Calling Indian Air Force (IAF) operationally of the best, Air Chief Marshall RKS Bhaduria, on Monday, stated that IAF is well positioned to handle China.
“There is no question that in case of any conflict, China can get the better of us,” the air chief said while addressing annual press conference ahead of the 88th IAF Day on October 8.
“We've deployed to all relevant operational locations, required to access this area. Be rest assured that we've deployed strongly & firmly in place to handle any contingency," he said.
He assured that in the ongoing standoff China cannot defeat India.
Speaking on the Chinese air threat in North East, ACM Bhaduria said, “Our plan of action for northeast is very much there. Our capability in northeast, in terms of ability of airpower to dictate what will happen in case of any scenario or conflict in that situation would be very strong.”
On the possibility China using Skardu airfield in Northern Pakistan occupied Kashmir, he said that “If Skardu gets used by China then it is a collusive threat and we will deal with it accordingly.”
“Our position as a credible combat-ready force is vital, given the role Air Force will play towards ensuring victory in any future conflict,” said while talking on the operational readiness of IAF.
“We've operationalised Rafales, Chinooks, Apache and integrated them with our concept of operations in record time. In next 3 yrs we'll see Rafale and LCA Mark 1 squadrons operating with full strength, along with additional MiG-29 being ordered in addition to current fleets,” he added.
India has recently inducted first five French fighter Rafale into IAF. The first squadron of the aircraft is stationed at Ambala. This is part of over 7 billion 36 jets deal between India and France.
“Indian Air Force is ready for any possible conflict including a two-front war,” ACM Bhaduria on the possibility of Pakistan and China joining hand in a war against India.
Speaking on the logistic role being performed by IAF, he said, “Our airlift capability was also brought into focus as we supported the Indian Army in rapid mobilisation of troops and equipment to operational area at a pace which our adversary didn’t expect.”
“The IAF is transforming at a rapid pace and over the years and has grown from being a tactical force to a strategic one with trans-oceanic reach,” he added.
On the future induction the air chief said, ““We have placed our trust in LCA. In the next five years we will induct LCA Mk 1. At the moment, we are concentrating on 83 LCA Mk 1A which will hopefully get inducted by 2029. And there will also be 100 more LCA later versions.”
“Then we will have Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA), the fifth generation aircraft. Two squadrons of AMCA Mk1 and five squadrons of AMCA Mk2 are planned which we hope to start inducting by the end of this decade and continue till next decade,” he added.