India’s has obsolete army and air force is still using “flying coffins” after 40 years of procurement problems

India started looking for new warplanes in 2007 and there was a deal with Dassault Aviation for 126 Rafale jets for $11 billion. However, constant arguments over price and quality guarantees caused the purchase to be canceled in 2015. India bought 36 jets separately to speed up the process. The 36 Rafale jets will start to be delivered in 2019.

India is now asking global companies to submit proposals for 110 fighter jets. The new plan is to pick a supplier, make an agreement and for the planes delivered within 3 years.

The deal will probably be worth at least $15 billion. India PM Modi announced a $250 billion military modernization that is to be completed by 2025.

Over 90% of India’s military procurement deals fail to be delivered on time and are late by 2.6 to 15 times their deadline. Often the deals are canceled and renegotiated.

Before the Rafale jet deal, India spent three decades developing its own fighter. India’s air force is heavily reliant on Soviet-era MiG-21s that fall from the sky so often some call them “Flying Coffins.” More than 170 Indian Air Force pilots have been killed in MIG-21 accidents since 1970. These accidents have also resulted in the deaths of 40 civilians.

The Indian Army has stated on record that 68% of its warfighting equipment is obsolete. A new report indicates that usually the army only has 10-12% of its budget left for new purchases but this year the Indian Army is actually facing a deficit.

The allocation of Rs213.38 billion for modernization is insufficient even to cater for committed payments of Rs290.33 billion for 125 on-going schemes, emergency procurements.

SU-30 are like the F15.
Mirage 2000 are like older F16.

China’s air force currently outnumbers India’s in terms of modern combat aircraft about 2 to 1. China had about 600 modern military jets in 2016. China is building about 100 modern military aircraft every year. China is shifting to making fighter jets with some level of stealth.