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Chinese aggression won't be repeated, says IAF chief

Source: PTI
December 06, 2010 16:05 IST
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Ruling out the possibility of an immediate threat from China, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said that the 1962 Chinese aggression against India will not be repeated.

"No immediate aggression is in sight. It will not be repeated. We have the required air defence capabilities to counter any eventuality and have certainly improved it over a period of time," Naik told reporters on the sidelines of Commanders' Conference of Maintenance Command at Vayusena Nagar in Nagpur.

Naik said, "Now our economy is growing and so is the defence procurement to match other countries' capabilities. Strength is a matter of record."

"We have concentrated on improving on certain areas," he said.

The Air Force is making efforts to make the unused airstrips in difficult terrain in North and North-east operationable for day and night use, he said.

Dismissing Chinese assertiveness, Naik said, "What you can do is to build up your own capabilities."

On upgradations and acquisitions by the Indian Air Force, the Air Chief said IAF has drawn up a strategy to upgrade its MiG 29, Mirage, Jaguars, Su 30, T-17 helicopters in its fleet, adding that IAF was on the verge of acquiring new fifth generation fighter planes, Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft also.

New acquisitions both in medium to long range weapons, missiles to light and heavy transport aircraft and VVIPs passenger aircraft were on its way to induction, Naik said.

On the delay in procurement of aircraft, chopper and weapons, he said "our defence procurement polity gained momentum since year 2006 and those deals negotiated, were now on their way to IAF. The new policy has helped India to improve procurement by 20 per cent."

"There is no dearth of money now and all acquisitions and up-gradations for which supplier country's assistance is needed are working smoothly," Naik said.

On Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), Tejas, Air Chief Naik who belongs to the city, said it is very helpful to IAF and "when it will fly, it will take over the skies."

The initial clearance from the government was expected on December 27-28 , he added. Naik said the IAF has already started imparting training to its staff for new acquisitions and changing our mindset.

To a query he admitted, Air Force was also short of officers and men and said about 1000 officers and 4000 airmen were needed to fill the vacancies. "We have launched many schemes to attract those desirous of joining the IAF."

On alleged involvement of top Indian Army and Navy officials in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, Naik said it was sad to talk about military personnel's involvement in the case. "It has certainly tarnished the image of the military," he added.

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