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'India may deploy nuclear-capable Rafale jets on China, Pakistan borders'

Saturday, October 1, 2016 10:15
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BEIJING: China apprehends that India will deploy the 36 nuclear-capable Rafale fighter jets to be acquired from France+ in the border regions of China andPakistan+ to enhance its deterrence capability, a media report here said.

India will deploy the new French-made fighters+ in the disputed areas bordering Pakistan and China, state-run Global Times reported quoting Shenzhen Television.

A recent report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said India is the largest arms importer in the world, the newspaper said.

Increased arms imports into the Asian region are primarily due to the unstable security environment in the Middle East and concerns from China's neighbours over its rise.

The Rafale fighters+ in flyaway condition carry tactical nuclear warheads, and this means India's nuclear deterrence capability will be greatly improved, Shenzhen Television reported.

“India also wants to purchase the Rafale technology from Dassault but France refused, meaning France has no intention to help India promote its military industrial system,” Zhao Gancheng, director of South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies said.

While India is rapidly expanding its military capabilities spending an estimated $100 billion on new defence systems, many other countries with an advanced military industry are also competing for India's market, such as Russia, the US and Israel, the daily quoted SIPRI report as saying.

Zhao said before this deal with France, India was also considering the US-made F-16s.

“India picked French-made jet fighters+ because they are cheaper and have a nuclear deterrence capability,” he said.

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