Friday, October 07, 2016

Ageing IAF fleet needs urgent boost

Block obsolescence. Yes, every conscientious Indian needs to know it. Today, I say with all humility and conviction, based on credible open source information, that owing to the block obsolescence of its frontline fighters, the Indian Air Force is facing a “situation”, despite the recent signing of the contract for 36 readymade French Rafale multi-role combat aircraft. Why? Because 36 aircraft means only two squadrons, and these can’t be operational before 2019! It’s yet another case of “too little, too late”.
Despite the deployment of these 36 advanced fighters three years from now, block obsolescence is unlikely to evaporate as a number of other obsolete aircraft, still in use with IAF squadrons, will definitely be retiring by then. One also has to take into account the normal wear and tear of flying machines and the inherently hazardous nature of the profession. In short, therefore, the best of the IAF’s operational plans to prepare for a “war on two fronts” is likely to emerge as a theory; and in its worst form, perhaps as a bad dream. For this, as a conscientious citizen of India, I would like to hold successive rulers of our country culpable, for over the past two decades, for their inability to lead, give direction, take decisions, and look beyond horizon on what it takes a nation of 1.25 billion to be counted amongst the comity of nations.
One look at the inventory of the IAF’s contemporary assets, gleaned from open source information, makes things clear. First, not a single fighter is made in India. Some, true, may be “produced” in India via “technology transfer” in various units of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, but there’s simply no indigenous product yet. The only India-produced light combat aircraft, Tejas, is still going through trials and tests.
07/10/16 Abhijit Bhattacharyya/Asian Age
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment