the fully loaded magazine
The Rafale deal was frozen by UPA-II due to the fear that an influential industrialist was in on the negotiations, the possibility of kickbacks leading back to Congress leaders and concerns about the jet’s performance and cost-effectiveness (That Bird in the Sky, Aug 18). The credibility of the Modi government is on test here, and they will have to navigate the defence deal with as much transparency as possible.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
DRDO is still trying to give us first-generation stuff, whereas we’re looking for fifth-gen weapons systems. Why do we need this ‘ultra white elephant’?
Vinod Kumar, Delhi
Because the possibility of kickbacks exist, defence deals are always put under scrutiny by the press and auditors. Negotiators will have to be careful not to be seen as taking any favours from suppliers. It’s not an impossible task for a government that has absolute majority.
Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh
We find ourselves in this spot because of the Nehruvian policy of maintaining the monopoly of PSUs in science and military technology and keeping them aloof as reserved sectors. In truth, this ‘self-reliance’ is just a white elephant, but the facade of research must be maintained at all cost.
M.K. Saini, Delhi
What an irony, a country which boasts of its own indigenous N-arsenal, ICBMS and space programme is a cipher when it comes to conventional weaponry. Our over-delayed LCA project should ideally be now dubbed the Limbo Combat Aircraft project.
M.A. Raipet, Secunderabad
It does look quite promising, India should seal the deal with Rafale. The question that remains, though, is whether hal is ready for it.
Wasn’t the RSS all about desi stuff, why then Made in USA or France for defence?
Amazing! Everyone and his uncle is an expert on what is best for the IAF. The only people whose opinion is being ignored are those who will fly the aircraft and risk their lives flying it in combat.
Arun Visvanathan, Chennai