Promoting “swadeshi” in defence - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Monday 23 June 2014

Promoting “swadeshi” in defence

Don't waste money on buying the Rafale. Boost Sukhoi-30MKI availability, and fast track the Tejas Mark II instead

By Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 24th June 14

The one positive from having Arun Jaitley run the ministry of defence (MoD) in addition to his time-consuming job as finance minister is that, like Pranab Mukherjee, he will be better equipped to evaluate defence expenditure proposals that come up to the finance ministry. On the flip side, his current preoccupation with the finance ministry would leave him little time to scrutinise the fundamentals --- whether the military is manned, equipped and run effectively, why weaponry is imported and what policies could promote indigenous defence production. It would be tragic if Mr Jaitley concludes that boosting overseas arms procurement is the way to strengthen the military. It can be safely assumed that, despite the tight fiscal situation, BJP optics will trigger a moderate rise in the capital budget. What remains to be seen is whether Mr Jaitley directs most of that money to the international arms bazaar or to shoring up India’s defence production capability.

An example of this is the defence ministry’s key procurement dilemma: that is whether to sign the controversial, Rs 1,00,000 crore contract for 126 Rafale fighters for the Indian Air Force (IAF). The new government would relish the glitzy spectacle of a Rafale signing ceremony. That would please the public and placate the IAF, but it would also require allocating Rs 15,000 crore as the signing advance; and commit the IAF to annual instalments of some Rs 10,000 crore, payable yearly till 2023-24.

Yet a searching examination by Mr Jaitley would have discovered that a fraction of that expenditure --- spent on improving the serviceability rate of the Sukhoi-30MKI --- could generate equivalent combat power. By 2019, the IAF will have 272 Sukhoi-30MKIs, yet poor maintenance and inefficient spares management ensures that just 40 per cent of these fighters are combat-ready at any given time. Effectively, the IAF has just 109 combat-ready Sukhoi-30MKIs; 272 is an illusory number. Raising serviceability to 75 per cent, which is par for any self-respecting air force, would add 95 fighters to the numbers operationally available. That is precisely the number of Rafales that would be operationally available from a 126-fighter fleet, given a 75 per cent serviceability rate.

This mind-boggling truth needs reiteration, since the IAF and the MoD gloss over it --- spending Rs 5,000 crore to boost Sukhoi-30MKI serviceability would “buy” as many additional fighters as the purchase of 126 Rafales for Rs 1,00,000 crore. The IAF lament of “dwindling squadron numbers” is a red herring; more important is the number of fighters available in each squadron.

Further, abandoning the Rafael would save money for a light fighter fleet, and also build an indigenous aerospace industry. The IAF’s obsolescent MiG-21 and MiG-27 fleets could be replaced economically with an improved (or Mark II) version of the Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), its development and manufacture accelerated through a strategic alliance with Swedish company, Saab, which is close to completing the Gripen-E, a fighter very much like what the IAF wants the Tejas Mark II to be. With the Defence R&D Organisation (DRDO) cooperating with Saab, a world-class Tejas Mark II would start joining the IAF fleet by 2019 (assuming five years for development and testing); and a second aircraft manufacturing line would be established in India, complete with an airfield, to complement the HAL facilities at Bangalore. Further, a project like this would catalyse an entire aeronautical design and manufacturing eco-system, especially the small and medium firms that wither away when the government buys overseas, rather than innovates and produces domestically. Alongside this, aerospace engineering courses could be sponsored in selected technological institutes, which would feed into the indigenous design and manufacture of an advanced medium combat aircraft (AMCA), a project already under way. Finally, with the change left over from Rs 1,00,000 crore, New Delhi could press Stockholm hard to buy out Saab’s aerospace division. The Swedish government might resist, but its decision would eventually be driven by how much it wants a strategic alliance with an emerging superpower like India.

The army faces similar dilemmas, with expensive overseas buys counter-posed against indigenous alternatives --- whether to buy more Russian T-90 tanks or expedite the DRDO’s Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) project that has languished for years; whether to buy more Russian armoured carriers or fast track the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) that India’s defence industry is to develop. For critically-needed artillery guns, the dilemma is whether to approach the international arms bazaar, or sponsor industry-led consortia to develop the guns in India, while confining overseas purchases to high-tech purchases like the ultralight howitzer (ULH) that require materials and engineering technologies currently out of reach for us. In each case the MoD faces temptation to seal a quick overseas deal; but also has the opportunity to build genuine, long-term defence capability through an indigenous product that slashes life-cycle costs to obtain “bang for the buck”.

