Like many countries, India has, for many years, neglected the modernization of its armed forces, in favor of more lucrative actions from the electoral point of view, or otherwise ... At the same time, Pakistan, and especially the China, followed the trajectories of modernization and strengthening of their armed forces in a planning particularly well mastered, so that today, New Delhi finds itself having to finance a very large number of defense programs, all equally strategic. than the others. To this is added an often chaotic management of its acquisition programs, as was the case, for example, with the MMRCA program, which should have enabled the Indian air forces to have in 2020 nearly a hundred Rafale “make in India” planes, which would naturally have profoundly changed the balance of power vis-à-vis its two neighbors. Just observe the public enthusiasm generated by the arrival of the first 5 Indian Rafales in the country to be convinced.
Among the programs that have had the most chaotic management in India is at the top of the ranking that relating to the replacement of the Ilyushin Il-78 refueling planes of the Indian Air Force, devices essential to make the most of the reach and the endurance of modern combat aircraft such as the Rafale, the Mirage 2000 or the Su-30MKI. Especially since neither China nor Pakistan have a significant advantage in this area, at least for now. Twice, in 2010 and then in 2016, the Airbus A330 MRTT won the international competition against American and Russian aircraft, and on two occasions, the Indian authorities canceled the program, officially for cost reasons.
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