Regional security extremely fragile, says IAF chiefOctober 8th, 2011 - 5:04 pm ICT by IANS
Hindon (Ghaziabad), Oct 8 (IANS) Pointing out that the present security scenario in India’s immediate neighbourhood seems extremely fragile, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne Saturday said the situation was “a matter of concern”.
Browne was addressing the air warriors here on the edge of the national city on the occasion of the 79th Air Force Day after witnessing a smartly-performed parade and a 35-aircraft air display, including by its potent frontline Sukhoi aircraft, newly-inducted C-130J special operations cargo plane, and the Sarang air display team on four Dhruv indigenous helicopters.
“The present security scenario in our immediate neighbourhood seems extremely fragile and a matter of serious concern,” the IAF chief said, adding that “the need of the hour is to be ever vigilant and prepared.”
Impressing upon the air women and men the “need to develop a security mindset”, he said it encompassed “physical security of our assets on one hand to security of vital communication and operational networks on the other”.
“The assets entrusted in our care by the nation are expensive and scarce,” he noted.
Pointing out that the air force was going through the process of transformation and modernisation, Browne said the IAF had successfully inducted and operationalised many new systems into its squadrons and units.
“The transformation and modernisation process that is currently under way will alter the very complexion of the air force further within this very decade,” he added.
In this regard, he pointed out to the Defence Acquisition Council clearance to the offset proposals of the two vendors in the $10.4-billion tender for 126 combat jets for the IAF Friday.
“The process for acquisition of the MMRCA (Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) is in its last lap and we should be able to open the bids in 10 days from now,” he said.
Browne also referred to the induction of the C-130J transport plane for special operations that was effectively used for carrying out relief material and rescue workers to earthquake-hit Sikkim last month.
The IAF chief also talked about increase in the force’s operation capabilities with the planned induction of the 10 C-17 Globemaster III heavy cargo planes from the US and the mediumlift and heavylift helicopters for which tenders are under process.
The midlife upgrade programmes on the Jaguars, Mirage-2000s, MiG-29s combat jets and AN-32 mediumlift transport planes currently under way should increase their operational relevance, he added.
On the air defence front, Browne said it was being “significantly strengthened” with modern weapons systems, sensors and radar coverage which will be completed by 2014.
In the mountain regions, the radar coverage will take an additional year due to the difficult terrain.
“The operationalisation of the AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) has resulted in a force-multiplier effect on all facets of air operations. The induction of new radars has taken us closer to a gap-free integrated radar cover,” he said.
“The IACCS (Integrated Air Command and Control System) will help the IAF to effect net-centric operations, and with its full operationalisation, the entire mainland and the island territories will also get networked,” he added.
Browne said being a true aerospace power, the IAF was also addressing “the fourth dimension of space in a progressive manner”.
“As a modern air force, we fully understand the enormous maintenance and technological challenges that we face. Our efforts are, therefore, focused to enhance reliability and maintainablity of all our assets,” he said.
The IAF chief said the force was also according high priority to upgrading its infrastructure, particularly the airfield infrastructure, which is also called the Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure (MAFI) project, and setting up of operational support infrastructure for the new inductions.
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Tags: air chief marshal, air warriors, anil kumar, c 130j, cargo plane, combat aircraft, combat jets, defence acquisition, dhruv, hindon, indian air force, last lap, modernisation, operational networks, physical security, regional security, special operations, sukhoi aircraft, transport plane, vital communication