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Pakistan Air Force modernisation worrisome: India

Jaishree Balasubramanian in Kuala Lumpur | August 21, 2008 18:28 IST

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The Indian Air Force does not see the reported modernisation and upgrading of neighbouring Pakistan's Air Force as a threat, but it is "worrisome", India's Air Chief Marshal F H Major said in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

"India does not see it as a threat, but it is worrisome, especially with the situation there now," Major said adding, India was the only "stable country" in that part of world.

The IAF chief was in Kuala Lumpur to visit Malaysian bases where Indian Air Force personnel are training their Malaysian counterparts to handle SU-30 MKM aircraft.

The Royal Malaysian Air Force is in the process of inducting the aircraft. A few SU-30 MKM have been inducted and the rest would join within another year.

Asked about the IAF's preparedness, Major told PTI that the "operational preparedness of the Indian Armed Forces today is capability-based and not threat-based."

The entire armed force is operationally ready to fight all spectrum of warfare "at all times", he added.

Referring to the ageing fleet of MiGs, Major said, "All MiG-21s would be phased out by 2011 except the 120 MiGs which have been upgraded and are called Bison."

The Bisons would be used till 2025, which means that they would be in service for almost 60 years.

The Bisons were upgraded with Russian help, but the systems onboard are India, French and Israeli.

"We have expertise in India to do it," the air chief said adding, the SU-30 MKI used by India had most of their onboard systems done indigenously.

"It speaks a lot about the technology in India today," Major said.

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