China Looms Large For New Indian Air Force Chief

The Indian air force (IAF) has long had big ambitions, and the pending arrival of a new leader with a broad agenda indicates there will be no easing up in efforts to strengthen the service’s capabilities….

The foreign hardware inflow into India will be substantial during Browne’s time in office. His tenure as IAF chief will also likely see the signing of contracts worth tens of billions of dollars….

One key program that Browne will have to oversee is the $12-billion Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA). This is a befitting turn of events, since Browne played a central role in navigating the MMRCA teams through the competitive process during his 2007-09 tenure as deputy chief of the IAF.

During his time in office, the government will likely sign deals for 10 or more Boeing C-17 heavy transports, six new-generation tanker transports (the Airbus Military A330 and Ilyushin Il-78 are in the running), 22 attack helicopters, 12 heavy-lift helicopters and nearly 200 basic trainer aircraft. Browne will also be under pressure to ensure the smooth introduction of several large network-centric systems…..

Aviation Week and Space Technology, June 06, 2011. p. 56
Asia-Pacific Staff, New Delhi

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