The policy framework for going swadeshi already exists. Ironically it was created by the Antony MoD, which then lacked the political courage to implement its own policies. The Defence Procurement Procedure of 2013 explicitly states that indigenous development and manufacture is the default option. There is a Defence Production Policy to encourage manufacture. More policy initiatives are needed, especially in reducing duties and tariffs for domestic industry that, incredibly, pays higher taxes for building weaponry in India than foreign vendors pay for importing it fully built. The domestic industry must be protected against variation in foreign exchange rates; export of defence equipment must be not just permitted, but actively encouraged; and foreign direct investment in defence must be automatically allowed up to 49 per cent. 


  1. Good Insight. Lets not forget the projects for modernization of communication - TCS 2000 is riddled with red tape.

    AD ZU's need to be replaced
    Small Arms and Ammunition is another delayed decision

  2. To be honest Tejas MK2 comes later, we need to first take Tejas MK1,it would be advisable to take 128 Sukhoi 35, this would bring our squadron numbers to 20 (20 jets per squadron). At 65 million apiece this would be 8 billion approx. We should also order 200 MK1; it would be 6 billion approx. MK2 should be a complete stealth version with the GE414 engine. It is time tejas enters the IAF and in numbers. Even the MK1 version will be better than the JF-17.
    We should also look to learn as much from the FGFA. HAL should take 50% of the work load.
    This would give us 800 jets or 40 squadrons.

    20 - Sukhoi mki
    10 - Tejas
    10 - Jaguar, Mig29 mirage 2000.

    The last 10 squadrons should be replaced with the Tejas MK2.

    M777 is too expensive
    why not order 500 dhanush guns and 500 Bharat 52. Will cost 2 billion. We get the numbers, we should also order 814 truck mounted guns in this way we get numbers. A total of 400 pinaka systems would just make the artillery taken care of.


    We should convert all our Scorpenes to AIP with the system France is offering. Possibly add 4 more. Vietnam bought 6 Kilo improved subs for 2 billion now why can we buy 18 of 6 billion. Or 7.5 billion if we have to arm it with the brahmos. Also the Saryu Class, Sukinya Class Patron ships should be armed with anti ship missiles to make them more leather. We must also reduce the types would it not make sense for us to take 20 project 17A and divide the order among 4 shipyards.

    Mass production should be the call of the hour.

  3. Indigestion is the way to go for any self respecting nation.We are frittering away our precious money making other countries rich and reviving the fortunes of foreign aircraft manufacturers. There will be a 10 year period of flux but with professional vision and political will all problems can be surmounted.

  4. The MoD and forces need to understand the fact that "Rome was not built in a day." Nehru laid the foundations for self-reliance in his days by constituting the IITs. However, he did not envision the brain-drain these ungrateful bastards will cause. We need more leaders like Modi and Kalam, who can encourage us and be the guiding light. Private participation is a must. DRDO like IITs hasn't been able to create much natively. Everything we see as success is a gift from someone. The whole Nehruvian Socialist bureaucractic setup and license Raj needs to be dismantled and replaced by performance oriented Capitalism with world class salaries. Inefficiency in Scientific Establishments is the Biggest Threat to National Security. The question should be raised, what breeds this inefficiency? We have seen how the Dynastic Politics, Nepotism and Cronyism are the biggest EVILS in Indian society and how they cause degradation of society. Ajai has made a good point, it needs to be seen, if our "strategic thinkers" in MoD and Forces are either Nepotic, Cronies or Nationalists. Again I repeat, Had Netaji Bose been original Congress President instead of Nehru, India would have already been a Super-Power. Indians need to choose wisely who will lead them. Anyone who tells you, he can deliver you without a fight, is either a liar, a traitor, an enemy agent or a Messiah.

  5. Ajai Sir , Do you this Tejas Mk2 will ever see light going by previous track records .I dont see it anytime in place by 2020 given its still in design phase

  6. Nice thought provoking article. Wouldn't abandoning Rafael contract attract financial penalties ?

  7. Patriotism is not just about taking up arms and fighting the enemy.It also is about making your country economically and technologically prosperous and self-reliant.Unfortunately, it seems our armed forces (specially the Army) does not understand this. Even being a third world country facing third world enemies, it wants first world equipment,hardly thinking if we really need or afford them.

