By Gp Capt TP Srivastava
18 Feb , 2016
An objective analysis would indicate that India is truly not an aerospace power. We have as yet, not become a substantive aerospace power primarily because of two reasons. Firstly, the lopsided and flawed Defence Procurement Policy and secondly, near total absence of any worthwhile R&D from the 1960s to the 1980s. Merely establishing defence laboratories and ordnance factories was not enough. Had we continued with the HF-24 programme and taken it to higher levels, we might have had indigenous force multipliers, fighter aircraft, heavy lift helicopters, transport aircraft, radars and Surface to Air Missiles of proven operational capability matching in performance with the best systems available.
The Indian subcontinent witnessed exponential growth in the acquisition and/or development of conventional aeroplanes as early as the 1950s. Immediately after independence in 1947, both India and Pakistan began acquiring aeroplanes from the Western nations such as France, UK and USA. China too was busy acquiring vintage but still airworthy variants of the MiG family from the erstwhile USSR.
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