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Former Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria’s recent entry into politics, particularly joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the possibility of his candidacy from Ghaziabad, has sparked discussions not only in political circles but also within defence and aerospace communities. Bhadauria, known for his staunch advocacy of indigenous fighter jet programs and strategic defence procurement decisions during his tenure, brings a unique perspective to the political arena.

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria is renowned for his illustrious career in the Indian Air Force (IAF). As a former test pilot of the LCA-Tejas fighter jet, he played a pivotal role in advancing India’s indigenous defence capabilities. His unwavering support for programs like the Tejas MkII underscores his commitment to bolstering India’s defence industry and reducing reliance on imports for critical defence equipment.

Bhadauria’s tenure witnessed significant developments in defence procurement strategies. His support for the procurement of 114 multirole fighter aircraft (MRFA), with a substantial portion to be produced domestically, to modernizing India’s air force while promoting indigenous manufacturing capabilities. Additionally, his endorsement of acquiring additional 36 Dassault Rafale fighter jets in batches is well known and was seen as a pragmatic approach to strengthening India’s aerial capabilities through strategic partnerships and acquisitions.

Bhadauria entry in Politics might help IAF secure another batch of Rafale as MRFA tender has been stuck and has made no headway in last 8 years. Bhadauria has been vocal supporter also of the Tejas MkII and AMCA program that both has been granted CCS Clearance and development is underway.

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