What India and Israel need is an effective missile defense system and not F16s. Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced today that India may consider F16s from Lockheed Corporation. That may be a face saving situation for India that shows that America did not totally ignore Manmohan Singh’s concerns. But fact of the matter is F16s are not what India needs. India’s defense has to match that of China as well as Pakistan combined. In a worst-case scenario, if ever Pakistan and China decide to attack India from the North and West, India must be able to defend itself adequately.
India needs an effective missile defense system like that of Israel. Iran and Pakistan have manufactured innumerable versions of long and medium range missiles with poor navigation systems and accuracies. None of those missiles will ever hit the target accurately. But with nuclear warheads you do not need a lot of accuracy. The nuke loaded missiles have to be destroyed in the enemy territory or before it can reenter the ionosphere. For that India should be requesting effective missile defense systems from America and not F16s. If ever there is a war between India and Pakistan, F16s will be out of operation without appropriate Satellite driven guidance and control in a few hours. It is not F16s, any other aircrafts will perform without any substantial effect.
What Pakistan is worried about is the India’s missile defense system. India has no ambition in Pakistan territory. All that India wants is status quo in the Kashmir Line of Control. If that is the case then missile defense is absolutely essential. If a barrage of Pakistani and Chinese missiles is destroyed in the air, India will win the war provided they do not have adequate missile defense to destroy Indian missiles.
Missile defense systems are complex, never tested unless an actual war takes place and is costly. The defense ministry may be going after another unnecessary arms race involving obsolete hardware. The money should be spent in world-class missile defense systems. The problem is that the moment India will ask for something, Pakistan will follow. America will deliver the same to both. What India then needs is indigenous capabilities that Pakistan cannot duplicate or borrow/buy from another nation. Money will be well spent in space and technology research than chasing Pakistan in an arms race.
The China has realized and Pakistan will soon realize, there is no future war in that part of the world because that will destruction of the whole region and may be the world. The war is in economic prosperity and trade. That is why China wants a Free Trade zone with India!