There’s little left to say which’s not already been said. So we await the signing at the MOD tomorrow (Aug 23) in the presence of the Indian and French defence ministers Manohar Parrikar and Jean Yves le Drian respectively of the 7.9 billion Euro deal for the French Rafale fighter aircraft along with the full ordnance loads of unproved (in real live battle conditions against, not Libya for God’s sake, but a proficient foe) “smart” missiles and stuff, such as the Meteor AAM.
Much is made by the Modi government about saving 750 million Euros. Considering the deal for 36 Rafales will cost upward of US$ 30 billion eventually, when the final bill is totted up, this “saving” is small change, and one the French, having finally succeeded in baiting and reeling in India, can well afford. This manifestly bad deal will only reinforce India’s reputation as a country with government displaying little strategic sense but with a spendthrift’s way with the hard-earned Indian people’s monies where military hardware is concerned — an attitude arms peddlers and supplier states rejoice in.
So, let’s take our mind off this vexatious topic and on to another equally important one relating to the partly underground “vertically integrated” secret nuclear weapons “city” — such as the Russian Arazmas 16 complex, revolving around new, more numerous, centrifuge cascades to enrich uranium to bomb grade for weapons and as fuel for the Indian SSBNs, being built in hinterland Karnataka. Al-Jazeera is hardly a disinterested TV company, being Arab-owned. But it is the first to air a programme on this subject, albeit with the familiar tilts. This programme on ‘India’s Top Secret Nuclear City’ was broadcast August 31, 2016, and is accessible on youtube.com at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTF0tuGEup4.
Whether this N-weapons complex will be used for genuine strategic impact in terms of designing advanced thermonuclear weapons with various yield-to-weight ratios, including very high yield weapons, and experimenting with developing miniaturized fifth-generation clean fusion armaments will, however, remain a matter of hope, prayer, and speculation. But what chances of this last with the generic “government’ in New Delhi institutionally unwilling to risk resumption of nuclear explosive testing because devoid of strategic sensibility?