  8. No other Country is buying the rafale as it is very expensive. it would be more appropriate as it was speculated in the past that the airforce would opt for several Super sukhoi 30mkis if the MMRCA contract is cancelled because of high procurement and life time costs of both the rafale and the Typhoon. the present government would also not easily agree.
    Another 80 sukhois would be enough till the LCA mk2 is ready.the entire mmrca saga from day one has been a messy affair of all sorts when both single and twin engined aircrafts were allowed to be in fray for supplying 126 fighters to the IAF. they could have chosen the gripen instead. even now there are chances that the swedish fighter could be given a second thought.Tejas II and Gripen NG would give us the numbers advantage at a much lesser cost coupled with multirole capability.

  9. Don't waste money on buying the Rafale. Boost Sukhoi-30MKI availability, and fast track the Tejas Mark II, MK1, ARJUNA TANK MK2, IAC, TATA ARTILLERY OR DRDO DEVELOPED GUN SYSTEM. NOT M777.

  10. Interesting piece – in line with your previous articles on defense reforms, 100 percent FDI.

    However, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but haven’t you in the past plugged for buying American jets [JSF, F-18 etc.] as replacements for good ol’ Migs. Also out of curiosity, your claim on Sukhoi’s non availability – what are these figures based on.

    As a faithful reader, may I also suggest why not do a piece on Tata systems, or L&T, any other firm which is successfully doing ‘swadeshi’ in defense [Tatas just opened a new factory here in Hyd] and challenges and opportunities they see with the changed regime for their products in India and abroad.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Best, Amol

  11. Ajay Sir can you please reply to my first message on what your thoughts are.

  12. Very sensible, an welcome autarkic approach pregnant with possibilities and reduce dependence and balance of trade deficit.

  13. Very sensible approach and potential of self reliance and reduction of trade deficit. Pradeep S Mehta

  14. This article by the author is nothing but the spiel of Saab regurgitated as an independent analysis. Nauseating as to how can someone sell his soul so shamelessly.

    To the readers of this blog - please go through the statements issued by Saab. This is exactly what Saab is saying and wants - the contract for the Rafale be cancelled by any means possible.

    The author never fails to soil his reputation.

  15. your american masters suggested this line of thought ??
    shouldn't we go for f-35 now ??

    who on earth said su-30 servicebility rates are 40% & that of other air forces it is 75% ??

    utter boulder dash of an article.

  16. What no plug for your fav uncle's product -F35. Maybe next article.

  17. THIS
    "Finally, with the change left over from Rs 1,00,000 crore, New Delhi could press Stockholm hard to buy out Saab’s aerospace division. "

    Imagine what this will do! Having a world class aircraft production house is awesome. They will run rings around the clown house that HAL is.
    This is what we should have done with the near bankrupt Dornier, with the Jaguar line, possibly with Hawk AJT line.

  18. Good suggestion all however its not the number but the capability that's going to be a game changer also "swadeshi" is a best way to go but for now we need a quick stop loss also superior technology. I am not promoting the Rafale but the technology it will bring along will only boost our "swadeshi" process. Please try and understand "Its not the money paid for hardware but the knowledge that comes along." an intelligent person once said If you get knowledge do not hesitate to accept it and we need all the knowledge that we can get to boost swadeshi

  19. @ JJ

    Abandoning the Rafale project will not attract even one paisa of financial penalty.

  20. @ Anonymous 17:33

    Says, "the author never fails to soil his reputation".

    Clearly you keep coming back to this blog if you're keeping such a careful track of my writing!

  21. @ Anonymous 18:34 and Amol

    Have never believed or written that the F/A-18 is a suitable fighter for India. It isn't.

    As for the F-35, it is needed for a specific and very crucial mission --- knocking out the Qinghai-Tibet railway and the Eastern and Western Highways into Tibet on D-Day, i.e. Day One of a war with China. And thereafter flying repeated deep interdiction sorties to ensure that the Tibet sector remains isolated and more PLA forces cannot be brought in. Only one aircraft can do this mission --- the F-35.

    My fave uncle? Anonymous, it's you.

  22. The whole issue involves capacity building and HAL has to squarely take the blame. HAL has a order backlog of about 10 years of orders have you heard of this anywhere else in the world and instead of outsourcing 50 % value it now wants to build a transport aircraft how much comic can it get??

  23. On aircraft availability, during ops the maint guys sweat blood to surge availability to 99%, which using your current level of 40% would result in more than doubling the available aircraft sorties.

