Of Indian Fighter Jets

About India buying a new generation of fighter jets:

India […] has listed two European manufacturers as the finalists for an order estimated to be worth $10 billion.

Why can India not build its own fighter jets?

It’s not that India’s needs are so negligible that building an entire industry would be a waste of money. Further, having your own program has its advantages.

  • You employ many many highly qualified individuals who would otherwise look for greener pastures (for example, the companies India ends up buying things from).
  • You build a technology repository, so to say, which grows over time. Having a technology base is a very good thing, as India itself knows with respect to its own space program. (And building planes is easier than building spacecraft.)
  • You can diversify into other areas, and become a competing player in those areas, using the knowledge gained from this industry.

Yes, I know, there’s Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL). HAL is a great step, but it seems to me that HAL is still more an aerospace manufacturing company, rather than an aerospace technology company. Most of what we make are derivatives of Russian or other aircraft. We’re great at making industrial houses, I know, but can we make great research labs?

Government of India, how about investing $10 billion towards development of new, indigenous technology at HAL over the next few years, the same amount you’re spending towards new aircraft?

And for goodness’ sake, employ some world class web designers. That much can be done, no? (Compare the HAL home page to the Boeing home page.)

4 thoughts on “Of Indian Fighter Jets

  1. Or, just let private companies make aeroplanes and stuff in India itself. There are better ways to spend 10 billion USD of govt money in India than on fighter jets and other non-essential stuff.

  2. “There are better ways to spend 10 billion USD of govt money”.

    Ideally, yes. Practically, no. I don’t think India spends a disproportionate amount of money on defense expenditure.

    But they can make investments for long term results!

  3. Pingback: Of Indian Fighter Jets (via Globe Trekker) « Calgary Recreational and Ultralight Flying Club (CRUFC)

  4. Indian government must allow private companies for defence business . At this moment they just give sub assemblies to private companies . Not the whole product . That is not good .
    I think if government do not want to buy weapons developed by Indian private companies than also let them develop and make weapons and sell to those friendly countries who want to buy them .

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