rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » 'Terrorists don't have the air power to counter the IAF'

'Terrorists don't have the air power to counter the IAF'

July 22, 2014 14:31 IST

'Terrorists don't have the air power to counter the IAF'

     Next

Next
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

'We have not got into a one-on-one with the terrorists. But there is no assurance they won't resort to launching a shoulder or vehicle fired missile. The probability is very low, but the threat exists,' Air Marshal P K Barbora (retd) tells Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

India has been putting together a missile defence system for the past decade-and-a-half, but it will be a while before it is complete, says Air Marshal P K Barbora (retd), who feels the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was a case of mistaken identity.

Your thoughts on the shooting down of flight MH17...

Shooting down an aircraft flying at that altitude (33,000 feet) needs a missile system with a lot of boost to reach the height and guide it to its target.

The target is acquired on a search radar, which transfers it to the toll radar along with a missile guidance radar as the target comes closer. The missile guidance radar will search and pick up the aircraft.

This looks like a very sophisticated missile. Who do you think shot the plane?

The Russians have very good equipment. There could be pieces of it remaining with Ukraine. It is not hard for countries to identify from where the missile was launched. The United States was able to identify every Scud missile fired from Iraq. There are track charts to find out who shot down the plane.

In my personal opinion, whoever fired the missile did not have all the information, like the aircraft identification number and he may not have monitored all the channels.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: IAF Mirage 2000 aircraft in action.


     Next

'Terrorists don't have the air power to counter the IAF'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

How do civilian aircraft cope since there are so many conflict zones?

Unless a country you are flying over issues a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) to say that the air space is closed to civilian traffic, there should be no problem. There are many conflict zones in the world.

Take Afghanistan, for instance. The enemy has no air effort and hence there is no problem flying over the country. But countries need to upgrade their radar if they are using older ones that do not have system identification. We need more sophisticated systems to identify aircraft.

Could Russia or Ukraine have shot down the aircraft to make each other look bad?

Shooting down a civilian aircraft has a lot of repercussions. World politics will not accept that. Of whatever little I am able to gather, it appears to be a mistake. I really doubt if any of these countries would have done it intentionally to make the other look bad. It was a case of mistaken identity.

Does any group in India have the capability to shoot down an aircraft?

Let us look at Kashmir. The militants have avoided targeting the air force. Once they do that, the problem escalates and the entire conflict turns bad for them. The air force has not been used as a weapon in Kashmir and we have not got into a one-on-one with the terrorists.

But there is no assurance they will not resort to launching a shoulder or vehicle fired missile. The probability is very low, but the threat exists. We have some safeguards in place. Like in Delhi we have developed systems to ensure that this is countered.

Please click NEXT to read more...


Image: Debris from the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 near Grabovo in Ukraine's Donetsk region.
Photographs: Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters

Prev     Next

'Terrorists don't have the air power to counter the IAF'

Prev     More
Prev

More
Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

How secure are the Indian skies?

There are two kinds of attacks -- aerial attack by a missile system and aerial drone attack.

The terrorists do not have the airborne power to counter an air force strike. They only have shoulder fire missiles. They can hit only aircraft flying very low.

What about our missile defence system?

We have been working on it for a long time, almost a decade-and-a-half. We are putting together something specific to certain pockets. I say certain pockets because if we decide to put a missile defence system to cover the entire country, then the people of this country will have nothing left with them. The cost involved is astronomical.

To have a missile defence system in place, we need to have long range radars, satellites, anti-missile systems to pick up data. The list is endless.

There has to be a system in place where the missile needs to be intercepted before it comes into the danger zone. All this involves a lot of mechanism and money.

We are doing our best in setting up the system and we are growing slowly. It will take a long time before we cover all these select pockets.


Image: The IAF tests the Akash missile.

Tags: IAF

Prev     More