VVIP helicopters.
Early 2008, the IAF will induct three Phalcon airborne warning and control aircraft system (AWACS) and the first batch of indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) is expected to enter by 2009. As the fourth largest air-force in the world, Major said that the IAF has a long way to go from a "tactical" to a "strategic" force.