On Tuesday, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari stated that the restoration of the pre-standoff status quo in eastern Ladakh and the full withdrawal of troops from all flashpoints would begin normalcy. He also claimed that the necessary “non-escalatory” actions had been taken in response to China’s recent air activities in the area.
The Chief of Air Staff stated that the IAF’s overall preparations are part of ongoing efforts regardless of challenges from China, and that Chinese operations along the border, notably in the Ladakh area, are regularly observed.
He spoke at a news conference before October 8th’s Air Force Day.
“To revert to the previous state and completely withdraw from every place along the LAC would serve as the standard for determining if the situation is normal. That is the circumstance we are trying to find “In response to a query, he stated.
Whether or not we perceive Chinese aggression, he said, “all preparation in terms of infrastructure building, equipment, training, and tactics is a continual endeavour.
His remarks come days after Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong asserted that the border situation is “generally stable” and that management has “normalised” after the two sides switched from the “emergency reaction” that followed the fighting in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.
India has consistently pressed for the reinstatement of the status quo ante before the standoff in eastern Ladakh.
When asked about reports of China’s military operations and air intrusions along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said the matter had been raised with the Chinese military and that all of the enemy’s activities were being closely watched.
“We always keep an eye on the Chinese’s recent air intrusions, infractions, or increased air activity there while stepping up our air defence measures. As part of the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) network, we have boosted the visibility of our radars and Surface to Air Guided Weapon (SAGW) systems “he said.
“The proper non-escalationary steps have been performed. With the steps done thus far, I believe we have been able to convey our purpose and level of readiness “he said.
Although a hotline between the two air forces has not yet been established, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari stated that the two parties’ confidence-building measures (CBM) are in place.
He said that an IAF officer now participates in border meetings between the two parties and advised the official to raise any concerns that the force believes should be raised.
“The numerous air infractions incidents have been relayed to them,” he added, referring to the Air Force official present at the most recent border discussions.
The fifth generation Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft and the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA)-Mk 2 are top priorities for the IAF, according to the Chief of Air Staff (AMCA).
Additionally, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari discussed the reduction in fighter squadrons and the phase-out of the Mirage 2000, Jaguar, and MiG 29 aircraft.
By the middle of the following decade, he claimed, all aircraft will have number plates.
The IAF Chief also admitted that, despite future inductions, his force will not be able to soon meet the sanctioned size of 42 fighter squadrons. By the middle of the following decade, “we will still be at 35-36,” he said.
The IAF has been certain it won’t change the 42 fighter squadrons’ authorised strength.
The procedure to acquire 114 Medium Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) is under way, according to Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari.
“All OEMs (Original Equipment Makers) must show more commitment to ‘Make in India’ provisions and local content. Those are ongoing projects “explained he.
Regarding recruiting women into the IAF, he stated that the force’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunity and a fair playing field for all individuals, regardless of gender, is demonstrated by the high percentage of women officers in the force.
He said that from the next year, the IAF will enlist women through the Agnipath programme, making up around 10% of all recruits.
His statement read, “We as an organisation are gender agnostic and recognise talent and accomplishment above everything else.”
According to the IAF Chief, recent world events have amply demonstrated the necessity of having a robust military to fend off foreign threats through deterrence.
The IAF in particular, he added, “will continue to remain a lynchpin in the national security matrix both as a deterrent and a war-winning tool.”
In addition, Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari stated that the IAF has been prepared for all potential security threats, including the “worst case scenario,” and is completely equipped to handle any circumstance.
According to Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari, the process to buy 114 Medium Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) is now underway.
“All OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) must demonstrate greater dedication to ‘Make in India’ rules and domestic content. These are continuous initiatives “he stated.
He said that the IAF’s dedication to provide equal opportunity and a level playing field for all people, regardless of gender, is evidenced by the high proportion of female officers in the organisation.
He said that from the next year, the IAF will use the Agnipath initiative to enlist women, who will make up around 10% of all recruits.
When asked about the IAF’s response to a bomb fear on a Chinese-bound Iranian passenger jet on Monday, he said that routine operational protocols were followed.
He said the answer was to scramble fighters under the established normal operating procedure.
In response to a different query, he stated there was no impact on Russian military supply due to the situation in Ukraine.
The IAF’s operational characteristics and modernization push were both highlighted by the Chief of Air Staff.
According to him, air power has the unique potential to conduct autonomous strategic operations and actions coordinated with other national security apparatus components and sister services.
“We are eager to combine the efforts of the three services because we recognise the necessity of combined planning and execution in future battles. We think the integration approach we use needs to be future-proof, decrease decision-making levels, and use the strengths of all three services “he said.