Friday, October 4, 2013

Air Chief Says MMRCA is Doable, No Major Problems In It, No Back-up Plan If MMRCA Fails, No Second Option, Only Opton -'It Has To Work'

Some kind of desperation, pessimism in Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne's voice, as he addressed his last annual IAF Day press conference as Chief, today, in connection with MMRCA.Sample his following statements:

-- Almost everyday MoD is updated. MoD is fully aware. MMRCA is very important project for the IAF
-- No second option. This is the only option and it has to work.
-- If MMRCA is not signed in this year and is signed in 2014, then he first one will arrive in 2017, when the 12th Plan ends.
-- Cant delay this any further.
-- There's no timeline. A proper agreement has to be signed. Cant predict how many months it'll take. 
-- HAL and Dassault Aviation are engaged in discussion.
-- Considering depleting force levels, MMRCA and two LCA squadrons have to be inducted by end of 12th Plan, else force levels will go down rapidly.
-- We've lost Joint Secretary AK Bal, which is a huge set-back, as he was the lynch-pin of the project.
-- The new JS will take time to settle down, maybe 3-4 months, so that much more delay, cant say if it'll be signed in this Govt's tenure or not, but we want the new JS to settle as early as possible. But he would take time to understand the process, the DPP etc.
-- Falling rupee will not impact MMRCA.
-- To keep force levels maintained in 12th & 13th Plan, we would give life-extension to one-two fleets.
-- There;s no back-up plan, if MMRCA fails, no second option, its the only option and it has to work.

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