SOURCE: VISHAL KARPE / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Quest for Affordable Air power has led to two major developments for Indian Air Force lately. Sukhoi has agreed to cap joint development cost of FGFA 5th generation fighter jet at $ 4 Billion each which means the Earlier price of $ 12 Billion demanded by Russia due to price inflation has successfully been reduced after hectic negotiations with visiting Sukhoi officials.
Parrikar was also instrumental in forcing Dassault to agree to sell Rafale Fighter jets at 2011 price submitted to India and refused to budge demands made by French negotiators who were adamant to sell Rafale fighter jets after adding current price inflation. Parrikar and his team were also successful in tackling many bluffs made by French team to force India to agree on a higher price.
Dassault also has agreed to allow Indian weapons integration into Rafale fighter jets including indigenously developed Astra BVRAAM and also share some of its technology so that it can be incorporated in India’s LCA MK-II and AMCA fighter jet project.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar by limiting Rafale fighter jets to just 36 has also saved India from going bankrupt in Indian air force quest to acquire 126 Rafale fighter jets for its fleet. Parrikar clearly seems to have understood the real needs of the air force instead of airforce dictating what it wants to defend India from regional rivals.
Parrikar also made Air force to agree to procure upgraded LCA Tejas fighter jet proposed by HAL with new AESA radar and modern avionics and let scientist mature MK-II variant and also start work on AMCA. India is also open to procure another affordable fighter jet which will be made in India by Private defence sector which will fill up slots vacated by retiring Mig-21 and Mig-27 in Indian Airforce.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar truly has turned fortunes for Indian Air force while bringing affordable at the table for India in maintaining a modern yet affordable air force keeping its traditional supremacy of its Military in the region rather than bankrupting India’s Economy inexpensive military procurement.
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