South Asia caught up in maze of security challenges: IAF Chief
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 02, 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.


First Published: Thursday, June 02, 2011, 21:34

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