Friday, October 2, 2009

India's aircraft strength inadequate: Air Chief Marshal

Air Chief Marshal P V Naik today said the country's present fighter aircraft strength, which is one-third of China, was inadequate. "Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. We have one third of the Chinese numbers. And that is why we are going for more," Naik told reporters at the South Western Air Command (SWAC) headquarters here.

He further said: "The government is giving full support as far as the acquisition of these things are concerned in terms of finance or otherwise." "But everything takes time. So, whatever contracts that have been signed or will be signed, we would get delivery after three years," Naik added, saying they were aware of the situation and were keen on increasing aircraft numbers.

Fighter aircrafts are required for national security, initially at the borders and also to guard the entire nation, he said. On a question if challenges faced by the country were being down played in view of recent reports of Chinese incursions, Naik replied: "As far as Air Force is concerned there are no incursions anywhere (across Indian border)."

"We are not downplaying the challenges before us. But there is a strategy to handle it. One can either deal with it sternly or play cool and continue to develop capabilities." When asked about deployment or arrangement along the Indo-China border, he said, "We have increased our capabilities on land as well as in air." However, Naik declined to divulge more information.

On security arrangements at various borders, the Air Chief Marshal said, "We are using advance technology in border areas like cameras, motion detectors and maintaining air surveillance. We also use satellite surveillance." Naik also said the country is faced by many challenges which are increasing day-by-day. "So far the effect of all these challenges on Indian Air Force is that we have to be prepared for all kind of conflicts, starting from the top that is nuclear to the terrorist which is a lower spectrum conflict," he said.

"We have to acquire capabilities in order to meet the nations' aspirations," he added. Naik said: "Depending on the priority, all these challenges are being handled by developing capabilities not only of armed forces but also by looking into diplomatic and economic factors which form part of national security."


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