SOURCE: KARAN THAKUR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria while interacting with media for the first time very bluntly refused to place additional orders for 36 Dassault Rafale and instantly also killed any speculation of India buying Russian developed Su-57E Stealth fighter jet and for the first time in decades its seems IAF got chief who had clear cut vision for Indigenous airforce and it seems to have dubbed badly on some so-called Defence analysts in the country who have attacked both MWF-Mk2 and AMCA programs off late.
IAF is on verge of placing fresh orders for 83 Tejas Mk1A by end of this year and has backed the development of 200 Medium Weight Fighter program (MWF) and also India’s lone 5th generation AMCA fighter jet program, which leaves little space for induction of new jets in the coming decade rather then what already has been planned out earlier.
IAF Chief has called for the induction of 114 new fighter jets under MMRCA Tender along with additional orders for the 21 Mig-29 and 12 Su-30Mk1 but out rightly rejected any further orders for additional 36 Dassault Rafale and has also backed away from buying 100+ FGFA fighter jet from Russia, which means that MMRCA tender for 114 units might be last foreign fighter jet type inducted into IAF if for some reason Dassault Rafale is not chosen by India.
With little or no scope for any new import of fighter jets, MWF-Mk2 and AMCA programs have come under intense attack in India even before the program has lifted off the drawing board. The MWF-Mk2 program has been attacked for being a 4.5 generation fighter jet program even when air force around the world is making a gradual shift towards 5th generation fighter jets and country is investing in 4.5 gen technology.
The second lobby has attacked the AMCA fighter jet program since according to this experts India doesn’t have any technical expertise in undertaking such complex project and others have criticized it timeline which they believe will be difficult to fulfill due to constant delays which we saw in past with LCA-Tejas program.
Two front attacks on countries two upcoming fighter jet programs suggest that new IAF Chief has rattled Arms Lobbyist who see clear backing of the Indigenous programs who can sense that future programs will revolve around Indigenous programs with little or no chance of any imports any further.
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