Be it a skirmish like the Kargil conflict or retaliation to a terrorist attack, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is prepared to fight the entire spectrum of warfare, says the Air Chief.
Speaking at a seminar to mark the 20th anniversary of Operation Safed Sagar, Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said “It was for the first time that the MiG-21 aircraft carried out air to ground bombing at night in the mountains.”
According to him, he was the Commanding Officer of the 17 Squadron and was operating from Srinagar. And said that the IAF adopted some innovative ways to tide over its operational limitations during the conflict.
In the presence of the Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat, for Air Chief AY Tipnis, and other veterans and serving officers, Dhanoa talked about what he saw during the conflict in 1999 and where the IAF stands today when compared to the capabilities then does.
According to the air chief IAF has evolved after the 1999 conflict and the precision bombing capabilities that had existed only on Mirage-2000 during the war are now available on Su-30, Jaguar, MiG-29 and MiG-27 upgraded aircraft.
Also, BVR Missiles are carried by MiG-29, Su-30, and Mirage-2000 aircraft. There has been MiG-29 and Mirage 2000 upgrade since then. He also said that AWACS (early warning and control aircraft) to monitor the airspace deep inside the enemy territory is available with the service, operates on secure communication with network-centric warfare capabilities.
He also spoke about the operational limitations that existed in the 1999 conflict. The developments which took place post Kargil war have transformed the IAF in capability so as to counter any kind of air threat in conventional and sub-conventional domains of warfare.