Be Rest Assured That Iaf Is Prepared To Respond To FutureChallenges And Safeguard Indian Skies Image Credit: Geopolitics
Be Rest Assured That Iaf Is Prepared To Respond To FutureChallenges And Safeguard Indian Skies Image Credit: Geopolitics

'Be Rest Assured That IAF Is Prepared To Respond To Future Challenges And Safeguard Indian Skies'

Commissioned in the IAF in June 1978 as a fighter pilot, Air Chief Marshal BIRENDER SINGH DHANOA took over as the Chief of the Air Staff on January 1, 2017. As Commanding Officer of a frontline ground attack fighter squadron, he had led the IAF punch during the Limited War against Pakistan to evict the enemy from their dug in defences in the icy heights of Kargil region. During the conflict, under his leadership and supervision, the squadron devised unique and innovative methods of bombing in the night at altitudes never before attempted in the history of air warfare. While acknowledging that the IAF faces many challenges and that its procurement schemes were being prioritised within the budgetary resources to ensure that urgent and critical capabilities were acquired first, he assured PRAKASH NANDA that it was potent enough to deliver a befitting response to any contingency. Excerpts from the interview:

How will you describe the state of Indian Air Force today?

IAF is well poised to meet any challenge from across our borders. While we have a mix of legacy, upgraded and new equipment, it is our philosophy to be prepared to flight best with what we have today and our entire op employment plan is based on this.

With the new inductions and upgradation of various platforms the might of the IAF will only increase. Plans are in place to modernise the IAF in keeping with envisaged threat and the government is providing requisite support in this endeavour.

The IAF recently conducted a largescale exercise, Gaganshakti, in which we had comprehensively proved our operational potential and viability of our plans. A major highlight of the exercise was a very high level of availability and reliability of all combat assets including aircraft, missile systems and radars. High tempo operations were undertaken which were adequately supported by maintenance and logistics supply chain. To sum up, IAF is adequately geared up to meet all the operational challenges.

The IAF is reported to have fewer active fighter squadrons today as against the authorised strength of squadrons. How are you going to fill this gap?

The shortfall in fighter aircraft strength as against the authorised strength is planned to be made good through induction of remaining contracted Su-30 MKI, LCA and Rafale. Procurement for 83 LCA Mk1A has been i

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