Wednesday, 20 February, 2019
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A Rafale fighter aircraft seen during rehearsals for fly-past ahead of the 12th edition of AERO India 2019 at Yelahanka Air Base in Bengaluru

IAF deputy chief and other senior officers set to fly Rafale at Aero India

Even as political slug-fest continues over the deal, IAF is throwing its weight behind Rafale, the first of which is to be delivered in September 2019.
Weekend Ruminations

Buying complex weaponry is no easy business, but Rafale shows India’s process is broken

It takes 8-10 years for a selection process to be carried through while the defence services wait. Indeed, in the end, there may be no acquisition at all.
Image of a Rafale aircraft

India favoured Rafale also because of its ‘nuclear advantage’

India picked the Rafale because France didn't have a problem with the aircraft being nuclear-capable, according to former Indian envoy Rakesh Sood.
A Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA

France takes responsibility for 36 Rafales, says nothing stronger than Letter of Comfort

The CAG report tabled in Parliament Wednesday had flagged the 'drawbacks' of a Letter of Comfort compared to a sovereign guarantee.
Sandeep Adhwaryu | The Times of India Feat

Voter’s valentine dilemma and Mulayam’s soft push to Narendra Modi

The best cartoons of the day, chosen by editors at ThePrint.
PM Modi with Army and BSF Jawans in Kashmir in 2017 | @narendramodi/Twitter

Narendra Modi govt wants a strong military, but its defence budget can’t guarantee that

Prime Minister Modi has been high on emotions and low on substance on military matters in the last five years.
rafale

Why CAG and Modi govt’s claims of Rafale deal being cheaper are open to debate

Unless further details on costs and decision-making emerge, the 2016 NDA Rafale deal will remain in question.
Rafale deal

The day Rahul and Rafale came down on PM Modi, CAG report or not

As soon as the CAG report on Rafale deal was tabled in Parliament, TV channels jostled to get ‘exclusive’ rights.
A Rafale fighter jet, manufactured by Dassault Aviation SA

Dassault was not the lowest bidder — CAG report contradicts Modi govt on Rafale

CAG says a defence ministry panel report stated in March 2015 that Dassault was not L1 in the original bidding process for 126 jets, and so a contract could not be signed with it.
File image of PM Narendra Modi, Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah

BJP strategy to fight Rafale accusations — ‘talk extensively’ about CAG report & SC order

Armed with two 'clean chits' from top authorities, BJP feels it has enough ammunition to slam Congress for 'personal attacks' against PM Modi.

OnCamera

PM Narendra Modi

India-Pakistan face-off over Pulwama is Narendra Modi’s biggest foreign policy challenge

New Delhi can pat itself on the back for persuading Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to not fly directly from Pakistan.
shiv sena

Is pact with Shiv Sena sign of BJP’s desperation or smart manoeuvring ahead of elections?

The BJP and the Shiv Sena will contest the Lok Sabha and the Maharashtra assembly election in alliance. The BJP is also forming an alliance with AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Defence

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

7 islands in Lakshadweep and Andamans identified for seaplane operations 

Private sector participation was also invited for tourism-based projects in two archipelagos in the region. 
National Interest

Suicidal Pakistan should know Modi may not be scared of its nuclear button

Pakistan has taken too much of a chance with Pulwama — with the wrong government in India, and at the wrong time.