HYDERABAD: The Indian Air Force is currently in a phase of intense and rapid infusion of niche technology and combat power, in view of the security scenario in India’s neighbourhood, Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria said.
The IAF chief was speaking at the combined graduation parade at the Air Force Academy in Dindigul on the outskirts of the city on Saturday.
The transformation of IAF, he said, was “primarily because of the unprecedented and rapidly evolving security challenges that we face, coupled with rising geopolitical uncertainty in our neighbourhood and beyond.”
The past few decades, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said, established the critical role of airpower in achieving victory in any conflict. “It is in this backdrop that IAF’s ongoing capability-enhancement assumes tremendous significance,” he said, adding that the IAF, over the past year, also increased vigilance amid the tussle with China in Ladakh.
The IAF chief also spoke about how the Air Force assisted in the country’s fight against Covid-19. “Strict Covid discipline within the IAF helped us to undertake all Covid tasks on a war-footing,” and that the IAF’s transport fleet flew more than 3,800 hours within two months in a huge effort within and outside India to transport critical oxygen tankers, and other medical equipment and supplies.
To the graduating cadets, he said, “It is essential for all of you to bear in mind that, as future leaders, you will stand shoulder to shoulder with your comrades in olive greens and whites and prosecute integrated operations. You will be an integral part of this important transition in the years ahead.”
Bhadauria said that the IAF was on track for inducting 36 Rafale aircraft by 2022. The timeline for receiving the Rafales was on track, he said....