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Results skewed in our favour if we had Rafale: IAF Chief Dhanoa on Feb 27th dogfight

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Referring to the 27 February aerial fight with following the air strikes, BS on Monday said the results would have been further skewed in favour of if it had inducted the Rafale combat in time.

"The results would have been further skewed in our favour had we inducted our Rafale in time," said while delivering the Arjan Singh memorial lecture in auditorium in Subroto Park here earlier today.

Elaborating on the February 26 air strike in in province in Pakistan, the said, "In the operations, we had technology on our side as we could launch precision standoff weapons with great accuracy. In the subsequent engagement, we came out better because we had upgraded our Bisons and "

"With the proposed induction of Rafale and the S-400 SAM system in the next two to four years would once again tilt the technological balance in our favour, like it was in 2002 during Operation Parakaram," he added.

further said, "Post our strike on terror training camp, to thwart impending strike on our soil, Air Force (PAF) launched a riposte on February 27 against Indian targets. Did they succeed in their objective? The answer is a clear 'no' as the attack was thwarted while we achieved our objective in Balakot."

Referring to the 1965 war, Dhanoa took a jibe at saying it had "lost half the country", despite the fact that the had lost 59 aircraft compared to 43 of PAF aircraft.

"A lot was written and talked about the measure of victory. How many aircraft did we lose and how many Pakistani's lost and counting that whether we won or not? Well in 1965, Pakistan started the war with a clear cut aim of annexing through means. It lost because it couldn't do so. played a major part in thwarting the armoured thrust in the Chamb-Jaurian sector. In the ensuing air battles as per official history, IAF lost 59 aircraft compared to 43 of the PAF," he said.

"But this does not measure victory. You win or lose on how much of your politico-objectives were achieved. Even post the 1971 War, the PAF books emphasised that PAF came better off as they lost lesser aircraft compared to the IAF. You lost half your country for God's sake. So what difference does it make if you lost a fewer aircraft even if we were to believe your version!" Dhanoa underlined.

The said that the IAF demonstrated its capability to strike with precision both during day and night in Exercise Vayushakti in February.

"All this works towards our conventional deterrence. The strike on a non-military target with precision at night deep inside Pakistan demonstrates our ability to hit the perpetrators of violence in our country, wherever they may be," Dhanoa said, while adding "that it is the critical demonstration of our will and capability which is the major lesson coming out of the present crisis."

Dhanoa said that the IAF's modernisation programme is to progressively absorb technology through indigenisation in the long-run.

"At the beginning of the century, we realised the need to procure fourth generation fighter aircraft to meet the projected shortfalls in aircraft strength caused due to delays in our indigenous LCA project. To be fair with our Aeronautical Development Agency, building an aircraft was no easy proposition. There are only a handful of countries that have the capability to manufacture a fighter aircraft end-to-end on their own as requires exacting standards and cutting edge technologies," he said.

Underlining the technological gap in making indigenous aircraft, Dhanoa said that the IAF's progress in making ALH and LCA was slow and tedious marred by restrictions on procuring advanced technologies from other countries.

"We simultaneously commenced projects to upgrade our existing warfighting equipment. A stellar example has been the upgrade of Mig-21, MiG-27, Jaguar and aircraft. A large portion of key avionics and EW equipment placed on these aircraft has been indigenously designed and manufactured. It is our confidence in these upgradations which yielded results on February 27 this year," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 20:38 IST