The Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to acquire more than 230 helicopters in the near future to modernise its fleet, Air Chief Marshal PV Naik has said.

The process of acquiring helicopters of different types and sizes has already begun.

“We are acquiring 12 AW101 VVIP helicopters and trials for 22 attack choppers are complete, 80 Mi-17 IV helicopters are being inducted, trials for 12 heavy-lift choppers are also in the final stage and will be complete soon,” Naik said.

The IAF will receive 55 helicopters from a batch of 197, for which the field evaluation trials (FETs) are over with a report expected in the next two weeks.

The Russian Mi-28 and US Apache 64D Longbow are competing to supply attack helicopters to the IAF.

The IAF will upgrade the Su-30MKI multirole combat aircraft with modern equipment with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Russian manufacturers developing AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar for the fighter, according to the Times of India.