Despite Modi’s promise, one more year passes without IAF getting its fighter jets

The Rafale controversy has apparently slowed down the Indian Air Force’s plan to procure 114 fighter jets, with the process of acquiring them yet to get the necessary ‘Acceptance of Necessity’ from the defence ministry.

The IAF has been waiting for new fighter jets since 2000 and its hopes were raised after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in April that India had rolled out the process to procure them, with a ‘Request for Information’ issued. He had promised to speed up the process and not “waste time like the UPA”.

However, eight months on, there has been little movement on the critical purchase as the raging political controversy over the Rafale fighter jets deal – with the opposition Congress accusing the Modi government of corruption in the acquisition from France – has thrown a spanner in the works, a top defence ministry source told ThePrint.

“The Rafale controversy has led to a fear factor which is delaying the whole process,” the source said. “The fact is that the IAF had been waiting for the fighters since 2000. Read More

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