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Why 2019 is one of the bloodiest years for the Indian Air Force

A selection of the best news reports, analysis and opinions published by ThePrint this week.
An F-16 fighter jet

F-16 never stood a chance to be in IAF fleet. Lockheed Martin messed it up so much

In many ways, F-16 is a microcosm of India-US ties. Imran Khan’s meeting with Donald Trump had little role in US resuming military sales to Pakistan.
Pakistan airspace

Pakistan finally reopens airspace sealed since February Balakot strike

As Pakistan issues NOTAM to all authorities concerned, normal air traffic resumes between India and its neighbour.

Sitharaman’s budget boosts investment but offers nothing to fuel demand

ThePrint view on the most important issues, instantly.
MoS Pratap Sarangi

Those who refuse to say Vande Mataram have no right to live in India: BJP minister Sarangi

In Parliament, union minister Pratap Sarangi says asking for proof for Balakot air strikes is like asking one's mother for a DNA test.

Twitter suspends OSINT handles for showing positions of IAF aircraft during Balakot crisis

Open-source intelligence handles have been told that they ‘violated Indian laws’, giving rise to speculation that the Indian Air Force is behind the move.

Wiser after Balakot, India orders missiles worth $700 million from Russia

Order includes close to 300 short-range air-to-air missiles, the R-73, and 400 medium-range air-to-air guided missiles, the RVV-AE.
File image of a BrahMos missile

After Balakot, Modi govt fast-tracks integration of Brahmos missile on Sukhoi fighter jets

Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd & BrahMos Aerospace were told to expedite the project, said officials.

Indian Air Force removes post-Balakot airspace restrictions, signals Pakistan to follow

Pakistan had opened its airspace for all flights except for New Delhi, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur on March 27.
File photo of PM Narendra Modi in Gujarat | PIB

Don’t politicise Indian armed forces. Just look at what it did to our police

Deployment of armed forces in Jammu & Kashmir over the past three decades is the single biggest factor in politicisation of armed forces.

On Camera

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat speaks at the book release of 'Gandhi Ko Samajhney Ka Yahi Samay' in New Delhi on 17 February 2020 | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

Listen to Mohan Bhagwat’s Dussehra speech. You won’t say RSS lacks intellectual bandwidth

Mainstream Indian media used to denigrate and ridicule RSS. But it is now publishing its chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statements as front-page news.

Iraq PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi bets big on economic reforms

Kadhimi's govt is pushing a soup-to-nuts overhaul in the next three to five years. The path of least resistance would have been to wait until the general election next summer.

Defence

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh meets his US counterpart Mark Esper at his office in South Block Monday | Twitter | @rajnathsingh

India & US agree on deeper cooperation in Indo-Pacific as Rajnath meets Mark Esper

The hour-long meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his US counterpart Mark Esper came a day before the bilateral 2+2 ministerial dialogue in Delhi.
Illustration: Soham Sen/ThePrint

Trump or Biden? Doesn’t matter to India-US ties as they’re in a full, strategic embrace

Pompeo & Esper’s visit to India for the 2+2 talks is proof that old hypocrisies are history, and supreme national interest has again driven a strategic choice.