Coming Soon
It's been a while, but as they say, better late than never. We finally made some time to redesign our blog and soon we will have our own independent website. The blog helped us reach a huge audience and generate a lot of interest in this area. As a result, the format and (utility) of the blog seems overwhelmed, hence the transittion to the dedicated site. The URL for the new site and content will be disclosed soon. Till then, enjoy the blog and continue to contribute to our posts.
IAF price for Mirages upsets Qatar
The Qatari authorities are reportedly upset over a "ridiculously low" offer the Indian Air Force recently made for 12 used French Mirage 2000-5 fighters that it has been in negotiations to buy from the Emirate.

Official sources said the IAF’s $375-million bid for the fighters — almost half the asking amount by the Qataris — indicated the Air Force’s "casual attitude" to acquiring the aircraft despite its rapidly shrinking fighter fleet and ostensible eagerness to bolster its operational capabilities.

"Pressuring Qatar into selling the Mirage 2000-5 fighters appears, in the light of the IAF’s present offer, to have merely been a tactic by India to stop them from being sold to Pakistan two years ago," a diplomatic source said, declining to be identified. The Qataris feel India is making a mockery of the purchase, he added.

During a visit to Qatar in January 2003, former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani is believed to have told the Qatari authorities that India would be forced to "reconsider" a major gas contract if the Sheikhdom decided to sell the Mirage 2000-5s to Pakistan as it was planning.

Qatar was reportedly under pressure from the US to "dispose off" the Mirage 2000-5s. The Americans had established a major base in Qatar for their invasion of Iraq and was apparently averse to the presence of French technicians for servicing the fighters. It was then decided to dispose the aircraft off to a fellow Islamic country.

Also, at the time, France had vociferously opposed Iraq’s invasion by the US and relations between Washington and Paris were bad, bordering on antagonistic.

According to official sources, the Qataris are believed to be demanding around $750 million for the fighters — nine single seat and three trainers — whose acquisition was cleared by India’s Cabinet Committee on Security in March. "The fighters have 80-85 per cent of their operational life intact," defence minister Pranab Mukherjee had declared in March, adding that talks for their acquisition would begin soon. Qatar had acquired the fighters in 1997 and had used them sparingly.

Thereafter, India is also believed to have indicated a willingness to pay around $650-700 million for the fighters when Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, visited Delhi in mid-April, signifying that further discussions were merely a "formality" before a price negotiation committee was constituted and the deal concluded.

But the "meagre" $375-million purchase offer extended by the eight-member Indian team led by Mr S.K. Sharma, joint secretary (air and acquisitions) that returned home on June 30 after a four-day trip to Qatar, is reported to have caused "offence" in the sheikhdom. Air-Vice Marshal K.K. Nohwar, who heads the planning division, was also part of the visiting team.

Official sources said the deal for the Mirage 2000-5s was to be a tripartite agreement involving the makers of Mirage, Dassualt Aviation, who would be responsible for upgrading the fighters with new avionics and mission systems before delivering them to the IAF by the year-end once India finalised their purchase from Qatar.

The IAF had planned on inducting the Mirage 2000-5s into a special squadron at Gwalior where its 49 Mirage 2000Hs, acquired in the mid-1980s are based. Ten additional Mirage 2000Hs the IAF acquired in the late 1990s have also been delivered and are in the process of being deployed at forward bases in the north.

Incidentally, the Mirage 2000-5 is one of four aircraft competing for the IAF’s tender for 126 multi-role fighters, but defence officials are quick to point out that the Qatari acquisition was not indicative of any preference for the larger buy.


Posted by Jehangir Unwalla @ 3:52 PM


The global defense industry is constantly shaping how borders are protected, wars are fought, terrorists are tracked and caught, and global security maintained. We aim to track news, policy, military exercises and strategic affairs between the world's largest democracies - India and the United States.

Given the vast interest and passion we have in this field, we decided to launch this blog to give visitors the ability to track these developments, exchange ideas and link to other sources of Information. Our primary sources and links can be found on the main page. Some of the pieces published herein our ours, otherwise it is reproduced from other sources (news, think-tanks or publications) to provide our readers the ability to interact and respond. The link to the original source can always be found under the article. Articles and op-ed pieces written by us include thoughts and opinions that are ours, not those of any government or political party. Last but not least, this blog is not-for-profit, nor is it financially supported by any corporation, entity or organization. It is purely to be used for informational purposes and not commercial and/or profit motives.

Thank you, Nik Khanna & Jango Unwalla

About The Blog
This blog focuses on current issues concerning defense and national security for the world's largest democracy - India. It is updated regularly providing readers with in-depth information on technology transfer, acquisitions, counter-terrorism, security and military collaboration and strategic dialogue between India and the United States. The site includes links to top defense policy & research institutes, think-tanks, military sites and research organizations.
Cooperative Cope Thunder
Nikhil and Jehangir wrote an exhaustive article about the Cooperative Cope Thunder joint event. Their article was publihed in Vayu magazine. Click on the link below to read the in-depth article with amazing pictures courtesy of mark Farmer at
Guard members are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
If you're looking for a way to serve your community and country while maintaining your full-time civilian career, the National Guard is for you. Click below to learn more about the proud history of the Army National Guard.
Copyright © USIndiadefense, 2006.
All Rights Reserved