New Delhi: The present security scenario along India’s northern frontier is at an ‘uneasy no war no peace’ status said Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria. He was referring to the festering border row with China in eastern Ladakh. Air Chief Marshal was speaking to the media here. He asserted that the Indian Air Force (IAF) has responded to the situation with rapidity. He stated that the IAF is fully resolved to counter any ‘misadventure’ in the region.
“The present security scenario along our northern frontiers is at an uneasy no war no peace status. Our defence forces are prepared for any eventuality as you are aware,” Bhadauria informed.
The IAF is looking at inducting around 450 aircraft and helicopters in the next two decades. It is also planning to upgrade at least 200-300 planes during this period, Air Chief Marshal said.
The IAF chief said the recent induction of Rafale fighter jets has enhanced the capability of the forces. He also stated that previous acquisitions of C-17 Globemaster aircraft as well as Chinook and Apache helicopters have provided IAF with substantial tactical and strategic capability enhancement.
“Air power will be a crucial enabler in our victory in any future conflict. It is therefore imperative that IAF obtains and maintains technological edge over our adversaries,” Bhadauria pointed out.
Five French-made multirole Rafale fighter jets were inducted into the IAF on September 10. The fleet has been carrying out sorties in eastern Ladakh in the last couple of weeks.
The IAF has already deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in the key frontier air bases in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The IAF has also been carrying out night time combat air patrols over the eastern Ladakh region. This is an apparent message to China that it was ready to deal with any eventualities in the mountainous region.
The Chief of Air Staff also strongly backed indigenous development of a fifth generation aircraft.
“We strongly support indigenous development of a fifth generation aircraft. We need to have a single point agenda to have a fifth generation aircraft with sixth generation technology,” said Bhadauria, while congratulating all the stakeholders in development of the light combat aircraft ‘Tejas’. He also complimented the Defence Research and Development Organisation for its airborne early warning and control system ‘Netra’. He called it a path-breaking achievement.