IAF on 'very high alert' in south India
The Indian Air Force (IAF) is already on "very high alert" along the country's southern tip and no additional steps are needed following a Tamil Tiger air raid on Colombo, militay sources said on Saturday.
"We are already in a state of very high alert due to the ongoing Dakshin Prahar exercise and no additional measures are required in the wake of the air raid on Colombo," a military source told IANS.
"There is also no requirement to move up our fighters as the aircraft the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil) use can easily be sorted out with air defence guns and SAMs (surface-to-air missiles)," the source added.
Two people were killed and over 50 wounded when two LTTE aircraft bombed Colombo Friday night. Both planes were shot down as they tried to fly back to the Tiger-held area in the island's north.
The sources pointed out that after a similar LTTE air raid on Colombo in 2007, the IAF had moved up its transportable radar units (TRUs) to ensure there were no gaps in the surveillance assets facing Sri Lanka.
"We then started integrating the civilian and military radars. The air space along the entire region (facing Sri Lanka) is now more than adequately covered," the source said.
"We are fully prepared to counter any hostile aircraft that might try to sneak through," the sources added.
Responding to a question on the safety of nuclear installations in south India against potential aerial strikes, the source said: "These are very well guarded through spot air defences and area defences. They are under no kind of danger."
The Dakshin Prahar exercise, now in its second edition, aims at the integration of military and civilian radars to ensure the flexible and optimum use of airspace over the southern peninsula.