Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)
|American B-1 Lancer escorted by Indian Air Force LCA Tejas during Aero India 2021
Amid the reports of India leasing the Russian Tupolev Tu-160 for its Strategic Forces Command (SFC) experts have said that the US B-1 Lancer Long-Range Bomber had carried out a flyby at the Aero India 2021 while being escorted by Tejas fighter jet of the Indian Air Force and the B-1 Lancer remain parked at the Yelahanka Air Force Station for a few more days even after the conclusion of the Aero India, which has now lead to speculations that India has been talking to both Russia and the United States for its requirement to lease Strategic Bombers.
The B-1 Lancer was originally designed for nuclear capabilities but its external pylons designed for nuclear delivery were removed to comply with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which means that it will not cater to the requirement of India’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC).
Meanwhile Russia has inducted two new Tupolev Tu-160 Strategic Bombers that were built from unfinished airframes left from the 1980s and has also started work to build at least 50 new airframes and the first fully newly built Tu-160 will be delivered from 2025 onwards.