IAF in transformation mode
The buzzword is “transformation”. References to Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft, Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft, the latest Airborne Early Warning and Command Systems aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned aerial combat vehicles, that are part of a 50 billion dollar package, would adequately describe the shift from vintage flying platforms of IAF that were first seen in Indian skies in the 60s after the Chinese aggression and remain in the fleet to date.
But when will the process of modernization and upgradation fructify is dependent on uncontrollable fiscal forces that have reduced the worth of the rupee drastically which, in turn, will have deleterious effect on India’s buying capacity. Meanwhile, accidents continue to take their toll of aircraft and pilots further depleting the fleet to well below the sanctioned strength of 39.5 squadrons. (Many decades ago a study had recommended 45 fighter squadrons as the ideal).
The MMRCA deal for the French Rafale was in the pricing stage when the economy was hit by the weakening of the rupee a
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