IAF presses ‘reset’ button on modernisation plans to push ‘Make in India’
NEW DELHI: With the go nment renewing its thrust on ‘Make in India’ amidst the ongoing fund crunch, the IAF is furiously re-prioritising its modernisation plans. Much more technology-intensive and imports-dependent than the Army & Navy, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria tells Rajat Pandit that IAF’s major focus is on ‘desi’ fighters and platforms like Tejas rather than `videshi’ ones for now. Excerpts:
Q: The go nment has capped expenditure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, while the defence budget is also likely to be slashed. How is IAF tackling the situation?
A: The capping of go nment expenditure will affect us. But we are looking at ways to mitigate the impact by prioritising our critical requirements. We are putting measures in place to curtail our revenue budget by about 20-25%. On capital expenditure, we are looking at reorganising our plans based on actual budget availability.
Q: What is the delay in placing the Rs 37,000 crore order for 83 Tejas Mark-1A fighters with HAL? In the long run, how many Tejas Mark-1 and Mark-2 fighters, as also the proposed indigenous 5th-generation AMCA (advanced medium-combat aircraft), does IAF plan to induct?
A: We had earlier signed the deals for 40 Tejas Mk-1 jets. The contract for 83 Tejas Mark-1A, which is being scrutiniszed by the defence ministry, is likely to cleared in the near future. IAF is looking at inducting 83 Tejas Mk-IA, around six squadrons (18 jets in each) of Tejas Mk-II and six squadrons of AMCA.
答：早些时候我们签署了40架“光辉” Mk-1喷气式战机合同。这份83 架“光辉”Mark-1A的合同正在接受国防部的审查，很可能在不久的将来获批。印度空军正在考虑引进83架“光辉”Mk-IA，约6个中队(每个中队18架)的“光辉”Mk-II和6个中队的AMCA。
The AMCA is a 5thgeneration-plus fighter, which would have a multitude of technologies borne out of the indigenous production of Tejas Mk-II and other contracts under `Make in India’. We expect the AMCA development to take place in a time-frame of next 15 years.
Q: Is the proposed strategic partnership (SP) project to produce 114 fighters with foreign collaboration in India for around $20 billion on hold now?
A: Our current focus is on funding 83 Tejas jets. The SP project for 114 multi-role fighter aircraft (MRFA) is an important component of the ‘Make in India’ programme, with significant spin-offs towards establishing a robust aviation ecosystem. MRFA is to be seen under a separate category in terms of performance and technology. The associated transfer and absorption of technology as well as manufacturing in India will energise the indigenous industry. The project is under examination and details will be provided after finalisation and MoD approval.
Q: By when does IAF hope to reach its target of having 42/43 fighter squadrons instead of the just about 30 now?
A: IAF plans to increase its squadron strength in a pragmatic manner making full use of the ‘Make in India’ initiative. The squadron strength will improve based on availability of funding and ability of ‘Make in India’ to deliver.
Q: The arrival of the first four Rafales in India (of the 36 ordered from France for Rs 59,000 crore in 2016) has been delayed due to the pandemic?
A: The first four Rafales are expected to arrive in India by July-end now. The delivery of subsequent fighters will follow and current delays due to pandemic will be mitigated in future deliveries.
Q: How is IAF maintaining operational readiness during the pandemic?
A: Since the beginning of the lockdown, IAF has ensured full `air defence’ readiness and optimised training of combat crews to ensure currency and sustenance of combat capabilities.
Our transport aircraft and helicopters have been at the vanguard of the national effort towards maintaining the aerial bridge throughout the country to handle Covid-related tasks, including evacuation of citizens from abroad and supply of medical aid to frie
Under Modij India is completely broke. No money for anything, so must press the reset button.
I wish India and PM Modi well for "Make in India." But, nothing will ever happen unless you privatize the defense production out of HAL factories and the DRDO babus.
Luckiest modiji become unluckiest for india.
lol...a matter of fact the aircraft is too heavy and has been rejected by the navy already..can you give us an insight how much is spent on research and how many people are employed in the R&D department...
Prasad Ramesh Joshi
Masking Collosal Economic Fiasco under the name of Make In India
Till now not a.single Rafael is received , wah Modiji wah , what a deal u made
First one was received by Rajnath Singh g
Lol read the article , reporter asked the question and Air Force Chief has confirmed that it is not yet received, read again
Hire 100000 smart engineers and put to work on all defence projects. Massive domestic and export markets. Cheers
So IAF planes will become paper planes...under modi's re gie
Modernisation by buying junk made in India?
Rakeshji has to loose some weight, or get a bigger size uniform. He looked like a fat little teddybear at the Army Day Parade.
I agree we should become self sufficient in everything.
We have long way to go defence technology is not that easy to develop or acquire.
All heads of forces are daily giving statement.
It is good that indigenous production is getting more and more emphasis. All these initiatives take time. Congress party and their leaders (read dealers) were happy to buy foreign weapons all these decades as it was very easy to make billions of dollars for themselves
Winds of change is blowing across the length and breadth of India/Bharat/Hindustan.This is really heartening indeed.Vande Mataram/JAI HIND.
I reverently hope that the IAF top brass won't bow to to politicians and ensure that IAF gets the best Hardware to combat the PAK & China threat
Madan Mohan Siddhanthi
We neglected our defence in Congress era
This Made in Indi Slogan was given in 1947 and hence india could produce many things locally. A country once an importer of Pin todsy it is exportimg engineering goods.
K Mohan Hyderabad city
The days are not far when India would fully cater to its needs and would even export to other countries
Pradeep Kumar C K
Welcome move by Indian Airforce. Much support needed for Make in India initiative across sectors. It will help in reviving economy and create millions of jobs to Indians. Hope this initiative will be successful.