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Strapped for funds, Modi govt opts for made-in-India Tejas-Mark 1A instead of Rafale fighters

The push for India's struggling Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) also comes at a time when the air force is at its weakest operational strength since the 1962 war against China, which is causing anxiety within military circles.

By: Reuters | New Delhi | Updated: October 7, 2015 7:01 pm
indian air force, air force, modi, modi govt, obsolete air crafts, tejas, davos, Dassault Aviation SA, fighter planes India’s air force says its requires 45 fighter squadrons to counter a “two-front collusive threat” from Pakistan and China.

The government has turned down the military’s request to expand the acquisition of 36 fighter planes from Dassault Aviation SA to plug vital gaps, officials said, nudging it to accept an indigenous combat plane 32 years in the making. The air force wanted the government to clear an additional 44 Rafale medium multi-role aircraft on top of the 36 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced during a visit to Paris this year that are to be bought off-the-shelf to meet its urgent requirements.

But a defence ministry official said that Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had told the Air Force that there weren’t enough funds to expand the Rafale acquisition and that it must induct an improved version of the indigenous Tejas-Mark 1A. “The IAF (air force) needs to have a minimum number of aircraft at all times. The LCA is our best option at this stage, given our resource constraints,” the defence official said. “The Rafale is our most expensive acquisition. The LCA is our cheapest in the combat category.”

Modi’s decision, in line with his Make-in-India policy to encourage domestic industry, is a blow for not only the French manufacturer but also others circling over the Indian military aviation market worth billions of dollars.

The push for India’s struggling Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) also comes at a time when the air force is at its weakest operational strength since the 1962 war against China, which is causing anxiety within military circles.

Since it took over last year, the Modi administration has repeatedly said its overriding goal is to cut off the military’s addiction to foreign arms which has made it the world’s top importer.

The Air Force says its requires 45 fighter squadrons to counter a “two-front collusive threat” from Pakistan and China. But it only has 35 active fighter squadrons, parliament’s defence committee said in a report in April citing a presentation by a top air force officer.

 

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  1. Daniel Alvin
    Jan 2, 2016 at 3:32 am
    Under prepared Teja's will be better option than defunct Rafale. Fund the Indian industry HAL rather than French Dault Aviation SA which is at the verge of closure. None of the European countries purchased Rafale
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    1. Chopra TP
      Oct 9, 2015 at 3:27 am
      Its a typical News item bought & paid by the foreign arms manufacturers. They actively try to shape the public opinion through paid media in order to sell their billions of dollars worth of arms. Unfortunately 10 years of UPA has left both DRDO & IAF in bad shape. It will take some time to make the indigenous defense manufacturing efficient. And giving them some business like manufacturing & inducing LCA will definitely help, even if the product is not top notch at this time.
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        brahminated_jindia
        Oct 8, 2015 at 4:55 am
        More than 10000( did I get that right) years ago, brahmins sent inter planetary spaceships to neighboring M31 Galaxy. They sent 3000 million copies of Vedas. The DRIVER. If the spaceship was called Lord Krishna. In those days present day humans did not evolve completely. They're were all still monkeys. So the pengers were all Orangutans and Gorillas. The veDIK people are expecting the space ship to return back exactly by the end of Modi's first term. Then brahminated India will be the super power in the entire universe. They will even subjugate USA AND ALL WESTERN COUNTRIES, except Israel. CHINA will voluntarily surrender without any provocation by India and it will beg India to accept China as one of their state. India would have invented missiles that travel through the Earth and eject out of USA. Every country in the universe will be terrified by the INVENTIVE CAPABILITY of indians. NOW, how do you feel, brahmins.
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          Sadhu
          Oct 8, 2015 at 5:16 am
          We have more important things to do, like for example building temple for a RAM in Ayodya. China cannot cross the temple for fear of being bulldozed by the horns of RAM. Similarly on the western sector we have plans to build COW temple in historical Kurukshetra. So stan is taken care of. That's it. We don't have any enemies. I have high hopes on Modi. He will save India. And along with KAR, India will be the only ....Super Power of India
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            Wait_Nicky
            Oct 8, 2015 at 6:43 am
            Who will buy, a country that doesn't exist? May be you can give for free to Sri Lanka. But for that too a p I mp has to go to Colombo and convince SL. But after the death of Avul r Jalabudin Abdu Kalam( the exploited until death official p I m p of India) is dead. Now you have to select a p I m p who has been projected as a great achiever like APJ. Modi is the best bet. But Indians need 10 years to project him until he becomes an international p I m p of India.
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