The range, speed, armament carrying capacity and the ability to accurately deliver a variety of weapons against different targets make the current IAF fleet of just over 32 squadrons far more formidable than when the IAF had almost 39.5 squadrons.
The Rafale’s upkeep and maintenance would demand a very high level of training and skills both by the pilots and technical personnel. Above all, stupid mistakes must be avoided by bringing about a fundamental change in our outlook to peacetime operations.
International economic circumstances are propitious for India and Indian defence companies to strike deals that would help reduce dependence on foreign sources for defence needs.
As an old fighter pilot, I would always pitch for a light, easily manoeuvrable, agile and relatively inexpensive fighter that delivers every time, generates high sortie rates and is easy to maintain and train on a day to day peace time schedule.