The Indian Air Force (IAF) is to upgrade its capabilities in the north-east of the country, after which, similar steps will be taken in the north, according to Air Chief Marshal PV Naik.

Naik said the upgrade, part of the modernisation of air field infrastructure (MAFI) project, will include six major air fields in Bagdogra, Panagarh, Tezpur, Chabua, Saluwa and Guwahati.

The upgrade programme will also include improvements to eight advanced landing grounds in the region, according to the Hindu.

The IAF chief said the indigenous light combat aircraft (LCA) mkI will be inducted into operationalised squadrons by the middle of 2011.

Naik said India was acquiring 50 Hawk aircraft from the UK, as part of future cooperation between the two countries for the training of fighter pilots.