IAF to provide aerial protection to major cities

Aiming to prevent any 9/11 type attack in the country, the IAF is planning deploying detachments of fighter aircraft close to major cities to thwart any such attempts of terrorists by using the aerial route.

New Delhi: Aiming to prevent any 9/11
type attack in the country, the Indian Air Force is planning
deploying detachments of fighter aircraft close to major
cities to thwart any such attempts of terrorists by using the
aerial route.

Under its plan, a small detachment of three to four
dedicated aircraft would be deployed close to major cities
including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune to provide cover
against any threats from hijacked aircraft, low speed and high
speed aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), micro-light
aircraft, paragliders, balloons and remote-controlled aero-
models.

"At present also, the IAF provides aerial protection
to these cities but under the new plan, it will have dedicated
aircraft round-the-clock for carrying out these
responsibilities," senior Defence Ministry officials told a news agency.

The protection provided to these cities would be same
as that provided to the national capital during the
Commonwealth Games and the Republic Day parade, they added.

During the Republic Day and the Independence Day, the
IAF deploys fighter aircraft at Hindon air base and frontline
fighters such as Su-30 MKI, MiG-21 `Bison` and MiG-29 are kept
on operational readiness mode at air bases in Bareilly, Uttar
Pradesh, Sirsa and Adampur in Haryana and Srinagar to tackle
any possible intrusions.

The plan to provide aerial cover to these cities was
formulated by the IAF following the 26/11 attacks on Mumbai
two years back after intelligence agencies suggested that
non-state actors might launch an aerial attack.

Officials said that to provide a robust aerial cover
to these cities, the IAF will also go ahead with strengthening
of its ground-based infrastructure and enhance capabilities
for an early detection of incoming enemy aircraft.

PTI

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