Tellis suggests that India seriously consider the prospective fighter’s technical merit, relative cost, its place in the IAF force structure
China has all along been testing the limits of India’s tolerance and restraint and has once again given the Indian foreign ministry much home work for the next few months.
Thousands of aviation enthusiasts and professionals are bound to throng to Zhuhai on 16 November, but one wonders if Indian aviation companies and other SMEs would send their delegations or sell their wares at the show.
In the aftermath of the disastrous meeting between the Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan, there is an all-pervasive air of despondency if not frustration as India seems to be running out of options.
A military to military engagement between India and Pakistan could help pave the way for greater understanding and opening up in the troubled relationship.
There are no shortcuts to overcoming the grave Naxal threat to our democratic way of life. Broadening the mandate by handing over the problem to the army is neither fair nor efficacious.
Air presence is a critical factor in counterinsurgency operations as it provides a high level of dominance and control over the situation.
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.
While India’s latest defence budget has no doubt catered for a sizeable capital component, it may be prudent to reduce costs by switching to more affordable programmes.