THE successful strikes on Jaish-e-Mohammad’s terror camps in Balakot by the Indian Air Force and subsequent shooting down of Pakistan’s F-16 jet by the old guard MiG Bison two months ago has proved the combat capabilities of the IAF. However, analysis of the strikes has also brought to fore the urgent need of enhancing India’s air defence and offensive techniques.
An IAF report has called for induction of advanced technology, modern fighter jets and deadly missiles to give a cutting edge to India’s defence. The Balakot strike could have been all the more deadly if the IAF had advanced technological asymmetry, something which Pakistan has been continuously building since the 1999 Kargil War. This also calls for the early induction of Rafale fighter jets and surface-to-air S-400 Triumf missile system for which India has inked pacts with France and Russia, respectively. Bolstering the armed forces is the first imperative for the Government given the prevailing tensions on the border. Plans are already afoot in that direction but urgency is a crucial factor in achieving the goal.