*NEW DELHI - Fear of Pakistan Air Force is taking over the minds of the Indian civil amd military leadership.*
India needs Rafale jets to defend the country "from Pakistani F-16 fighters that recently bombed us", the government said today at an open court hearing on petitions asking the Supreme Court to review its clean chit to the fighter jet deal with France.
"We need Rafale jets to defend our country from F-16 fighter planes that recently bombed us.
Without Rafale how can we resist them," the government's lawyer, Attorney General KK Venugopal argued.
"Rafale fighter jets are needed, although MIG-21 of the 1960s performed beautifully against the F-16," he added, referring to the dogfight after Pakistani aircraft crossed the Line of Control.
The air duel took place a day after India sent its fighter planes to target a training camp in Pakistan's Balakot. by Taboola link: Sponsored Links link: . link Deadly Symptoms Your Thyroid Isn't WorkingHealth & Human Research link
"Because of the urgency (the need for fighter jets), negotiations started for Rafale .
The first batch is to be supplied in September and 52 pilots are to be sent to France for two-three months training. It is to protect the security of the country.
But we are attacked," said the Attorney General.
He said two squadrons of Rafale fighter jets were arriving in flyaway condition and added:
"It is not for the court to intervene. Does Supreme Court know how many fighter planes we have?