- 06/21/2019 at 10:10 am #1177274EduGorillaKeymasterSelect Question Language :
Direction : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.
The Indian Air Force is on the verge of getting an advanced technology combat aircraft, the Rafale that surpasses the capability of most of its existing fleet and that of its adversaries. But the recent public debate has taken the worst possible turn, discrediting the deal and blaming the government and the prime minister in public. The government has been equally strong in countering the allegations. The tit-for-tat has plunged to the nadir of decency in political debate in India.
The Opposition is dragging the government to make a public statement knowing well that secrecy clauses in inter-governmental agreements do not permit such disclosure. The government cannot get into a dispute by public disclosure of information they had agreed to protect.
Apart from the cost details, the standard-of-preparation of the Indian Rafale is sensitive and different from those supplied to others, including to the French Air Force. If the Opposition wants the details of the cost, Parliament could debate the price in a secret session as permitted by Clause 245-252 of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha without publicly exposing the technical standard of the aircraft.
Air HQ finalised the air staff requirement for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) in 2008. Rafale and the Eurofighter were shortlisted, both were found to meet the requirements. Rafale was selected in 2012 being the lowest bidder. But the UPA government did not sign the deal. Dassault Aviation refused to take responsibility for the work-share of HAL. But the Air Force insisted on such a guarantee due to the unsatisfactory performance of HAL in the past. Furthermore, HAL assessed manhours to produce the aircraft to be nearly three times that taken by the OEM, which the government felt to be too high. The deal went into the freezer.
The years slipped by without a decision, pushing the Air Force into a corner. It faced serious difficulty in meeting its operational responsibility with a dwindling fighter squadron asset. In 2014, the IAF projected their urgent need for 36 aircraft. Taking their cues from the available information on Rafale, the government decided to purchase the urgently needed 36 in a comprehensive package that could make the new aircraft operational at the earliest. The inter-government contract was signed in 2016. The impasse that arose on the licence production contract was thus circumvented. The package included the Meteor missile having extraordinary range, short-range air to air missiles and other weapons. Additionally, it included training systems, performance-based logistics support for two squadrons, enhanced period of maintenance support and full maintenance support at two bases. The earlier contract envisaged in 2012 was only for the production of bare aircraft that would have called for many separate additional contracts to procure weapons and other operational packages.
The issue facing the country is about how the government can provide the military with quality operational systems in reasonable time within the budget. The process of acquisition is only to ensure that it is done systematically. Regrettably, the process has become so complex that the objective is neglected. The UPA/Congress governments had faced nasty debates and comments for decades on defence acquisition. The Jaguar, Mirage-2000 and SU-30 MKI acquisitions were severely criticised. The long-forgotten Westland WG-30 deal of 1985 faced harsh criticism when 21 of these bought for Pawan Hans and VVIP travel had to be junked after accidents. Decisions are often delayed beyond the expiry of the offer. We end up creating more committees and structures and expand procedures in the name of streamlining. But in spite of harsh debates and attempts to sabotage, the induction of Jaguars, the Mirage-2000 and the SU-30MKI continued.
Which of the following fighter planes/ aircraft are not mentioned in the given passage?
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