MMRCA 2.0: Curious Case of India’s Military Procurement Decision Making

It appears India is in a perpetual search for the acquisition of fighter aircraft – an important arsenal for the Indian Air Force (IAF), which is woefully short of its sanctioned strength (39.5 squadrons). Although calculations available in public domain vary – ranging from sanctioned 39.5 to ambitious 42 / 46 squadrons for the IAF to maintain its combat edge – slightly over 30 current squadrons with fast depleting MiG fleet put the IAF in a difficult spot, despite braggart assertions from highest-level military commanders about India’s growing military aerospace prowess.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Rafale 2.0: State, Contractors & Tax Payers

Frontline fourth-generation modern fighter Rafale, manufactured by the French major Dassault Aviation, was chosen as the winner in the global tender for 126 MMRCA for the Indian Air Force before the Modi government took over in 2014. The deal was shelved and subsequently replaced by the announcement of a new contract for the direct purchase of 36 Rafale at a cost of about INR 60,000 crore, the process for which has already been underway since 2015 and the contract signed in September 2016.

DEBA R MOHANTY

Dassault Rafale: Prioritising Transparency in Defence Deals

Defence deals or any commercial deals of aircraft acquisitions are mostly under the shroud of mystery globally. Hence, the so-called scandal surrounding the purchase of the Dassault Rafale should be taken with a pinch of salt. At the same time, it also needs to be kept in mind, that if such scandals have some iota of truth, then they have a capacity to become a death nail for the rulers.

AJEY LELE

Terrorism in South Asia: Perception of Differences

‘There is no such thing as good or bad terrorism.’ This statement is often repeated easily but seldom put into practice by the western world in its fight against terrorism.  The policies to deal with the terrorist acts are different when one analyzes the strategies of the western countries and South Asia. Soon after the attacks of 9/11, the US declared war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Similarly, when Paris was attacked on 13/11, Francios Hollande declared that France is at war with ISIS.

NEHA KUMAR TIWARI

Weathering Heights: India Launches INSAT-3D Meteorological Satellite

On July 26, 2013 India’s dedicated meteorological satellite INSAT-3D was successfully launched into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO) by Ariane-5 VA-214 launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana. This satellite has been designed and developed by India Space Research Organization (ISRO). The process of orbit raising maneuvers is under progress to place it in the 36,000 km high Geostationary Orbit.

AJEY LELE

France-India Ties: From Sporadic Cooperation to an Enduring Partnership (Part-II)

The area, in which Franco-Indian ties have made the most progress however, remains that of defence cooperation, moving from the short term tactical relations of the Cold War, to the more long term and genuinely strategic. France has now become one of India’s most trusted Western defence partners, and Franco-Indian defence cooperation has been described by French officials as ‘discreet but wide-ranging and efficient’, both countries regularly trading information on terrorism, security in Asia and the Middle-East, and maritime piracy, amongst a host of other issues.

Iskander Rehman

France-India Ties: From Sporadic Cooperation to an Enduring Partnership (Part-I)

On the 14th of July, a contingent comprised of more than 400 Indian troops, drawn from the Army, Navy and Air Force marched down from the Arc de Triomphe monument during the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. The event took place in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. It, undoubtedly, heralds a new chapter in Franco-Indian ties and the participation of Indian troops in the parade is indicative of a more profound trend which has been steadily growing over the past decade or so.

Iskander Rehman

India, France Strategic Partnership: Nuclear and Maritime Cooperation

Among the several congratulatory letters received by Prime Minster Manmohan Singh on his reelection, the message from the French President Nicolas Sarkozy merits attention. While inviting Prime Minster Manmohan Singh to be the Chief Guest at the forthcoming ceremonies marking the National Day of France on July 14, Sarkozy has praised the Indian democratic system and alluded ‘ to the values of liberty, people's sovereignty and respect of diversity in secularism'.

Dr. Vijay Sakhuja

Ship Breaking in India: Environmental and Occupational Hazard

India is becoming a graveyard for the dying ships. And so it is, for the workers of the shipyards too. Ship breaking is also environmentalists’ nightmare. Toxic materials, most of which are highly hazardous, are dumped in the ship-breaking yards of India. The most tragic part of the story is the fate of the workers who are facing fatal occupational hazards. Not to forget, India is the one of the six surviving ship-breaking nations in the world, along with China, Bangladesh, Turkey, Pakistan and Myanmar.

Debasish De