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With rapid infusion of technology, IAF undergoing monumental transformation: Air Chief

Hyderabad: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is undergoing a monumental transformation with rapid infusion of technologies due to rapidly evolving security challenges coupled with rising geopolitical uncertainty in the neighbourhood and beyond, IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Saturday.

His remarks come in wake of China’s moves in Galwan region.

The security preparedness of India is in full swing in view of China’s posturing in the Galwan region and also the changing geopolitical situation in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, according to Indian Air Force (IAF) chief R.K.S. Bhadauria.

Speaking to reporters here on June 19, he said the deployment of forces would be based on the need at the ground level, which was being monitored closely, and assured people that the country’s security was good. On the assessment of the current situation on the Ladakh front, he said disengagement plans on the friction points were on through 11 rounds of talks.

Continuation of deployment of forces post-Galwan would depend on the varying situation, he said and added that basic deployment would continue to maintain security. As far as the IAF was concerned, it had the capability to deploy at a short notice as per requirement.

On the series of accidents involving MiG-21s, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said that the accidents were not due to age factor alone and stopping the flights was not the answer. The aircraft were upgraded between 2005 and 2010 and the current accident rate had remained more or less the same. He said the MiG-21s would be replaced with new aircraft in the next few years in a phased manner.

The IAF chief, who was in Hyderabad to review the Combined Graduation Parade held at the Air Force Academy Dundigal, here on June 19, said the induction of Rafale jets into the IAF was going as per plan and would be done by 2022. COVID-19 did not have much impact on the plan, he said.

Earlier, addressing the parade, he said the IAF was focussing on the rapid infusion of technologies due to the evolving security challenges on all fronts and also beyond. The infusion of niche technologies and combat power had never been as intense as now to meet the security challenges. He said the role of air power was crucial in any conflict and the IAF was preparing to meet those challenges. He also referred to the crucial role played by the IAF in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

Cadets inducted

The IAF Chief, who reviewed the parade earlier, also spoke about the crucial role played by IAF in the national fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

The IAF chief also reviewed the Combined Graduation Parade, in which 161 flight cadets of flying and ground duty branches were commissioned as officers in the Indian Air Force.

He also presented ‘wings’ and ‘brevets’ to the cadets who successfully completed the flying and navigation training. He also awarded ‘wings’ to officers of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard on successful completion of their flying training at the academy.