India Rafale Deal Part of Needed Air Force Modernization

An Indian air force Hercules C-130J prepares to land at the Juhu strip on the Arabian Sea coast as part of a terror preparedness exercise, Mumbai, India, March 24, 2015 (AP photo by Rajanish Kakade).
An Indian air force Hercules C-130J prepares to land at the Juhu strip on the Arabian Sea coast as part of a terror preparedness exercise, Mumbai, India, March 24, 2015 (AP photo by Rajanish Kakade).

Last month, India announced plans to purchase 36 Rafale fighter jets from France, though a final deal has yet to be signed. In an email interview, Iskander Rehman, a nonresident fellow in the South Asia Program at the Atlantic Council, discussed India’s air force. WPR: What are the current size, capabilities and combat readiness of the Indian air force? Iskander Rehman: On paper, the Indian air force is a large, well-balanced and modern service, whose fighter pilots are considered to be some of the most-capable and well-trained in the world. Recently, however, concerns have grown over the air force’s continued […]

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