Maj Gen Gagandeep Bakshi
The AUGUSTA WESTLAND IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE HELICOPTERS IN THE WORLD. EVEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA found even one UNAFFORDABLE. But the Indian Govt wanted it badly and they wanted 12 !- in 5 years flat( we are still waiting for a replacement gun for the Bofors after 30 years) they wrapped up this deal and pushed it through. Trials were done not in Ladakh and Rajasthan but in Italy.
What has escaped NOTICE alltogather is that when our Air force was running desperately SHORT OF FIGHTER JETS for combat our political and bureaucratic focus was entirely on The VVIP helicopter- that happened to be the most expensive in the world. The Milano court papers state that Senora Gandhi wanted it badly as she just did not want to ride in an MI-8/17 which we ride into battle( it was cattle class). The point is how was inter se prioritisation done between Combat fighter jets which are the BACKBONE of any Air Force and luxury helicopters-( we have been doing very well without them please).We still dont have the LCA or the Rafale, the MIG -21s are falling out of the skies, the Mig-27 and jaguars will be retired soon.Yet we have 3 unwanted Augusta helicopters and a massive 31 million euro bribe scandal. No bureaucrat, no politician has ever been punished. They simply punish the armed forces by blanket bans. that is why 30 years after Bofors we are still looking for a medium Gun without which no army can fight and win wars. May God help us!