The Indian Air Force is "very sensitive" to the emerging threats that may occur in the Indo-Pacific region, said Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said Sunday and said his force was ready to to face any challenge to protect the national interests of India.
He also said that the pace of modernization and installation of new equipment in the Indian neighborhood was worrisome, even as India faced difficulties arising from "unresolved territorial disputes" and "unresolved" actors. state and transnational "sponsored. But the IAF is able, and moving forward, to counter them effectively, he said. PTI in an interview.
When asked if the IAF could play a role in the destruction of terrorist training camps on the line of control in Jammu and Kashmir, he did not rule out such a possibility.
"The IAF is well equipped to deal with threats that occur on the other side of the border, be it in the field of conventional or other fields," said the head of the division of the IAF. air, the chief of the air force.
India's immediate security challenges
Referring to India's immediate security challenges, without naming China and Pakistan, he said: "The current challenges stem from unresolved territorial issues, sponsored non-state actors and transnational actors acting against national interests through global commons ".
"The IAF is ready to face any threat and respond 24/7 to any eventuality with all our assets available," he said. PTI.
Chief Marshal Dhanoa also made an indirect reference to the rapid modernization of China's air force and the development of infrastructure that Beijing has conducted in the Tibet Autonomous Region on the border with India.
"The IAF is well equipped to meet the challenges that affect all of the threats that may be affecting our borders. Although the pace of modernization and induction of new equipment in our neighborhood is worrying, the IAF nevertheless took appropriate measures to respond to these new developments, "he said.
Asked that the IAF was capable of playing a role in increasing India's geopolitical influence in the Indo-Pacific region, he responded in the affirmative by referring to the IAF's capabilities, including the fact that to have the second largest fleet of C-17s.
"We have the second largest C-17 fleet in the world. Therefore, India will strive to help friendly countries in times of human distress and humanitarian relief. In addition, the IAF is very aware of emerging threats that may arise in the Indo-Pacific region, "he said.
At present, the IAF has a fleet of ten C-17 Globemasters, used for strategic airlift, troop transport and cargo missions for long-range missions.
The United States has called for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific, which is seen by many countries as an effort to limit China's growing influence in the region.
Last November, India, the United States, Australia and Japan shaped the long "Quad" coalition to develop a new strategy to preserve the influence of the critical shipping lanes of the Indo -Peaceful.
Chief Air Marshal Dhanoa said the IAF was taking a comprehensive approach to harnessing all available resources to address various security issues in a collaborative and consistent manner.
"The gradual shifting of the center of gravity of the global financial power from West to East has posed many challenges to the fabric of existential peace in Asia-Pacific," he said.
"Security is no longer limited to preserving territorial integrity. It also encompasses a comprehensive concept that includes all elements of national power, "he added.
On the IAF's ambitious modernization plan, the Chief of the Air Staff stated that increasing the strength of the Fighter Squadron was his top priority.
"To achieve this, the IAF is studying new inductions and mid-life upgrades. In this perspective, the MiG-29, Jaguar and Mirage-2000 planes are being upgraded gradually to equip them with modern capabilities, "he said.
Induction of Tejas
He also mentioned the planned launch of 83 light combat aircraft Tejas and 36 Rafale jet aircraft.
"In addition, the file of 114 fighter jets is being processed under the strategic partnership model PLR (Defense Purchase Procedure) -16. Other options are also under study to reach the authorized force at the earliest, "he added.
The IAF has already begun the process of purchasing a batch of 114 fighter jets.
At present, the IAF has a total of 32 squadrons of combat aircraft well below the authorized strength of 42 squadrons.
"The IAF takes a holistic approach by harnessing all available resources to address emerging challenges in a collaborative and consistent manner," said the IAF Chief.