Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Saturday said that they have detected unusual movement of China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) along the border in Ladakh. The Air Force chief also said they have already put in place its own strategy to respond to any contingency, reports Times of India.
Speaking at the annual graduation day parade at Air Force Academy, Dundigal, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said the Indian Air Force (IAF) had information regarding China’s air bases and the deployment along the LAC.
“During the summer, there are usual exercises. But at this time, we have noticed more than usual deployment. We have taken necessary action,” the Air Force chief said the rationale behindIAF moving its aircraft to the forward air bases.
The Air Force chief also clarified that India was not at war with China, but he added that they are prepared for any contingency and said that all efforts are being made to solve the situation at the LAC peacefully.
The IAF chief Bhadauria, responding to the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control at PP-4 near Galwan valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, said these were “unacceptable Chinese actions”. “We will never let the sacrifice of our braves of Galwan go in vain,” he asserted.
Our Armed Forces can handle the situation: Air Force Chief
When asked if China had an advantage over India, the Air Chief said, “Rest assured, our armed forces are capable of handling the situation.”
“Have faith in the Indian Army. It has come out with information about what happened. We don’t have to give any message to the adversary because the adversary knows our capacity,” he said while adding that air patrolling in the Ladakh region has been increased.
The Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Saturday visited Dindigul airbase to witness the combined graduation parade in which as 123 graduating officers were awarded the President’s Commission. Eleven officers of the Indian Navy and Coast Guard also earned their wings apart from two officers of Vietnam Air Force, who too passed out.
In his speech, the Air Chief paid tributes to Colonel Santosh Babu and 19 soldiers who were killed in the clash with Chinese soldiers. “Their gallant actions in a highly challenging situation have demonstrated our resolve to protect the sovereignty of our country – at any cost,” he said.
He said the graduating officers would go straight to their units and not take a break. “The security scenario in our region mandates our armed forces to remain prepared and vigilant at all times,” he added.
Indian Air Force moves its assets to forward bases
Amidst the current tension with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Indian Air Force had deployed its newly acquired Apache attack helicopter and upgraded MiG-29s in Ladakh.
These Apache helicopters were deployed to provide air support to the Indian Army troops. The patrolling was in line with the recent decision of the IAF to move its assets including fighter jets to the forward bases and airfields in wake of the ongoing dispute between India and China at LAC.
The critical front-line assets of the IAF, including the Sukhoi-30 MKI, Mirage 2000 and Jaguar fighter jets were all put to the advanced positions so that they are ready to fly in a very short notice to carry out operations if needed.