rafale jet deal should not be politicised: IAF chief

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JAIPUR/JODHPUR: Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa visited Air Force Station Jodhpur on Wednesday to interact with the participating forces of ongoing Ex Avianindra 2018 between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFASF). Dhanoa spoke about various issues, including Rafale deal, which he said should not be politicised as it is a matter of national security and the new aircraft will strengthen the Air Force significantly.

Giving an example of Bofors deal by Indian Army, he added, “Ask the army what happened to them in Bofors. After how much time, they could induct the gun. So, if any equipment is politicised, it has an effect on the procurement process. I am not going to comment on the court’s decision, but I welcome SC’s judgement which has also said that this aircraft is indeed required by Air Force. The tax payers have the right to know where their money is being spent but for that we have CAG. Politicisation of every security issue adversely effects modernisation of the armed forces,” he said.

Clarifying the Air Force’s stand on theatre commands, he added, “We are not against theatre commands but we already down to 31 squadrons and if we attach them with the theatre commands, then it will lead to operational hassles.”

Talking about the launch ISRO’s military satellite GSLV-7A, he emphasised its importance and said that would enhance the networking and communication capabilities of the Air Force.

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