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India


No country is facing grave threat that India is confronted with: IAF

No country is facing grave threat that India is confronted with: IAF

New Delhi, Sep 12 (UNI) Urging the need to match force level of India’s adversaries that include China and Pakistan, Indian Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa on Wednesday said no country is facing the kind of grave threat that India is confronted with.



“No country is facing the kind of grave threat that India is confronted with. Intentions of our adversaries can change overnight. We need to match force level of our adversaries,” said ACM Dhanoa at a seminar on IAF Force Structure: 2035 organized by Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) here.



India requires atleast 42 squadrons to counter two-front war but it has come down to 31.



“We do not have the numbers, against a sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons, we are down to 31. Even when we do have 42 squadrons, we will be below the combined numbers of two of our regional adversaries," he said.



On Rafale deal with France, the Air Force Chief said, “The high-tech fighters like Rafale are needed because medium-tech fighters like Tejas alone cannot do. IAF is investing heavily in Tejas, looking at 12 squadrons of Tejas Mark-2 after first 123 Mark-1A jets.”



He also defended the emergency procurement of 36 jets and said the government has strengthened the force by providing Rafale and S-400 missiles.



“By providing the Rafale and S-400, the Government is strengthening the IAF to counter the depleting force numbers,” ACM Dhanoa said.



Stating that such emergency procurement were undertaken on several occasion in the past in a response to serious threat, the IAF Chief said, “It is pertinent to note that all those procurement are for two squadrons of aircraft and under the umbrella of IGA.”



He said Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) facilitates faster procurement of equipment.



India and France signed an IGA for 36 Rafale multi-role fighter jets in fly-away condition during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Paris in September 2016.



UNI ASH SHK1854

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