Offensive strike in neighbourhood showed reach, lethality of Armed Forces: Rajnath
IN A clear reference to the Balakot airstrike in Pakistan, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday that the offensive action against terrorists in the neighbourhood spoke volumes about the “reach and lethality” of the Indian Armed Forces. “We are all aware that the Indian (Air) Force is a technologically advanced and extremely potent force. The recent offensive strikes against terrorist outfits in our neighbourhood speak volumes about the reach and lethality of the formidable arm of the Indian Armed Forces,” Singh said in his address at a seminar at the IAF Auditorium here.
The IAF had conducted air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot in February, days after the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy in which 40 personnel were killed. In his address at the seminar on ‘Modernisation and Indigenisation plans of the Indian Air Force’, Singh announced that the Centre has approved a proposal for use of Government test facilities by the private industry to meet the standards required for defence manufacturing. He said the decision was taken after incorporating the comments of the stakeholders particularly, indigenous defence manufacturers.
“I sincerely hope the synergy between Government’s efforts and industry participation will help fulfil the long-cherished dream of making India a front-runner in defence production,” Singh said. The Defence Minister emphasised the need to progressively reduce dependence on foreign manufacturers and indigenously develop comprehensive capabilities in the defence sector. He urged the private industry to take advantage of the government’s policy initiatives and engage with defence services, Defence Public Sector Undertakings and Ordnance Factory Board to meet indigenisation demands. He reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to resolving any outstanding issue in the way of growth of indigenous defence industries.
Why fly 44-yr-old jets when old cars not on road: IAF Chief
INDIAN Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa on Tuesday questioned why India is flying aircraft that are over four decades old when no one drives even cars of that vintage. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa was referring to the MiG-21 fighter aircraft that had been inducted into the force in 1973-74. “The fifth-generation fighters are a reality and the next generation fighters are already on the drawing board. Can we afford a victory with such losses? If there is no war, we cannot wait for indigenous technology to replace obsolete war fighting equipment. “Neither will it be prudent to import every defence equipment from abroad.
Today, I can still fly the MiG 21 MF aircraft which is almost 44 years old. I’m sure none of you are driving a car of that vintage,” he said. Dhanoa made the statement on India’s obsolete fleet of fighter aircraft in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a seminar on indigenisation of the IAF held here. “Having said that, it is because over a period of time we have indigenised many of the sub-assemblies and innovated and have done import substitution of many components that have gone out of manufacture across the world,” he added.
The seminar, Modernisation and Indigenisation of the Indian Air Force, had been organised jointly by the Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers and the Confederation of Indian Industries. In 2006, India had upgraded more than 100 MiG-21 fighter jets to MiG-21 Bisons by equipping the aircraft with powerful multi-mode radar, better avionics and communications systems.