The Indian Air Force is capable of countering China and ready to take on the challenge of a two- front war, Air Chief BS Dhanoa said on Thursday.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on the eve of Air Force Day, the Air Chief Marshal said his force is ready for a full spectrum operation but added that any decision on surgical strike involving the IAF has to be taken by the government. “We are ready to take on any challenge,” he said.
“We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations, but it doesn’t mean we can’t fight a two-front scenario. There is a Plan B,” he said when asked about being prepared for a two-front war.
He also said that Chinese troops are still stationed in the Chumbi valley, of which Doklam is a part, and hoped that they return soon.
On the issue of tactical nuclear weapon of Pakistan, the IAF chief said the air force has the capability to “locate, fix and strike across the border”.
“Our losses during peace time are cause of concern. We are making concentrated efforts to minimize accidents& preserve our assets,” he added.
Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat had said last month that the country should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting China has started “flexing its muscles”, while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India.
The Chief of Air Staff also said the IAF will achieve sanctioned strength of 42 fighter squadrons by 2032.