The Indian Air force… truly Indian?
Today corporate India is reaching heights no one had ever imagined, our car manufacturers are churning out new models when the western manufacturers are filing for bankruptcy. Our financial institutions, infrastructure companies are doing better than their counterparts in the west even in these testing times. If we are so capable of achieving these feats, why do we have a dismal performance when it comes to fighter aircraft manufacturing?
World over, the major fighter aircraft manufacturers are huge corporations which produce machines for their countries and also export them to their allies. The US has Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin while Russia has Mikoyan Gurevich, Sukhoi, Ilyushin, Tupolev and Yak as their primary manufacturers of aircrafts. We are so happy to spend billions to buy flying machines from Russia, France, UK, Israel and the western world but we shy away from mass producing them in India. The LCA project by the HAL has been delayed; they will be inducted in the IAF only by 2012 (considering no further delays). Why can’t the government trust the corporate India to design and manufacture fighter jets? When we can trust the west, why can’t we trust fellow Indians? What if in coming years, Russia becomes friendly with our foes and gives them more advanced aircrafts and training than what we have?
I am not against HAL but I definitely think that they should have someone to compete with in the arena as their monopoly is hurting us. The design, manufacturing and exports will be strictly regulated by the government but there is a need of aggressive policies, deadlines, competition and bold decision making which I believe only corporate India can bring to the table.
I hope to see a day when an Indian pilot flies an Indian fighter and sends chills down the enemy’s spine.