On the occasion of the 87th anniversary of the Indian Air Force on Friday, IAF Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria addressed the media in New Delhi. During the press briefing, the new IAF Air Chief spoke about the capabilities of the new inventory of the Air force to fight the enemy whenever needed. He also mentioned that the Air force aims at promoting the 'Make in India' initiative by developing indigenous equipment in the country itself.
#AirForceDay2019 : The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria interacted & briefed the media at curtain raiser on the occasion of 87th anniversary of Indian Air Force at New Delhi. #AFDay19 pic.twitter.com/5lHkwSkI0s— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) October 4, 2019
Speaking to the media, the new IAF Chief said, "The induction of new inventory combat aircraft and lethal precision weapons will provide the IAF with the overwhelming offensive capability to deter and punish the enemy whenever the need arises."
Further giving the details of the new inventory, he said, "To augment the strength of the fighter fleets of IAF several steps have been initiated. The mid-life upgrade program of the Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and the Jaguar fleet is well on the way. The MiG-29 is also progressing well, the 230MKI is also been planned to get an update in the near future."
"In helicopters, the Mi-17 and Mi-5 are been modified to provide Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability and be suited with some warfare capability. The Mi-17 and Mi-17V are also been updated they will have glass cockpit, avionics, and some Electronic Warfare (EW) capability."
"Our Redfin network has also been strengthened by the induction and integration of modern sensors and weapons systems, mostly indigenous. We are progressively nearing the goal of creating a robust network-centric operational capability and the backbone on that will be the Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) capability," he added.
Elaborating the implementation of 'Make in India' initiative in the force, he said, "The IAF remains committed to the indigenous development with the 'Make in India' initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I intend to carry forward this legacy and proactively ensure that indigenousation remains one of our main focuses in the times to come. And indigenous equipment becomes our main stay in the future. In the last year, we continue to induct and promote the indigenous development of our fleet. Be it aircrafts, radars, missiles and other aviation equipment both toward self reliance and to reduce dependency on foreign equipments."
"A few among these are light combat aircraft, for 83 aircrafts for which we are about to close the deal, additional Akash systems which have been cleared, advanced light helicopters Mark-4, light combat helicopters, medium power radars, LLWR Astra, and the BrahMos missile."