World Politics Review interviews South Asia Center Nonresident Fellow Iskander Rehman on India’s efforts to modernize its air force through the acquisition of thirty-six Rafael fighter jets from France:

On paper, the Indian air force is a large, well-balanced and modern service, whose fighter pilots are considered to be some of the most-capable and well-trained in the world. Recently, however, concerns have grown over the air force’s continued ability to successfully achieve its core missions given its aging fleet, servicing issues, difficulties acquiring spare parts and procurement delays. This is true not only with regard to the much-discussed medium multi-role combat aircraft program, for which the French Rafale was chosen, but also the indigenously designed Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Tejas light combat aircraft, which has been riddled with development issues.

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