Chief says Air Force capable of fighting in ‘two-front scenario’ with China, Pakistan

Air Chief B S Dhanoa on Thursday said the Indian Air Force is ready to take on the challenge of a two-front war. Speaking on the eve of Air Force Day, the Air Chief Marshal added that the IAF has adequate facilities and is prepared to fight at short notice and in full synergy with its sister services.

“We need a strength of 42 squads to carry out full spectrum of operations in a two-front scenario. It doesn’t mean we are not capable of fighting in a two-front scenario as we speak,” he said.

Regarding the impasse at Doklam between the Indian and Chinese armies, the Air Chief Marshal said there was no standoff in the air. “During the summer months, the Chinese airforce always carries out an exercise in Tibet, in which their two main airfields are full. So they were full during Doklam operations. They will start clearing out once the weather becomes colder,” he added.

He also added that the surgical strike is a decision that has to be taken by the Government of India.

The Chief of Air Staff said the IAF will achieve the full strength of 42 fighter squadrons by 2032.

Last month, Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat had said India should be prepared for a two-front war and insisted that China has started “flexing its muscles”.

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