IAF has honed strike power, says RKS Bhadauria

The Asian Age.  | Pawan Bali

India, All India

"Up-gradations of our aircraft with weapons and sensors are ably supported by a networked decision making matrix"

IAF personnel march past during the 88th Air Force Day celebrations at Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad. — PTI photo

Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria in his address on Air Force Day said on Thursday that Air Force will evolve and be ready  to safeguard nation’s sovereignty and interests in all circumstances.

"I would like to commend all warriors for the quick response, in the recent stand-off on our northern frontiers, when we deployed our combat assets at short notice to handle any eventuality, and provided proactive support to all the requirements of deployment and sustenance forthe Indian Army. We have clearly demonstrated our resolve, operational capability, and the will to effectively engage the adversary, should the need arise, " said Air Force Chief.

He said that the recent induction of state of the art Rafale, Chinook and Apache aircraft, have added significantly to IAF's combat capability over its adversaries on the battlefield.

"Our offensive strike capability has been honed further, with up-gradations of our aircraft with weapons and sensors, ably supported by a networked decision making matrix. We have a large strategic air lift capability comprising of IL-76s, C-17s and C-130s and have also significantly enhanced our heli-lift capabilities with our helicopter inductions," he said.

Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said that the emerging security scenario mandates a greater need to have a strong Air Force, to fight across domains across the entire spectrum of warfare."Our vision for this decade, is to continue to comprehensively scale up our combat capability, and be a force to reckon with across the entire sphere of influence; through careful force structuring, modernisation, operational training, and acquisition of indigenous equipment to achieve substantial self-reliance," he said.

Air Force Chief said the evolving threat matrix in our region is becoming complex, ranging from aspirational adversaries with huge investments in military arsenal, to those collusively supported by non-state actors, apart from growing sub-conventional threats emanating from terrorism and cyber
space. "Disruptive technologies and easy access to low cost options like drones, are increasingly demanding greater attention to the sub-conventional domain," he said.

"For the future, we have initiated processes for developing indigenous combat systems with sixth generation technologies, including Directed Energy Weapons, Smart Wingman concept, optionally manned combat platforms, swarm drones, hypersonic weapons to name a few," he said.

Air Force Chief said that the space domain is likely to become increasingly important in future years, and is being given the required thrust.

"On behalf of all Air Warriors, I would like to assure the nation, that the Indian Air Force will evolve and be ever ready, to safeguard our Nation’s sovereignty and interests, in all circumstances," he added.