Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 8 (ANI): Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Thursday said the IAF had clearly demonstrated its "resolve, operational capability and the will" to deal with any challenge posed by India's adversaries as he pointed to the force's swift deployment along the India-China border after the tensions rose sharply in May.
Addressing the 89th Raising Day of the IAF at Hindon Air Force Station, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Bhaduria commended all warriors for quick response.
"I would like to commend all warriors for the quick response. In the recent stand-off on our northern frontiers, we deployed our combat assets at short notice to handle any eventuality and provided proactive support to all the requirements of deployment and sustenance for the Indian Army. We have clearly demonstrated our resolve, operational capability, and the will to effectively engage the adversary, should the need arise," he said.
The IAF chief also made a veiled reference to Pakistan.
He said evolving matrix of threat in the region was becoming complex, ranging from aspirational adversaries with huge investments in the military arsenal, to those collusively supported by non-state actors, apart from sub-conventional threats emanating from terrorism and cyberspace.
He also pointed to the significance of the induction of Rafale fighter jets and Chinook, and Apache helicopters and how it would give an edge in combat capability.
"The recent induction of state-of-the-art Rafale, Chinook and Apache have added significantly to our combat capability over our adversaries on the battlefield. Our offensive strike capability has been honed further, with the upgradations of our aircraft with weapons and sensors, and ably supported by a networked decision-making matrix. We have a large strategic airlift capability comprising of IL-76s, C-17s and C-130s and have also significantly enhanced our heli-lift capabilities with our helicopter inductions."
Referring to 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', the Air Chief resolved to make the fifth Generation aircraft indigenously.
"With Atmanirbharta as the bedrock, IAF has been rapidly shifting to indigenous equipment. The LCA, ALH, Netra AEW&C, Akash surface-to-air missile systems, ASTRA air-to-air missiles, BrahMos, IACCS networked environment and a range of indigenous radars, are many successes of our home industry, which are already operational in the IAF today. In the next few years, we will induct 83 LCA Mk1A, HTT-40 trainer aircraft, medium-lift transport aircraft, many indigenous SAMs, radars and numerous weapon systems. We are fully committed to the development of 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft AMCA on our own, more AEW&Cs, UCAVs and a host of ISR options," he said.
In 88th Air Force day, Rafale fighter jet led the 'Vijay' formation accompanied by two Jaguars and two Mirage 2000 fighters. The Rafale jet also carried out asynchronous manoeuvres with the SU-30MKI fighter jet.
A total of 56 aircraft took part in this year's parade, including 19 fighters, 19 helicopters, seven transport aircraft, seven aircraft of the Suryakiran aerobatic team and two vintage ones. In addition, 19 aircraft were airborne as standby.
For the first time, there was an 'Eklavya' formation consisting of Mi-35 and Ah-64 Apache attack helicopters of the IAF. On the ground, 11 aircraft and two air defence systems, Rohini and Akash, were on static display. (ANI)