The cancellation of the AgustaWestland helicopter deal is a blow to India’s defence modernisation project. We have been successful in manufacturing everything except equipment related to defence. Millions have been spent fostering institutions — with an equal amount on R&D and salaries — such as NAL, DRDO and HAL. It is a shame that they often end up as assembly plants for foreign equipment. A new defence procurement policy must be framed by inviting anonymous suggestions from bureaucrats, soldiers, politicians and diplomats.

Deepjot Singh Thukral,

Ambala

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