India facing grave threat, Rafale will enhance IAF’s capability, says Air Chief BS Dhanoa
Speaking at a seminar on ‘IAF’s force structure, 2035’, the air chief BS Dhanoa said the government is procuring Rafale fighter jets and S-400 missile systems to enhance IAF’s capabilityindia Updated: Sep 12, 2018 12:19 IST
Amid the rising clamour on the Rafale deal, the Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa, on Wednesday said by acquiring the French fighters the IAF was strengthening its depleting fleet.
“By providing the Rafale and the S-400 (anti-missile system), the government is strengthening the Indian Air Force to counter the shortfall of our depleting numbers of aircraft,” he said at an event here.
#WATCH What we do not have are 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:Air Force Chief Birender Singh Dhanoa in Delhi pic.twitter.com/DKa6sQHDva— ANI (@ANI) September 12, 2018
Pointing to IAF’s strength coming down to 31 squadrons from the sanctioned strength of 42, Dhanoa said India faced a shortage of fighter aircraft despite the threat of a two-front war with Pakistan and China.
“Very few countries are facing challenges like us. We have two nuclear-armed neighbours.We have to match neighbours Pakistan and China to tackle a two-front war,” he said.
The IAF chief’s comments come a day after former Bharatiya Janata Party ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “personal culpability” in the Rafale deal which they dubbed as the country’s “biggest defence scam”.
Earlier this month, the IAF Vice Chief, Air Marshal S.B. Deo too, had endorsed the Rafale, deal saying the aircraft will give India “unprecedented combat capabilities”.
Besides BJP rebels Sinha and Shourie, the Congress led by its President Rahul Gandhi has been relentlessly attacking the Modi government over the jet deal that was announced by the Prime Minister in 2015.
First Published: Sep 12, 2018 11:09 IST