    Having fewer aircraft to start with reduces the effect of the surge, and also increases the impact of losses.

    While 'professionals' may talk logistics, war isn't just simple arithmatic, as you well know.

  24. For all the praise that the MMCRA selection process drew, it had one fundamental flaw.It pitted single engine fighters vs twin engine fighters and let them be evaluated sife by side like that was possible. Also I have no clue why the IAF thought a country like India , could afford $100 million fighters. Should it always fall to the finance ministry to reject such extravagant purchases?\
    The DRDO/HAL/ADA also don't do themselves any credit by such boastful claims as "We can export the Tejas" when they can barely deliver it to our own airforce.
    Here's to hoping that someone wakes up and tells the IAF , we can't really afford the RAFALE.

  25. Rahul(Kolkata)24 June 2014 at 09:59

    Another rubbish article from a much reputed author. 'Swadeshi' is the mantra spoken by everyone, no one will take care to explain though why 67 years of swadeshi mantra has not resulted in one complete indigeneous product, on time and on budget.....OK, the armed forces are responsible because they love pizzas more than daal maakhni, but the problem no one understands is when one is dying of hunger, he will try to eat whatever is readily availaible, not some 'futuristic' off budgets "Alice in Wonderland" menus prepared by swadeshi restaurants....

    Tejas MK2: No one, even the author will try to explain why the so called swadeshi merchants did self chest thumping in 2011 when IOC was given to MK1. If IOC was indeed achieved, then why has no one complained when IOC was "again" given in 2013 December. No one will try to explain though why "swadeshi" HAL, with a track record of such a huge experience of tightening up nuts and bolts has not been able to deliver a "single" Tejas MK1 in 3 years and why swadeshi DRDO is helping swadeshi HAL in trying to increase the production rate to 16(what a high figure after 30 years of development) from the current 8 per year.....
    Now swadeshi DRDO and HAL are designing MK2, well, they have been doing that since 2009 when the project was approved, and they will continue to design till eternity....2019 for MK2????, the author knows he is playing a dirty joke on us....
    40% serviceability rate of Su 30MKI? From where did the author get that figure? Maybe from Lockheed Martin/Saab propaganda documents....If 40% is the default figure for Russian designed fighters and 75% for French designed fighters, any sane logical man will go for the French product rather than the Russian one....

    We should not buy the over expensive Rafale because no foreign manufacturer will help us in making self reliant, but yes, we should tie up with SAAB for MK2 in the 'hope' that they will help us in attaining self reliance....Another cruel joke.

    Those so called swadeshi restaurants could not produce a single homemade artillery gun for the last 30 years and yes, we will have to continue relying on them....

    The 'only' field where swadeshis are doing a 'little' good job is the field of missiles, especially ballistic missiles....Cruise missiles, they have failed, take Nirbhay for example, swadeshi dream sellers will hit back by saying 'Brahmos', again, a Russian missile with Russian technology with some Indian components...SAM, moderate success, if reports of Akash(even production lot) misfiring quite frequently is to be believed....

    Swadeshi dream merchants will quote the example of home made products for Indian Navy and how Indian Navy has stood by them unlike Army and Airforce. Yes, they have, and that's why they have 'only' 61% frigates, 44% destroyers and 22% frigates and maybe, 0.0000000001% submarines of what is required present at any point of time.....

    No one is denying the usefulness of be swadeshi, the problem is the wrong approach and dependency on the wrong people....These swadeshi restaurants are actually collaborating with the foreign restaurants and is deliberately underperforming, so that there is no alternatives to the pizzas....Solution: Make those swadeshi restaurants accountable, if it goes offtime and offbudgets, execute the concerned officials like what dictators do.....

    There are 3 lobbies in active work here:
    1) Swadeshi restaurants and their backers joining hands with foreign restaurants and deliberately underperforming.
    2) Babus and defence ministers of this country taking bribes from our enemy countries with whom we may have to fight a war and cancelling military modernization projects so that armed forces stays in the 1950's....
    3) Indian waiters of these foreign restaurants who when the restaurant has lost in a contract, will try to put fence in the path of the winning vendor....

  26. Hmm, no mention of the Arjun when you were discussing the Army's swadeshi armour options - is that a sign that the Arjun programme as we know it is done? The FMBT is still a concept, whereas the Mk II is close to being ready and was supposedly under trials this year, but the article had no mention of it.

