The remarks come amid claims by Indian opposition leaders about major corruption in the $8.7 billion deal for the purchase of 36 Rafale fighters for the Indian Air Force (IAF) that was signed in 2016 and that Prime Minister Modi claimed left the IAF in the lurch during confrontation with Pakistan in late February.
India’s former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal AY Tipnis has suggested that the possible use of Rafale fighters could help the Indian Air Force (IAF) destroy at least half of Pakistani warplanes during last month’s dogfight between the two sides.
“The aim of the 24 Pakistan jets was to attack Srinagar, Awantipora base. If India had Rafale at that time, IAF would have destroyed at least 12 of them. Rafale will boost the morale of IAF”, AY Tipnis told a New Delhi security summit on Wednesday.
India Reveals How its Su-30 ‘Defeated’ F-16’s Missile in Dogfight With Pakistan
He referred to the February 27 air battle that erupted between India and Pakistan in the aftermath of a 14 February suicide attack on an Indian paramilitary convoy killing at least 40 soldiers. During the dogfight, the IAF downed a Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighter jet but lost its MiG-21 Bison warplane.
AY Tipnis’s remarks come as New Delhi locks horns with the opposition over alleged corruption in the $8.7 billion deal for the purchase of 36 fighter jet for the Indian Air Force that was signed in government-to-government negotiations in 2016.