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"That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Indo-Russian fifth-generation fighter aircraft." Air Cmdr. Jasjit Singh, director of the Center for Air Power Studies in New Delhi, and a long-time strategic advisor to the Indian parliament and others, made it clear at the Asia Pacific Security Conference in Singapore today that international collaboration on the Sukhoi T-50 is - in his view at least - a done deal. According to Singh, India is ready to invest 25 percent of the T-50 development cost and then form a 50:50 joint venture to manufacture the new fighter, with a basic requirement of 250 aircraft for each partner nation. (Officially, the deal is still in the works.)Singh's comments on airpower represented a stark contrast with the "boot-centric warfare" attitudes that predominate in the U.S. and Europe - reflecting the history of an air force that is moving out of the land-force support role and has recently acquired its first long-range aircraft and tankers. Specifically, Singh noted, "decisive military victory is a thing of the past between nuclear armed states - such as India and its neighbors, China and Pakistan. "Land war is limited to localized forces, below the nuclear threshold." Air power, he said, is the only instrument that can supply "the calibrated application of coercive force for political effect."
sing10, ar99, singapore, T-50, India
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