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IAF ever-ready to meet any contingency; Rafale jets, S-400 missiles will boost capabilities: Dhanoa

Press Trust of India  |  Hindon (UP) 

Asserting that the is "ever-prepared" to meet any contingency, its chief B S said on Monday that the induction of 36 jets and would enhance the capabilities of the force.

Amid instances of air crashes, said is one area where the force needs to maintain a constant vigil as "loss of in peacetime is not only expensive, but also diminishes the wartime capability".

Efforts are being made to minimise accidents due to human error by providing best possible training to the air crew and technicians to meet the challenges of operating current generation fighters, as well as legacy and

"The IAF is ever prepared to meet any contingency that challenges the defence of our country. In the year gone by, IAF has continued to grow from strength to strength and achieved a number of operational milestones," said in his address on Day here.

He said it is the duty of the personnel to remain combat worthy and maintain operational for any contingency at a short notice.

"Acquisition of 36 aircraft, missiles systems, attack helicopters and heavy lift helicopters would further enhance our capabilities," he said.

The ongoing induction of state-of-the-art Tejas precision weapons is a part of the IAF's larger modernisation programme, he noted.

and last week signed the multi-billion air missile defence system deal. The deal to buy jets was signed with in 2016.

Dhanoa had last week termed the procurement of the 36 Rafale jets, the deal which is currently mired in controversy, and as the much needed "booster shots" to the Air Force.

Speaking on 'Gaganshakti', the IAF drill that saw a mobilisation of 1,4000 officers and 14,000 personnel, Dhanoa said it showcased the operational capability and readiness of the force.

During the exercise, more than 11,000 sorties were flown, including approximately 9,000 sorties by fighter aircraft, he said.

Elucidating on the role of Air Force in peacetime operations, he said during the floods this year, 23 and 25 helicopters of the IAF were pressed into the service.

The IAF also provided timely assistance in fighting forest fires in Theni (Tamil Nadu), Katra (Jammu and Kashmir), Pathankot (Punjab), Kasuli (Himachal Pradesh) and even urban fires in Delhi, he noted.

"In addition, airlifting relief material to and Indonesia, fire fighting on an Indian Merchant Ship and CASEVAC of pilgrims stranded at Kailash Mansarovar and Amarnath Yatra were also carried out," Dhanoa said.

The IAF, he said, has been actively supporting the government's initiatives for growth of regional air connectivity under the 'UDAAN' scheme. Forty-five new routes have been cleared through military airspaces while 33 defence airfields have been opened for joint use to accommodate civilian flights, he added..

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

First Published: Mon, October 08 2018. 17:30 IST
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