Prepared for airstrike against China: IAF Chief amid LAC tensions
Sending a strong message to China, IAF Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Monday that India was well-prepared for airstrikes after the Galwan Valley episode in June. He made the remarks during his annual press conference, wherein he assured that India could face Pakistan and China together. In the bloody Galwan Valley incident, India lost 20 bravehearts, including a Commanding Officer. Here are more details.
China can never get better of us in conflict: Bhadauria
With tensions between India and China persisting for months, Bhadauria assured that IAF "has the capability to shoot first and strike deep and hard." He clarified that the Indian side wasn't underestimating the strength of China's People's Liberation Army, but added that IAF can respond to any threat. "No question that China can get the better of us in any conflict scenario," he underlined.
Bhadauria is hoping talks with China lead to results
When asked about expectations from the upcoming three months in connection to Ladakh's situation, Bhadauria replied, "It depends on how the talks progress. The talks toward disengagement, followed by de-escalation, are on. We hope that the talks will progress along the lines that are expected."
Apparently, India was prepared, didn't come close to launching airstrikes
After Galwan, did we come close to launching air strikes against China?— Rahul Singh (@rahulsinghx) October 5, 2020
IAF chief: Come close to striking? No. Were we prepared? Yes.
"Have nothing to say if China is taking Pakistan's help"
To recall, IAF had launched airstrikes in February 2019, in response to the Pulwama attack. A number of jets breached Pakistani airspace, bombed terror outfit JeM's camp, and returned; unscathed and undetected. When the IAF Chief was told that China could be using Skardu airbase in PoK for its benefit, he commented, "If China has to take Pakistan's help, I have nothing to say."
The induction of Rafale jets give IAF an edge: Bhadauria
Bhadauria also spoke about IAF's strength, adding that the induction of Rafale jets gave a major boost. "Integration of Rafales brings in a platform which is way ahead and would give us an edge and capability to strike first and deep," he said. The first five jets, that landed in Ambala from France in July, were formally inducted into IAF earlier this month.
The next three years will improve IAF's fleet
He also revealed that Rafale, helicopters Chinooks and Apache were made operational in record time. "In the next three years, we'll see Rafale and LCA Mark 1 squadrons operating with full strength, along with additional MiG-29 being ordered in addition to current fleets," he added.
Meanwhile, seventh round of military-level talks to be held soon
Even as India and China are willing to dig in for the brutal winter months, senior military commanders from both the sides will meet for the seventh time on October 12, to de-escalate the situation. Lt General Harinder Singh, the XIV Corps Commander, who steered India's conversation for all rounds, will be participating in talks for the last time, as his tenure ends soon.
Troop build-up at LAC paused after last round of talks
To note, after the sixth round of military talks on September 21, both countries decided to not deploy more troops at the border. It was also decided that none of the sides would make attempts to unilaterally change the status quo. Reportedly, around 50,000 soldiers from both the sides, in addition to extra artillery, tanks, and air defense systems, are stationed at the area.