According to them, India intends to neutralize as soon as possible the threat from the air forces of China and Pakistan, which previously made great efforts to modernize their air forces. In the face of yet another deterioration in relations with Beijing, Russian weapons seem to be the most realistic way of preventing adversaries from gaining air supremacy in the event of a conflict, the Indian military said, reports The Eastern Herald.
In 2016, Russian Su-30 fighters lost the competition to the French Dassault Rafale fighters. Initially, it was assumed that New Delhi will spend 600 billion rupees (7.56 billion euros) to acquire 126 new fighters. However, then it turned out that at a cost of 210 million euros for one European aircraft, the program budget will be enough for only 36 fighters, of which only 28 will have a single combat layout, and eight more should be performed in a two-seat combat training version. At the same time, India bought cars not yet manufactured and even stood in line for other Rafaley customers.
As a result, the execution of the contract is expected no earlier than 2022. The conclusion of this agreement caused a scandal: opposition Indian politicians claimed that the contract was “the largest defense scam in history” and “a textbook example of the abuse of power by the government.” There have also been allegations of corruption by the government.
On the night of February 26, 2019, Indian aircraft attacked the largest militant camp of the Jaish-e-Muhammad group in the Balakot area, located in the Pakistani part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir. After this, several battles took place between the Indian and Pakistani fighters, as a result of which the Pakistani side announced two downed Indian planes. India, in turn, reported the defeat of the Pakistani F-16 fighter with a missile launched by the MiG-21 fighter.
On the night of June 16, 2020, at least twenty Indian soldiers died as a result of a short-lived battle with Chinese border guards in the province of Ladakh. According to some reports, from the Chinese side there were also killed and wounded, the total number of which is estimated at 40 people. Observers noted that this incident was the first major bloodshed on the Indian-Chinese border in the last 45 years. After the shootout, both sides began to pull armored vehicles and artillery to the border.