Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major
Giving impetus to the long-standing operational requirement of the armed forces, the first AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) Platform was inducted into the Indian Air Force today. At a special ceremony held at Palam airbase of the IAF, Defense Minister AK Antony dedicated the newly-inducted AWACS in the service of nation.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major implicitly confirmed the French Rafale fighter to be still in the running for the the $ 11 billion 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) tender, while stating the Technical Evaluations of the six contenders deal had been completed.
The first of the three Indian Air Force (IAF) AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) platforms has landed in India from Israel, escorted by three Mig-29 and three Jaguar aircraft each, that took off from an advance fighter base of the South Western Air Command (SWAC) and escorted it as it entered the Indian FIR (Flight Information Region), till safe touchdown at the Jamnagar airbase, at 1135 hours on Monday.
Both, the IAF as well as the Indian Navy, are concerned that the withdrawal from service of 90 Russian Air Force MiG-29s for repairs may lead to delays in delivery as well as quality issues in the upgrading and production of new aircraft for the two forces.
The Defense Minister’s repeated statements on cutting down unnecessary delays in arms procurement seems to be a reflection of a new purpose towards arms procurement by India. Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major has echoed that sense of purpose, expecting the Indian Air Force to be able to spend all monies budgeted for procurement this year.