No, actually, it is true. We are trying to pass off some dusty old F16's and F18's.
Not state of the art, you know.
The F-18’s were a totally new manufactured airframe and included state-of-the-art technology (as approved for release by the Dept of State and congress).
The indians are corrupt and with US FCPA oversight practices and laws, the US bidders did not engage in any of that nonsense, because if they did and it was exposed, they would not only lose their 36b export authority to india and loss of contract, but further sanctions would follow and additional contracts (domestic) would be in jeopardy.
So, we have a situation where the US bidders had their hands tied and offered outstanding platforms, whereas the indians did the usual third-world corruption thing. No surprise. To “hide” their corruption they make baseless accusations, as the bidders are not authorized to release configuration details, so the general public has only the worlds of a corrupt government justifying their corrupt decision.