India’s cabinet cleared the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets from Dassault Aviation on Wednesday, paving the way for signing a deal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is betting on to modernize the air force.
The acquisition is part of $150-billion military overhaul India has launched earlier, to strengthen our military services. Under the deal, India will get 36 Rafale jets ready to go straight into service. India’s fighter aircraft fleet, comprising Russian, British and French planes, is down to 33 squadrons as against the air force’s requirement of 45 to counter a “two-front collusive threat” from Pakistan and China.
French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is arriving New Delhi on Thursday, to sign the deal with his Indian counterpart, Manohar Parrikar.
Indian defence ministry officials have earlier said the value of the deal could be 3 billion to 5 billion. Though, now the deal value has increased to 8 billion dollars.
The amount Indian Government is spending on Rafale Aircrafts is way more than the infamous ‘Bofors deal’ of RS. 1.4 Billion. Former AAP member Prashant Bhushan also pointing out the huge amount of money involved in the deal stating that this new deal between France and India made Bofors deal a peanut in comparison.
If it’s a part to strengthen our military than it’s a great initiative by govt. but if history is any indication, no government in past was able to remain controversial free when this huge amount of money is involved. Will PM Modi became an exception of the rule? Only time will tell.