NEW DELHI :
Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari also noted that the new model should reflect the strengths and requirements of each Service
CHIEF of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari said on Tuesday that the Indian Air Force is fully committed to the theaterisation concept to best utilise India’s military resources but at the same time stressed that the new model should reflect the strengths and requirements of each Service. Addressing a press conference ahead of Air Force Day on October 8, he said, the IAF is fully prepared to deal with any security challenge in eastern Ladakh and that new infrastructure created by the Chinese side in the region will not affect India’s combat readiness. He also said that India is fully ready to deal with a “two-front” war scenario involving China and Pakistan and that the focus has been to enhance the IAF’s overall combat capabilities. On the ambitious theaterisation programme, he said the IAF is fully committed to it but added that discussions are required before new structures are put in place.
“Various options are being discussed among three forces,” the IAF chief said. The Theatre Commands are being planned to integrate capabilities of the three services and to ensure optimal utilisation of their resources. He said, the IAF’s strike capability has become more potent with induction of Rafale jets and various weapons. The newly-appointed Chief of Air Staff spoke on a range of issues including the IAF’s modernisation plan, dealing with new security challenges in the wake of geopolitical developments, enhancing the force’s capability to deal with rogue drones and phasing out old aircraft like the MiG-21 jets. In July, the then IAF chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria flagged concerns over the theaterisation plan and said that arguing that there was a need to get the structures right. The Theatre Commands are being planned to integrate the capabilities of the three Services and to ensure optimal utilisation of their resources. The Theatre Commands are being set up under a larger mandate of ensuring synergy among the three service chiefs to deal with future security challenges. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has been focusing on bringing convergence among the three Services and restructuring military commands to effectively deal with future security challenges. There has been a growing perception that the Indian Air Force has some reservations about the theaterisation programme.
On the alleged rape case in Coimbatore, he said, no two finger test was conducted and that disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty in the probe into the case. At a press conference, the newly-appointed Chief of Air Staff said, the rules of the IAF in such incidents are “very strict” and punitive action will be taken based on the report of a high-level inquiry into the case. An Indian Air Force official in Coimbatore has been charged with sexual assault of a woman colleague on September 10. The 28-year-old female Air Force officer has levelled serious charges against IAF authorities, including subjecting her to a banned finger test and also forcing her to withdraw the complaint against the accused Flight Lieutenant.