Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Point of worry -IAF strength just one-third of China

IAF strength just one-third of China: Chief

Gandhinagar: Air Chief Marshal PV Naik, Chief of Air Staff, said on Wednesday that India’s aircraft strength is inadequate and just one third of China’s air force. He admitted that it will take at least three years for the situation to change as IAF was in the process of augmenting its inventory.

Talking to the media at South Western Air Command during his two-day visit to Gujarat, he said, “IAF is known worldwide as a professional organisation for its capabilities but India’s aircraft strength is just one third of China’s. It is not enough.”

The IAF chief added that China is one of the many challenges India is facing in the current geo-political situation, apart from terrorism and a low-spectrum conflict. The country faced many problems and took multi-pronged measures ranging from diplomatic to economic, besides developing capabilities. “We are playing it cool. This is also part of strategy,” he said.

With regard to reports of incursions by Chinese, he said as far as IAF was concerned, there were no incursions and stressed on increasing capabilities.

He also tried to allay fears by saying that adequate deployment has been made on the border. “The coordination between Indian armed forces and intelligence agencies is much better now than a year ago,” Naik said.

According to him, contracts have been signed between Russia and India for fifth generation aircraft and transport aircraft. “India proposes to buy at least 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMCA) like F-18, F-16, Raphael and C-150 Hercules. One AWACS has already arrived while two are expected by next year. We also intend to buy heavy transport aircraft (global inquiry floated) and medium lift helicopter,” said Naik, adding that the trials of F-16 and F-18 were completed recently.

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