The much-awaited single-engine fighter deal of 114 aircrafts has hit the roadblock over MOD concerns on Single vendor situation after Lockheed Martin’s hesitance over technology transfer & safeguard issue. American lobby seems to be on front foot after Back to back high profile diplomatic visits & putting pressures on India to buy F-16. However, IAF’s unacceptability & US strict technology transfer safeguard policies making the deal impossible.

F-16 which came with 80s era technology & some minor improvements during MMRCA competition was discarded by IAF. But after a decade how this plane could become beneficial for the force, the question is now being asked by many defence experts.

In fact, it’s a propaganda made by some US-funded Indian Journalists. But the matter is if India decides to buy F-16, then what will the impact… We all know, United States wanted India to sign in 3 agreements. Out of which, (Logistic Exchange Memorandum Of Understanding) LEMOA signed in 2016 while the rest two Communications and Information Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) were lag behind.

CISMOA deals with the access to encrypted and secret technologies or communications & without it, F-16 is obsolete. So, India will be forced to sign CISMOA as well as BECA which deals with the exchange of geopolitical information between India and the United States for both military and civilian use. This development has two implications.

It may upset Russia on the other side leading Pakistanis & Chinese to pick some advanced Russian arms.It will pose threats to India’s sovereignty & security rights. The possibility of US interference in India’s internal matters is a must.

China & Pakistan won’t care about F-16S as they know loopholes of this plane & the null experience of IAF on American birds can be a setback to national security. In ‘Shaheen Exercise’, both Chinese & Pakistanis have emphasised a lot on F-16S. So, this may lead IAF to an inferiority complex during the war.

During USS Trenton (INS Jalashwa) sale, US has succeeded in imposing the End Use Monitoring Agreement (EUMA) on India. The deal comes with various restrictions & terms of conditions on weapon use during the war & prevent the buyer country from freeing itself from dependency on the United States for maintenance.

There are also mentions about US right to inspect & check that India is using any purchased weapon for the purpose for which it was intended. So, nobody wants F-16 should face the same drawbacks that INS Jalashwa does.

Signing F-16s by 2020 means it would take 10 years to inducts all 114 aircraft & India will have to keep it operational by 2060 as the service life is 30 years. Comparison between the technologies in 1980 & 2030 is nonsense. Meanwhile, US has decided to retire all its F-16S by 2048.So, it would have a serious impact on IAF superiority in the region.

These are the reasons, India should not go for F-16S. Decisions should be taken on the basis of IAF desire & requirements as the men behind the machines are the real GAMECHANGERS…



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