SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG
In a rare reaction to media reports, Defence Ministry has issued clarifications and has said that reports of India being forced to procure American F-16s to get a CAATSA sanction waiver from the United States of America are completely incorrect.
Recent media reports had said that Washington has been pressuring India to procure 114 units of F-16 which New Delhi has been reluctant to procure due to over 30 years service of the same aircraft with arch-rival Pakistan and the same aircraft failed to clear technical trials of previous MMRCA tender raising doubts about aircraft capabilities.
Back in India, Report created an online uproar among many Indians Defense enthusiasts and Defense Analytics who termed Washington’s pressure tactics as pure blackmail and voiced their opinions in not to procure outdated and 70’s era designed F-16 fighter aircraft which are no longer procured by US Air force and are getting replaced by F-35.
Defense Experts in India are also of opinion that F-16 Block 70 offered to India are vastly different and actually are a downgrade from what was initially offered to India under MMRCA Tender. F-16IN on the offer was more customized to meet IAF’s requirement and had better option to adopt more indigenous weapons systems in the platform then plain Vanilla F-16 Block 70 currently on the offer to India.
Indian Air Force’s Top Brass to have never advocated procurement of F-16s for its fleet which many believe was the reasons why Washington has been pressuring India to buy them so that F-16s production facility in the united states can be moved to India thus saving billions of $ for Washington while ensuring jobs in various support facilities of the aircraft remains intact back home.
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