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Posted at: Mar 23, 2018, 1:51 AM; last updated: Mar 23, 2018, 1:51 AM (IST)

Capable enough to take on Chinese forces: IAF Chief

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 22

Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa on Thursday said the Indian Air Force is capable enough to take on Chinese forces and is fully prepared to meet any challenges. 

Accompanying President Ram Nath Kovind at the President’s Standard and Colours ceremony at Halwara Air Force Station here, the IAF Chief said the present fleet of aircraft is more than adequate to handle any eventuality and the process is underway for the induction of new ones.  

He said the plans were afoot to add more squadrons, adding that 40 new Rafale jets would also be added in the fleet of Air Force soon.

On a query whether China’s newly inducted J20 stealth fighters will impact our combat capabilities as these can dodge radars, Dhanoa replied that J20s can be picked up easily by 230 SU from several kilometers against the held belief. 

On inadequate allocation of budget for the Air Force, the Air Marshal said the concerns had already been conveyed to the government. 

Speaking on the government’s policy of allowing the Air Force base for civil flights, Dhanoa said already many IAF bases were being used for the same and adequate security arrangements were in place for Air Force stations to be safe. 

Meanwhile, the President awarded the President’s Standard to Group Captain Satish S Pawar, Commanding Officer of 51 Squadron, and the Presidential Colours to Group Captain SK Tripathi, Station Commander of 230 Signal Unit.

In his address, Kovind said: “Indian forces are committed to protecting the sovereignty of the nation. IAF has a valuable contribution to the history of the country… 51 Squadron and the 230 Signal Units have a rich history of professional excellence and served the country with honour and distinction, during peace and hostilities.” 

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