The controversy over the Rafale fighter jet deal will not tarnish the image of the Indian Air Force as the people know the difference between “chaff and wheat”, a senior IAF official said on Monday.
Addressing a press conference here, Eastern Air Command’s Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar said the IAF would never do anything wrong.
“I believe my fellow citizens can differentiate between chaff and wheat. And I am sure they are very well aware of what is happening around them, much more than what we probably think they are capable of knowing,” Nambiar said.
He was replying to a question on whether the ongoing Rafale controversy has tainted the image of the IAF.
“And I believe the Indian Air Force will never do anything wrong. We are very very focused, very very highly professional (in) service and we will continue to work to live up to the images that our citizens expect from us,” Nambiar asserted.
Nambiar, who flight tested the Rafale fighter jet, said the armed forces are sacred to the Indian people.
The Rafale aircraft is far more superior in terms of performance compared to China’s fourth and fifth generation fighter aircraft like the recently-tested Chengdu J-20 stealth multi-role fighters, he had said in Shillong last week.
After taking charge of the Eastern Air Command, Nambiar had last month said that the Rafale fighter jets are “highly capable” and will be a game changer for the Air Force.
On September 20, as the Deputy Chief of Air Staff, Nambiar flew the first Rafale fighter jet manufactured by French aerospace company Dassault Aviation for India to assess its efficacy in Paris.
The Rafale fighter is a twin-engine Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).
The Congress has alleged a scam in the deal signed in 2016 while the government denied any irregularity.