India is going to procure 33 Russian-manufactured aircraft, including 12 Su-30 MKI and 21 MiG-29, which are to be purchased in a fast track mode, while few of them are to be manufactured in India with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). But why such a rushed deal?
Another questions that arise are: despite the Indian Air Force not having the confidence in them, why are billions being shed to buy these aircraft; and why 36 outdated Rafaels, and not European- or US-origin aircraft being offered to India?
We cannot send your frontline air superiority fighter Su-30 MKI to attack ground targets in Pakistan, despite the fact that Pakistan doesn’t have advance aircraft, apart from 75 F-16 manufactured back in the 80s. We send mirages of the 80s to a ground attack mission, and outdated flying coffin MiG-21 to take on a few Pakistani aircraft on a scramble mission. This shows we entrust neither the MiG-29 nor the Su-30 MKI, which is why they are not being used. But on this mission, you had a motive — after a possible failure, you would have an excuse that it wasn’t our best aircraft in the arsenal.
How will we compete with the Chinese Air force with these aircraft, while all of their aircraft are of advance technology and upgraded with the latest avionics, sensors and weapons? China’s homegrown J-10, J-11, J-16 and J-20 are much-advanced aircraft than our Su-30 MKI or Rafael. The latter can still give the the Chinese a tough time, but not any other aircraft in service with IAF. Why are we not purchasing western aircraft instead of these useless products that even Russia is leaving behind in the past?
Doesn’t it show that we cannot afford to compete with China, which is why we are leaning towards Pakistan for desired soft competition with such outdated air horses? Yet, you are falling short to compete with Pakistan as they are building their own aircraft and upgrading it as per their needs, while India is failing short to induct Tejas with confidence and can’t produce anything homegrown.