New Delhi, September 12: Air Force Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa today said that the Government’s decision to procure French Rafale fighter jets and Russian air defense missile system will help in filling the gap of combat capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
Addressing a seminar in New Delhi, Dhanoa said, it is crucial that India matches the force levels of its adversaries. He said no country in the world is facing the kind of grave threat that India is confronted with.
The Air Chief said the intentions of adversaries can change overnight and that the Air Force needs to match their force level. He said, India's neighbors are not sitting idle and countries like China are modernizing their air force significantly.
“Pakistan has over 20 fighter squadrons, with upgraded F-16s and inducting J-17 from China in large numbers. China has 1,700 fighters, including 800 4-Gen fighters. But we do not have the numbers, with fighter squadrons down to 31 from sanctioned 42,” he said.
The Air Force Chief said, by providing the Rafale and S-400, the government is strengthening the Indian Air Force to counter the shortfalls of the depleting numbers. Dhanoa justified the procurement of only two Rafale jet squadrons, saying there was an example of similar purchases.