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SOURCE: MAHESH SHETTI / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday slashed its FY21 growth projection for India to 1.9%, India along with China were only economies which were in Green and were not in Red with negative growth, IMF report projected that India’s growth will be back to near 7% for 2022 after Pandemic is over but that still puts a big question mark if India will be in a position to acquire new big-ticket items like 114 fighter jets under its MMRCA program worth $30 Billion.

India still needs to make payments to many big tickets weapons purchase it has made in recent years as seen in most of the cases, payments are made in blocks over the years so, in 2020 and 2021, India will be making purchase payments to previous orders when economic disruption has projected poor economic activity for next few months or even years.

Purchase of existing fighter jets will remove the need for procurement of 114 fighter jets on the same type, India can split orders of the same type to reduce the need for another type of aircraft which will put economic pressure on the country.

Placing additional orders for 40 Tejas Mk1A and 36 Dassault Rafale will cost India around $10 Billion. Additional orders for 12 Su-30MKI along with 21 Mig-29UPG we have 100 new fighter jets at disposal for less than $15 Billion.

IAF also needs to fast track HAL’s Wing-man concept so that low-cost swing-role unmanned drone aircraft can be developed to work with fighter aircraft in tandem in highly contested airspace.

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