Air Force Chief Spells Out Priorities Before Indian Cuts
Following Indian defense minister A.K Antony’s revelation to AIN yesterday that the country’s defense budget will be cut for the next fiscal year beginning in April, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne has laid out the Indian Air Force priorities for procurement.
“There are a number of projects in the final stages,” he told a February 7 press conference at the Aero India show. “They include the C-130J for special operations, 22 [Apache] attack helicopters, 15 heavy lift helicopters and tankers. The mother of all, as you [media] call it, is the MMRCA [medium multi-role combat aircraft]. In my view, it takes the highest priority.”
The Air Chief Marshal also talked about a need to enhance training capacity and “fill in training slots for cadets.” Other procurements on Browne’s list include the air-launched version of the BrahMos missile.
“The government is aware of our requirements and conscious of our needs,” added Browne.
Interestingly, the pending bid for197 light utility helicopters bid for which Kamov and Eurocopter have been shortlisted, was not mentioned in the briefing. “It will take time,” he told AIN.