South Asia caught up in maze of security challenges: IAF Chief

Last Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 21:34

Gandhinagar: Indian Air Force is capable of
dealing with security threats arising out of the recent
developments in Pakistan, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said
on Thursday.

Naik, on a two-day visit to Gujarat, said the entire
region seemed to be caught up in a maze of security challenges
following the killing of Osama Bin Laden and the subsequent
terror attack on Mehran Naval airbase, in Pakistan.

He said these incidents were likely to have major
implications for India.

"Mehran attack is not something that will change our
plans. Our plans have already been well-placed since the last
five years," he said, when asked about IAF`s preparedness to
to deal with similar situations.

"IAF is emerging as a strategic aerospace force, and is
fully capable of facing any challenge that it is posed with.
Our preparedness levels are at the desired level to thwart any
nefarious designs and threats," he said.

Naik said that security of IAF air bases was very vital,
because its assets were based at those bases. In view of this
IAF had embarked on a major modernisation plan, he said.

"Over the last five years, the IAF has gone about
increasing the physical security of the bases, (putting up)
things like boundary walls, controlling the entry-exit points,
monitoring," he said.

"We have found that more use of technology is going to
pay us very good dividends. So we are using technology, CCTV
cameras for monitoring, lot of good communication devices and
a lot more," the Chief of Air Staff said.

Naik said that IAF would be having its own WCDMA
communication network at various bases. "It is going to start
with first trial in Delhi shortly, then it will be introduced
at all the bases," he added.

Naik also said that IAF, along with the Navy and the
Army, was upgrading the assets in Andaman Nicobar Islands.

"Andaman, as a strategic asset for India, needs to be
developed. The three defence services have planned for
upgradation with a long-term perspective right up to the 13th
plan. Slowly, assets are being developed there," he said.

When asked what new equipment was being bought by the
IAF, Naik said that many things were in the pipeline, such as
fifth-generation fighter aircraft, Multi Medium Role Combat
Aircraft (MMRCA), upgraded radars aerostats, surface-to-air
missiles like the Spider, AWACS and helicopters.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 21:34

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