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Over 200 more fighter jets needed in next 10 years: IAF chief

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New Delhi, 28 Dec 2016 : The Air Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, on Wednesday said 200 to 250 more fighter aircraft were required to be inducted in the next 10 years to meet the air force’s operational requirement.

India has sufficient number of aircraft in the heavy category in Sukhoi-30s, whereas gaps in the medium and lightweight categories needed to be filled, he told the media here.

The IAF chief said that 36 Rafale jets being bought by India from France were not enough.

“We are still inducting Sukhoi-30s; it will last us for another 40 years. The Light Combat Aircraft (Tejas) will fill some void in the lightweight category… Rafale is an excellent aircraft. But we have just 36 aircraft; we require more aircraft in the medium-weight category,” Raha said.

“To fill the gap, one more line of production is needed in India,” he said, adding that a decision on the matter is likely soon, and the file is at present lying with the Defence Ministry.

On September 23, India signed a 7.87 billion ruro (about Rs 59,000 crore) deal with France to buy the 36 Rafale fighter jets to meet IAF’s critical operational requirement for a multi-role combat aircraft and enhance its strategic reach, especially in the context of arch rival Pakistan.

The IAF chief, set to retire on December 31, pointed out that the IAF’s sanctioned sqadron strength is 42, and said: “This is just a numeral; there has to be a capability mix of heavy, medium and light aircraft.”

Raha also emphasised the need for inducting more midair refuelers since its present fleet of Ilyushin IL-78 tanker fleet faced maintenance problems.

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PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti released from detention after 14 months

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Jammu, 13 Oct : Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti was on Tuesday released from detention. “PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti is being released from detention,” said Jammu and Kashmir administration spokesperson Rohit Kansal.

A government order issued on Tuesday night said her detention was being revoked with immediate effect.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration in July had extended her detention by three months under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA).

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Swimming pools for training of sportspersons to open with SOP from Oct 15

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SAD breaks alliance with BJP Leaves NDA in protest against farmers ordinance

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Chandigarh, 26 Sep : The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has severed its alliance with the BJP. The Akali Dal had a 22-year-old alliance with the BJP.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Akali Dal’s Kaur Committee which lasted for more than four hours today. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal addressed the press after the meeting and announced that he would no longer be a part of BJP-NDA.

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