UPA’s proposed deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets ‘economically unviable’: Manohar Parrikar

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New Delhi: Terming the UPA’s proposed deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets as “economically unviable” and not required, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said the NDA government will buy only 36 of the French aircraft, to be used for strategic purposes, and no more.

Parrikar also raised questions on the tendering process initiated by former Defence Minister A K Antony and said his predecessor had “hammered” the tender in such a way that the Rafale deal would have never seen the light of the day.

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Marine F-35B conducts first operational testing at sea

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The multi-role aircraft, which sports electronic warfare, ISR and kinetic attack capabilities, is the linchpin of the Marine Corps’ future amphibious strike capability. It will be a vital tool for the service that serves as the nation’s go-to crisis response force, said Lt. Gen. Jon Davis, the assistant commandant for Marine aviation, while observing the testing that began May 18 and will continue through May 29.

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Airbus warns of glitch that could affect A400M engines

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Airbus on Tuesday warned of a technical bug potentially affecting the engines of its A400M that was discovered during an internal test after one of the military planes crashed in Spain. The company said in a statement it had sent out an alert to its clients urging them to carry out “specific checks of the Electronic Control Units (ECU) on each of the aircraft’s engines.”

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French fighter jets find takers in a worried world

View of the assembly line of the Rafale jet fighter in the factory of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation in Merignac near Bordeaux

(Reuters) – After failing for years to win a single order for the Dassault-built Rafale fighter jet, France has scored a string of multi-billion-euro wins in recent weeks and is on a quest for more.

Global appetite for the jets has surged as a result of the United States’ diminishing influence in the Arab world along with wider security concerns over the rise of Islamic State insurgents – which Paris is more than happy to assuage. Egypt, India and Qatar have all just signed contracts.

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No Tears For The T-50

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A In late March Russia finally admitted that they were having serious problems with their new “5th generation” T-50 (or PAK-FA) stealth fighter. The admission came in the form of a decision to cut the number of production T-50s to be built by the end of the decade from 52 to 12. Russia already has five development models of the T-50 flying, although one was damaged in a fire. The Russian announcement did not cover specific reasons for the change. But Indian Air Force officials have been criticizing the progress of the T-50 program for over a year.

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The mysterious Rafale riddle

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Rafale in IAF colours: artistic conception

When analysing a subject like India’s air force, it is important to rely only on facts. Thus an air force, which is one of the top five forces in the world, today has an ageing asset, with “some 500 fixed-wing operational aircraft, significantly down from the total of 850 in 2006”.

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