Indian Defence News [View All Story]

A K Antony, who was the minister of defence in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, had in February 2014 said that the government has no money to go ahead with the procurement of 126 fighter jets.

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As claims and counterclaims over the financial terms of India’s deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts from France continue relentlessly, the Indian Airforce (IAF) continues to be in desperate need of new fighter jets, as the asymmetric inequalities between the IAF and the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) are set to widen.

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Boeing has called for India to rewrite its rules on buying foreign weapons as Narendra Modi’s government battles to contain the controversy surrounding India’s €8bn purchase of 36 fighter jets from France’s Dassault.

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Rejecting allegations of a scam in the Rafale fighter plane deal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitely on Sunday said that whether the planes are bought at a higher rate or not is a matter for the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to examine. He asserted, irrespective of the allegations, the Rafale deal will not be cancelled.

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Russian president Vladimir Putin flies into New Delhi in his customised IL-96 jet on October 4 to participate in the 19th instalment of what will be one of the most closely watched Indo-Russian summits.

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Post Rafale miss, the over 30,000 upset officials and staff at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) are a worried lot. For, in the absence of any orders for new aircraft, HAL will be left with idle manufacturing capacity. That, too, in just three years from now, leaving scores of employees without much to do.

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In a bid to absolve PM Modi of securing the Rafale offset contract to Anil Ambani as alleged by former France President, the Defence Ministry on Saturday clarified that the aircraft’s manufacturer Dassault Aviation, had entered into a pact for partnership with Ambani”s Reliance Industries back in February 2012, “within two weeks of being declared the lowest bidder for 126 aircraft” by the previous government.

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The Indian government, rattled by a vocal opposition campaign that has charged it with financial wrongdoing and endangering national security over the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from French company Dassault, is now soft-pedalling the purchase of other weapons badly needed by its overstretched and ill-equipped military.

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India is set for a quantum jump in the way it undertakes drone operations by upgrading from existing ground control stations to satellite-control of military unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to boost their range, endurance and flexibility.

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French defence manufacturing giant Dassault Aviation has refuted the claims made by former French President Francois Hollande and said that it was Dassault who selected Anil Dhirubhai Ambani's Reliance Defence and not the Indian government.

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