24 Rafales, seriously?!

Times of India reported from Kolkatta (refer http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-inks-a-deal-for-supply-of-24-Rafale-aircrafts/articleshow/46364875.cms) per info from an MOD source, that a mini-deal for 24 Rafales has been signed with Dassault, described by the reporter as “testing waters…for a full-fledged tie-up”. If true, this is so atrocious a transaction that it will make quite a dent in Defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s reputation for common sense decisions. If Rafale isn’t good to fill the full complement of 126 MMRCA in IAF, 24 of these aircraft in Indian colours aren’t going to be any good either. In fact, this decision verges on the silly considering there are so many question marks hanging on this aircraft as combat aircraft that to buy squadron and half worth almost $2 plus billion makes as much sense as throwing away $30 billion for 126 of them. If the idea is to incentivise the French, get Dassault to take ownership of the planes rolling off HAL lines, the French company will, in fact, think of this toe-wetting by the GoI into the Rafale waters as a hook to pull IAF in (with the connivance of the IAF brass, of course). And this is supposed to be brilliant business strategy?? Conceived by whom — PNC members, MOD, MEA? What will these guys think up next to justify giving away the store? And why has Defence Minister Parrikar approved it and if he has not why has this piece of news not been authoritatively refuted?

About Bharat Karnad

Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, he was Member of the (1st) National Security Advisory Board and the Nuclear Doctrine-drafting Group, and author, among other books of, 'Nuclear Weapons and Indian Security: The Realist Foundations of Strategy', 'India's Nuclear Policy' and most recently, 'Why India is Not a Great Power (Yet)'. Educated at the University of California (undergrad and grad), he was Visiting Scholar at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, and Henry L. Stimson Center, Washington, DC.
This entry was posted in arms exports, Asian geopolitics, Defence Industry, domestic politics, DRDO, Europe, Geopolitics, Great Power imperatives, India's strategic thinking and policy, Indian Air Force, Indian ecobomic situation, Military Acquisitions, russian assistance, russian military, South Asia, Technology transfer, Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 24 Rafales, seriously?!

  1. Atul says:

    I don’t think this news is correct. It seems the journalist has misread Egyptian purchase of 24 Rafale aircraft as Indian one. It’s very hard to trust these rookies from Times of India. None of the other Indian newspapers have reported this news item so I would rather not take it seriously.

  2. Atul says:

    And now comes the clarification from MoD through its spokesperson on Twitter.

  3. These flyboys and vested interests in the MoD must be stopped from wasting the country’s money on foreign equipment. Unless our McArthurs understand that no amount of imported machinery will transform them into anything more than a third-rate military power, the country will continue to have the dubious distinction of being the world’s foremost weapons importer. It is passing strange that this fact is lost on them.

    If push comes to shove, Modi and Parrikkar should make it clear to the flyboys that they can either have the Tejas and its future variants or nothing else.

    We seem to have done well with radars and missiles; why can’t we go in for a purely missile-based air defence? After all, the strength of any aircraft is not its speed or maneuverability, but, instead, its armament, radar, and stealth characteristics.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.