Rafale purchase necessary: IAF to Sitharaman

In November this year, Air Chief Marshal Brinder Singh Dhanoa wrote to Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to bring to her notice the depleting strength of the IAF's squadrons even as the Supreme Court was hearing a PIL on the Rafale deal.

The report by HT says that the IAF needs a minimum of 42 fighter squadrons, with 14-16 jets per squadron, to maintain effective deterrence along the North and West borders, but with only 31 squadrons available, the deterrent is weak.

Dhanoa is said to have told the government that the 36 Rafale jets are essential for the IAF and any uncertainty over the purchase could impact its fighting and deterrence capability. He is also said to have asked the government to refrain from revealing the price details of the deal, according to an anonymous source in the Defence Ministry.

The source said the IAF is of the opinion that revealing the price breakdown of the deal would expose the capability of the Rafale jets.

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Rafale purchase necessary: IAF to Sitharaman

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