    Otherwise, good article, I am for killing off the Rafale deal as well - it is 10 years too late and too expensive.

  27. If India can built aircraft carriers and navy ships on its own. Why can't we built a aircraft? There is only one reason, IAF's obsession towards foreign goods. Had they spent the same kind of money on developing indigenous industries the result would have been different. Also need to take care of corruption and the quality of spare parts produced in India. A very good thought in this article.

  28. @ Broadsword 20:44

    In the era of missiles and drones, I find it absurd to involve expensive manned fighters such as F-35 against a potentially superior foe. Instead a barrage of precision missiles can do the same job effectively and at a substantially lower cost. I am sure some of our early planners during the conception of the IGMDP days had precisely this in mind. No wonder US is involved in laser and other conventional means of ABM defence systems to precisely counter the proliferation of accurate missiles in the arsenals of developing nations such as India. Our job is cut-out for us, we need more Military Satellites that can give us a real-time imagery of theater of operations. I am sure India has this lined up in its development path. Era of manned fighter is fast coming to an end. Any Analyst worth his salt, will tell the same thing. Also the cost of training the manpower to operate a manned fighter is expensive to say the least. A drone on the other hand can be piloted by a lesser mortal. Another thought that comes to mind, is that, India is stupidly funding the next-gen weapons platforms of exporting nations by buying their existing platforms. This has to Stop, instead India should only do tie-ups with nations willing to co-design their next-gen weapons systems. Or with a fraction of that bloated price-tag, raise the salaries of our defence scientists and offer perks and other rewards for those that perform exceptionally, that will boost their moral and cause others to follow their example to work rather than waste to get rewards and be recognised as successful. The Answer to India's defence stagnation is not buzz words such as "swadeshi" or "indigenization" or "self-reliance", its leadership, vision and above all management and work-place best-practices.

  29. Ajai Bhai

    Only if your dreams & desires could come true. The fact is all good ideas are up against the work culture in India. The defense sector has to date never completed a major project in time. Why ? because Govt employee productivity is never challenged + red tape + vested political interest + delayed decision making. If they can make a MARK 2 LCA as good as a Rafale, then why not give the a chance. But then LCA MARK 1 was supposed to have reached IAF squardens a decade ago :-)

  30. Er, Colonel,

    Re. your statement that only the F-35 can knock out the Qinghai-Tibet railway and the Eastern and Western Highways into Tibet on D-Day, wouldn't the PAK-FA have similar capabilities - and we are getting those, AFAIK. Also, couldn't this be done by cruise missiles (e.g. Nirbhay) or air-launched Brahmos missiles from SU-30 MKI's? Just my 2c...

  31. I think army problems are easier to solve. We should have had INSAS mark. 3 by now with all variants. There is a fundamental continuous improvement mindset missing in armed forces and DRDo

  32. I disagree... one of the underproductive and over privileged organisations in the country is DRDO... If one was to see the fantastic infrastructure they have constructed for their own comfort its praiseworthy, the tasking given to them progresses at a tardy pace... no accountability is the key... let a few heads roll for incompetence... automatically things will improve!

  33. The bane of all the soo called Rising powers in the world chiefly India and China is our Inability to produce high perfoemance jet engines like the Russian Saturn AL-31/41 or the P&W, GE and Rolls Royse engines. You get this little "irritant" sorted out and the answer to most questions about Airforce Plane Types will automoatically come to you. As such, not a single Indian Entity- Private or Public has the capability and scientific throughput to produce a jet engie producing anywahere betwen 75-160 Thousand kN of thrust. Heck, we cant even make a diesel engine worth 1500 hundred ponies without getting a german company to set up a subsidiary in Talegaon, Pune to produce it for us.
    We still have a long long way to go before true Indegenisation of weapons happens. And it will happen when Indian Officers, JCO/NCO's and Jawans themselves have technical competency to improve their own Gear and not rely on some RD Sharma Mathematics book 99 Percentile Tuition centre Scientist. Forget the Sukhois and Rafales, when an Army Jawan himself comes up with a better rifle strap for his Insas/AKM by doing his own research and materials testing....thats when a true Swadeshi movement will happen.
    Lets not forget.....the current US .50 caliber Anti Material Rifle was made not by a design bureau scientist but by a serving Seargent.

