Bought only 36 Rafale jets as back-end infra didn’t allow for more: Nirmala Sitharaman

Written by Sushant Singh | New Delhi | Updated: September 13, 2018 6:41:15 am

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her office, Wednesday. We are pushing (contract committees) hard to get procurements moving faster, she said. (Photo: Neeraj Priyadarshi)

UNION Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the government chose to procure only 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from france in 2015, instead of the 126 being negotiated by the previous government, as infrastructure and other technical requirements of the Indian Air Force (IAF) do not allow for greater induction.

“Every time you induct one squadron (standard fleet of 18 aircraft), there is a requirement for a lot of other paraphernalia to come in. Given a set of parameters, if you quickly want to induct, two is the ideal,” Sitharaman told The Indian Express in an interview.

“Air Force Technical Details will tell you, that for any emergency-based induction, it is always two squadrons and not more than that. So that justifies why we settled for two. Because in ready, flyway condition, that is all you can induct, otherwise you have to spend a lot more on creating other paraphernalia for bringing in,” she added, “at a time for us to procure, beyond two squadrons, infrastructure and other…

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