I mean we will be losing approximately 200 more aircrafts by 2035-37 max. Is our aim to just replenish those 200 + maybe 100 Mig21s (last 4 bison squadrons).... Or we aim to increase the number beyond 32 squadrons by 2040?

That's what I meant.

To fight a one-front war, we need 30 squadrons. To fight a two-front war simultaneously, we need 42.5 squadrons. Due to current geopolitical realities, there is no immediate fear of a two-front war.

If we exclude all Mig-21s and LCA Mk1As, we will have 29 squadrons. 3 Mig-29 squadrons were supposed to be phased out, but will be extended by a decade more. 3 Jaguar DARIN II squadrons are expected to be phased out by 2035, so we drop down to 26 squadrons. Another half squadron MKI is expected to be raised after the 13th one; 20x13.5 = 270. So 26.5 in total.

With MKI MLU at 84 jets, ie, 21 jets per squadron, it's possible that the 13.5th squadron will not be raised.

So with all the Mig-21s and half the Jaguars gone, there is no new phase out until after 2035, when all the Jags (2040), Mig-29 (2042) and Mirages (2042+), a total of 9 squadrons, are phased out. The delay in upgrading the Mirages would mean at least 1 squadron can survive until 2045.

So, with 9 new LCA squadrons coming in between 2024 and 2032, we will have 26+9 = 35 squadrons in 2032. If we assume 2 Mk2 and 1 MRFA squadrons are inducted by 2035, then we will have 38 squadrons, by my calculations. The IAF is actually expecting to have all 42.5 squadrons by 2035, by assuming LCA Mk2 inductions will begin in 2031 instead of 2033, giving them at least 4 squadrons, and MRFA could happen equally faster for an additional squadron or two.

With 9 squadrons pending, we can assume the remaining 5 MRFA, 4 Mk2 and 7 AMCA squadrons will fill the gap between 2035 and 2045, pushing us to 45 squadrons.

Although I say 3 Jaguar squadrons will be phased out over the next few years, it could be 2.5 because half a squadron is a relatively new sea strike version with the EL/M 2032 under the Dragons. It could take a few more years for phase out. I guess the previous plan was the 13.5th MKI squadron will replace it, and this is not necessary with the LCA Mk2, but you never know.

Anyway, based on my calculations, we will have 38 squadrons by 2035, whereas IAF believes they will have all 42.5 squadrons by then. I believe they think LCA Mk2 will enter production in 2029 with deliveries beginning in 2031, with all 6 squadrons inducted by 2036, with MRFA halfway done by then, both at 24 per year each.

I gave an RFP to contract negotiations timeframe of 3 years for MRFA, I won't be surprised if it's less than that.