Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa left Pakistan in no doubt that attempts to attack India by air would be befittingly repulsed with interest once the IAF gets its its first delivery of Dassault's Rafale MMRCAs later this year.
Answering a reporter's questions about the effect Rafale would have on India's air superiority, right after the IAF inducted four USA-made Chinook heavy-lift helicopters, the IAF Chief said:
"When the Rafale comes in, the deterrence of our air defence will increase manifold, and they (Pakistan) will not come anywhere near the LoC or the border, with the kind of of capability that we will possess, for which presently they (Pakistan) don't have an answer", the IAF Chief said.
Hours earlier, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa had held the Chinook heavy-lift helicopters in similarly high regard as they were inducted into the IAF, calling them a national asset.
India has paid close to USD 1.5 billion for 15 of these helicopters which would be also used for deploying troops and machinery at high-altitude locations.
Chinook is one of the two helicopters other than the Apache attack choppers for which India had signed deals in 2015-16. The supplies of Apaches will also start by September this year when they start arriving at the Pathankot airbase - around the same time that the first squadron of Rafale will arrive.
The warning will have been heard loud and clear in Pakistan which had attempted an ingress into Indian airspace with an intent to attack on February 27, a day after the IAF's precision strike on Pakistan's terror camps. At that time, India's fighters had broken the PAF's formation of 20+ planes with IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan heroically bringing down a PAF F-16 in a dogfight in the Nowshera sky despite his craft being technologically outmatched.