Home India News India not alarmed over US supplying drones to Pakistan: IAF chief

India not alarmed over US supplying drones to Pakistan: IAF chief


Bangalore : India is not perturbed over the US supplying drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to Pakistan as long as they are used against Taliban militants, Chief of Air Staff P.V. Naik said Friday.

“So long as the drones are used against Taliban militants, we have no problem,” Naik told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) chief said he was not unduly concerned over such a development as it had no bearing on India.

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said in Islamabad late Thursday that the US planned to provide Pakistan with a dozen Shadow aerial drones to help its military to take on the Taliban militants.

The unarmed Shadow drones are three metres long with a wingspan of 14 feet. Their sensors and cameras feed images back to operators on the ground. They are smaller than the armed Predator and Reaper aircraft.

The US has been employing armed drones for missile strikes against Al Qaida and Taliban operatives in Pakistan, fuelling anti-American sentiment there and attracting public condemnation from Islamabad.

Naik, however, said the UAVs would be part of the country’s aerospace defence capability in future.

“With the accent shift to unmanned flights and missiles, technological advances are sure to revolutionise military affairs in the future also,” Naik said, delivering the fourth Air Chief Marshal L.M. Katre Memorial Lecture here.

Naik said the IAF foresaw greater specialisation, an increased dependence on unmanned vehicles (drones) and force enhancement by integration of space-enabled capabilities.

“We believe that synergising core competencies of each service and all organs of national power by developing effective interfaces is the way forward,” Naik told about 300 serving and retired air warriors and aviation officials.

The lecture was organised by the Air Force Association of Karnataka branch with the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and Aeronautical Society of India (Bangalore branch).

Katre, who was Chief of Air Staff in 1984-85, was also chairman of HAL during his tenure as air chief.