A Prelude To 'Fighter' Movie Through The Indian Air Force's Mighty Birds

Exploring the IAF's elite aircraft, including the versatile HAL Dhruv and the foundational Pilatus PC-7 MkII.

Published On Jan 25, 2024 | Updated On Mar 08, 2024


In the vast expanse of the cinematic universe, where storytelling and reality often intertwine, the Hrithik Roshan starrer film Fighter presents a unique opportunity to traverse the lesser-known realms of aerial prowess and valour. Since as cinema buffs viewers, we are on the cusp of witnessing a portrayal that transcends mere entertainment, delving into a world where the roar of jet engines and the strategic ballet in the skies are as real as they are awe-inspiring.

The Indian Air Force, a beacon of national pride and military excellence, has long been the guardian of the Indian skies. Its fleet, an amalgamation of power, technology, and indomitable spirit, serves as the backbone of India’s aerial defence capabilities.

As Fighter prepares to take its audience on a journey through the adrenaline-fueled arena of air combat, it becomes essential to understand the real heroes behind this saga – the aircraft of the Indian Air Force. This exploration is a tribute to these magnificent flying machines and the brave pilots who command them, offering a glimpse into the world of strategic combat and aerial manoeuvres that define modern warfare.

Shot by: g4sp Edited by: diego_pmc/CC BY-SA 2.0/Wikimedia Commons

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI reigns supreme in the IAF's arsenal. A marvel of Russian engineering, adapted to India's specific needs, this aircraft is a formidable blend of technology and power. The fighter plane is collaboratively developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Design Bureau and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). With its long-range, aerial combat capabilities, and ability to carry a variety of weapons, the Su-30MKI is a testament to India's strategic air strength. Its impressive manoeuvrability and advanced avionics make it a cornerstone of India's air defence.

In the film Fighter, a Su-30MKI is flown by Hrithik Roshan's character, this extremely sophisticated fighter aircraft appears in a large portion of the movie's teaser and trailer. The Fighter movie's teaser and trailer both feature action sequences that showcase the aircraft's amazing agility.

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The HAL Dhruv, an advanced utility helicopter, is a shining example of India's prowess in aerospace engineering. Developed by Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) , the Dhruv is a multi-role, multi-mission helicopter that serves both military and civil operations. Its versatility is evident in its wide range of functions, from transport and logistics to search and rescue missions. The Dhruv is renowned for its high-altitude performance, a critical asset in India's diverse and challenging terrains.The character played by Deepika Padukone in the film Fighter is seen piloting a Dhruv helicopter.

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The Pilatus PC-7 MkII is more than just a training aircraft; it is the cornerstone of pilot training in the Indian Air Force. This Swiss-made aircraft is crucial for imparting essential flying skills to budding aviators. Renowned for its reliability and adaptability, the PC-7 MkII has been instrumental in training generations of pilots, preparing them for the challenges of flying sophisticated combat aircraft. Its role in moulding the skills of future pilots is invaluable to the IAF.

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The HAL Tejas, an indigenously built fighter, represents India's strides in self-reliant defence technology. This lightweight, multi-role combat aircraft is renowned for its agility and speed. Designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Tejas is a symbol of national pride and technological innovation. It's tailored for a variety of roles, from offensive air operations to reconnaissance, marking it as a versatile tool in modern aerial warfare.

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The MiG-21, a Soviet-era warrior, continues to be a significant part of the IAF's legacy. As one of the most produced supersonic jet fighters, it has served in various roles, from an interceptor to a frontline fighter. The MiG-21's history with the IAF is a story of resilience and adaptability, reflecting the evolving dynamics of aerial combat and strategy. Its continued use underlines the IAF's ability to maximise resources and expertise.

Photo: Fighter/ IMDb