  34. There are a lot of geo-political considerations behind every deal. The deals with USA under FMS could have been a means to pay back for all its support to get us the Nuclear Deal. Similarly with France we have a long standing relationship. They have steadfastly supported India's nuclear ambition. France has in the past rendered some cooperation in Thermo Nuclear Technology. Rafale could be a way to pay back. Remember Mirage -2000 is our only potent Nuclear delivery platform.

  35. @Sarabvir Singh:

    You nailed it! In the past nearly 70 years our governments wasted energy, resources and focus to dole out sops to the poor. With such an attitude, and no one willing to sacrifice, how can India be what we want it to be? The whole education system is geared to produce textbook craming scholars. On top, these neo-brahmins (educated elite, IITs, PhDs, Scientists etc) instantly dismiss any innovation/invention coming from "un-qualified" people. With such mindset, its impossible to bring forth true talent. Just take a look at the ugly spat between former ISRO chief Nair and the current chief. The former was inept so much so that, he keeps pulling the leg of the current chief. Modi has set an example of how a leader should behave and be selected and not based on horse-trading such as former PM. India desparately needs more LEADERS like Modi.

  36. I met this Chinese cabbie recently and wow what a great person he is. I felt like there 100 billion modis in China. The govt there was able to forsee the growth aspects and defence spend on mute and focussed on economic growth. He said China saw other countries like japan singapote taiwan making big with setting up manufacturing hubs and were able to cash in on low costs associated. It was in 1970 that China started implementing reforms and by 1990 China has become a manufacturing hub for entire world. He said since then the std oc living in China has improved and ppl started to get 2000dollars per month on an average. He said world needs one place where they can produce goods at low cost. Since China is no more a place for this they will soon be on hunt for low cost work force. He said it is great chace for India if it can cash in now otherwise you have to wait for 20 more years. I terestingly he conveyed lot of confidence in Modi.

    Just thought I will share this as I found that chat very interesting. Sorry for bad grammer and punctuation.

  37. Dear Ajay,

    This article is very exciting for anyone who believes in Swadeshi.

    At the present moment Indian defence industry is at an inflection point. If we manage to hold ourselves for the next 4-5 years we shall have proven indigenous capacilibilites in aircraft manufacture, tank manufacture, howitzer manufacture, combat helicopter etc.

    We have to be very judicious in spending and evaluate all indigenous options available.

    I had stopped posting on your website after you didnt post my comment which quoted from Businessweek and argued against F35.

    But I commend you for writing this article and sowing seeds of thought amongst the decision making authorities.

    I have been for scrapping of Rafale deal for some time now.

  38. Ajai - Did you not get the idea to buy Saab from my comment in the previous blogpost comment? Well it wasn't mine but a friend commented a few years back!

  39. As usual, a superb article by Col. Shukla. You dare to ask questions that nobody in the "mainstream" media even contemplates. They're all jockeys of foreign arms companies.

    Salutations to you, Col. Shukla.

    Just cut the Rafale orders to half or 63 instead of 126. 3 advantages of this:

    1) Govt. saves face internationally.

    2) Precious dollar$ are saved.

    3) IAF gets placated -- for now.

    Then, by using the Saved dollar$, we must do 3 things:

    1) Invite private sector cos. like Tata, L&T, Reliance, Walchand to set up assembly lines of Tejas components or the entire Tejas aircraft itself. This will speed up production to 32+ units a year.

    2) Ram the Tejas Mk.2 down IAF's throat. Invite SAAB consultancy to speed up Tejas Mk.2. Also invite SAAB's marketers, middlemen, bribe-givers, etc. --- anything to get this done.

    3) Fly Tejas to International Air Shows. It should be on the front page of all major Aviation magazines. It should be the talk at aviation fairs. Invite foreign journalists to take joy-rides (pay them whatever they want).

    4) Invite Discovery, BBC, National Geographic and do a series on "Emerging Nations' Audacious New Tech. Leaps".

  40. Witless whinings.....we still dont have a water bottle in the combat kit...the INSAS rifle has been abandoned...we dont have a decent boot, still DMS of yore and we dont even have combat dress as per terrain configuration... as usual hot air from the Cavalry Cad...true to his ilk !

  41. Rafale is built for fight and win, not for routine sorties in peacetime.

  42. Please leave out words like emerging super power.

  43. ajai,
    would be interesting to see what tejas mk 2 brings to the table.
    Upgraded engine yes, but does that translate into performance enhancements? I would suggest you ask specifics on performance deltas for mk2 vs mk 1 to your pals at ADA / HAL next time you meet them, you might get an idea why the iaf is unenthusiastic.


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