By Air Marshal M. Matheswaran, AVSM VM PhD, (Retd)*
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France has resulted in several important agreements being signed. Two agreements stand out as the most important of these: the first is the inter-governmental agreement to buy 36 Rafale fighters off the shelf; the second is to expedite a techno-commercial agreement for the Jaitapur nuclear power plant project.
While the second was simply to ease the hindrances to an already concluded agreement, it is the first one that is of great relevance. The Rafale deal announced by the prime minister is indeed a very smart strategic decision taken by him. It is indicative of a deft and far-sighted handling of the issue by him. It, in all probability, brings down the curtains on the painfully long-drawn defence acquisition case.