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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Back to Al Jazeera English to talk about the biggest military aviation deal in the world

It was nice to get a call from Doha to go back into the Al Jazeera English London studio in Knightsbridge to talk about the Indian aviation deal that broke Washington's heart back in April this year, 2011. I couldn't do any studio visits earlier on because of the intensity of the book workload and it is a good broadcast test to see if I can get my act together and be in a studio in under two hours -whatever I am doing and wherever I am!

India has been planning to upgrade its defence capability for some time now, given the volatile nature of the immediate neighbourhood.
The country has been shopping for 126 fighter jets and in April the US, Russia and Sweden fell out of the race to sell. After Obama's visit to India in 2010, his country had been very hopeful of securing the deal.

Left in the running now are the Eurofighter Typhoon Consortium and France's Dassault, the maker of Rafale aircraft. The previous offer of $11bn has been revised up to $20bn making it the largest defence deal by a single country anywhere in the world - which is why it is making headlines. India claims that the earlier figure was based on 2007 calculations, which begs the question, why was it so?

Oh, and hello Claudio! One of my favourite newsroom editors is now on an AJE posting to Rome! I miss you in London!

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