SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After Russia finally delivered four Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets to China after a delay of two years, Government mouthpiece PLA Daily in an article expressed that Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets purchased from Russia will be the last fighter imported by China.
China which has made many advances in the manufacturing of new type of fighter jets, till now was still largely dependent on Russia for engines as well as avionics. But Defence Analyst now see a pattern on how China is raising its game in Aeronautical projects.
China throughout the last decade heavily relied on reverse engineering original product to create local products which resembled original product but were largely called has unlicensed copies of original. though inferior at first, various Chinese Aeronautical agencies have taken turns to work continuously to develop improved upon copies to remove its limitations.
Development of J-20 and J-31 5th Generation Stealth fighters have shown that Chinese agencies have now enough experience to create new products on their own based on their experience developing Reverse engineered fighter jets and now are almost reaching the stage where they can claim that they are 100% self-reliant in Military Aeronautics.
China not only invested in their own R&D but it also let develop an eco-system and entire infrastructure in-house which lead to the establishment of many Aeronautical agencies who now have the capacity to take on multiple projects and who also can step in and take over projects where their rivals have failed.
India in other hand had few military Aeronautics projects to boosts of and is still not taking any serious steps in establishing high-end Research and Development nor is interested in taking up key projects. Research and Development in Private Sector to are nothing to boast of and many companies who have entered Defence sector in India are mostly interested in getting some low-level jobs in offset orders with tie-ups with Original equipment manufacturers.
India needs to seriously invest in Research and Development especially in military Aeronautics projects. License production and Technology transfer for India has not yielded any desired results since technical know-how never leads to complete knowledge.
IAF will always be interested in importing if it finds good alternatives from abroad for this to end IAF should be allowed to take over few Aeronautical agencies and let them have their own Deign Bureau which will be tasked to design and develop newer technologies.
I hope to see that day in my lifetime when India too will declare that this is last fighter jet we are importing.