As part an upgrade and to evolve new tactics in aerial warfare, Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) Gwalior-based Tactics and Air Combat Development Establishment (TACDE) will for the first time receive frontline fighters Sukhoi-30MKI by the end of this year.
Gwalior is essentially a base for French Mirage-2000 fighters.
TACDE is an aerial warfare training institution which devises combat tactics for its top 1% fighter pilots. The Sukhois will replace MiG-27s, which will go back to their original bases in Kalaikunda, Hashimara and Bagdogra in the east.
A source said the new Sukhois being manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) will be based in Gwalior. The numbers are not certain as of now, but it could beanything close to a squadron.
An assortment of fighters in the IAF inventory are sent to TACDE to evolve tactical procedures for various aircraft, implement standard operating procedures and train pilots in operational doctrines.
TACDE was conferred presidential standards in November 2009.
At present, its training inventory includes MiG-21 Bisons and MiG-27s. While the existing Sukhois are being upgraded, the Union cabinet recently cleared an order for 42 more to be manufactured by HAL, raising the IAF Sukhoi strength to more than 250.