Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Oct 2017 11:40:22

CHIEF of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal B. S. Dhanoa was not indulging in baseless bluster when he said that the Indian Air Force was capable of effectively countering any threat from China while engaging Pakistan in a two-front war. By saying so he was conveying a stern message to those who indulged in needless saber-rattling and muscle-flexing from across the border. Besides, he was also giving assurance to the people of the country that they can rest assured of the capabilities of the Indian Armed Forces when it came to dealing with enemies like Pakistan and hegemonist nation like China. While saying so the Air Chief was giving vent to the over all national mood in the wake of the hostilities unleashed by two of our neighbours, China and Pakistan, over the last couple of years. In the wake of the Chinese incursions in Indian territories, especially the over two month-long stand-off on the Doka la plateau, the nation wanted the Government of India and the armed forces to respond to these threats from our neighbours in a befitting manner. Air Marshal Dhanoa’s assurance comes as a reiteration of that mood.

While the Air Force may feel still short of the required squadron strength as planned, the Air Chief is not unduly perturbed by this small shortage of air power because that is only a temporary phase and would be taken care of in the shortest possible time as the Government is already in the process of acquiring most modern machines for the Air Force with several developed countries offering their latest fighter aircraft, with willingness to share and transfer latest technology. Thus both the Government and the armed forces are quite aware of the challenges that the neighbours pose to the country’s security and are well on course to meet whatever needs the armed forces seek to bolster their readiness and fighting capacities.

Air Marshal Dhanoa also assured the country that the Indian Air Force is capable of locating and bombing Pakistani nuclear facilities. Thus the Pakistanis, who have been bragging about and using their nuclear capabilities as a deterrent against any Indian attack may not be ultimate insulation. This shows the technical excellence that the country’s Air Force has achieved over the decades. And during the three wars that were forced on the country, the Air Force has shown its superior fighting skills in the skies and along with the army it had been able to break the back of the enemy. However, if the enemies refuse to learn any lessons from those experiences, the Indian Air Force, the

Army and Navy have the wherewithal to decimate them.
China of course is a different customer to deal with with its economic and military prowess. The Indian forces and the Government are aware of that and therefore the current thinking at the highest level of defense forces and political leadership is to prepare for the challenge that China poses. That will automatically take care of Pakistan as well. The present Government’s thrust, therefore, on indigenisation of defence production has a welcome futuristic tone to it.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa has made it clear that though the stand-off with China has ended, the challenge from that country very much persists as the Chinese continue to station their troops on the Doka la plateau. Thus India has to remain ever vigilant, especially over the Chinese intentions on our territory. Though this challenge persists, there is a new-found confidence in the assurance of the Air Chief when he says that the forces are ready to launch an offensive on a short notice. This is very reassuring for the country’s people. This should scotch any apprehensions that the people may have in their minds about the threat from China and Pakistan and readiness of our forces.