IAF fleet ‘inadequate’ compared to China: IAF chief


Gandhinagar : The strength of the Indian Air Force (IAF) is “inadequate”, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik said Wednesday.

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“Our present aircraft strength is inadequate. (The) aircraft strength is one third that of China,” he said here in the context of reported Chinese incursions into India.

“The government is doing a lot to augment (the) air force capability,” he added. “It is giving full support as far as acquisition is concerned.”

The IAF has taken various initiatives to revamp the infrastructure in the northeastern states that border China. This includes reactivating and upgrading various advanced landing grounds and runways.

The IAF recently inducted a squadron of its frontline Sukhoi-30MKI combat jets at Tezpur in Assam. Plans are afoot to induct another squadron at the Chabua air base.

However, the IAF chief denied media reports of Chinese aerial incursions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

“Our strategy is to play it cool. We are not downplaying anything. As far as the air force is concerned, there has been no reason to downplay anything. There have not been any incursions reported at LAC,” said Naik.

Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor had said Aug 31: “There have been several violations and one incursion by a Chinese helicopter in the past few months. It could have happened due to navigational error but that does not justify it. It was taken up at the border personnel meet.”

The army chief had also said the absence of a well-defined border with China results in incursions.

India and China fought a border war in 1962.