Hindon: The deteriorating security situation in India`s neighbourhood and its "frequent violent manifestations" are a matter of serious concern, IAF chief N A K Browne said on Monday.
He made it clear that a high combat potential is being maintained to meet any challenge.
"The present times are both interesting and challenging. The deteriorating security situation in the neighbourhood and its frequent violent manifestations are a matter of serious concern to us," he said. He, however, did not elaborate.
Air Chief Marshal Browne was addressing the Air Force Day parade marking the 80th anniversary of the force at the Hindon air base near Delhi. A flypast by a resurrected Tiger Moth, a 1930s biplane, was a key attraction.
The "need of the hour is to be ever-vigilant and prepared," the IAF chief said.
On depleting squadron strength of the force in view of the phasing out of the MiG-series fighter aircraft, the IAF chief said, "Despite phasing out of the legacy aircraft, we continue to maintain very high combat potential through the raising of new Su-30MKI squadrons."
The next squadron will be raised by December, he said.
IAF is planning to raise 14 squadrons of the Su-30MKI fighter jet planes and is considering deploying them at several places in its Eastern, Southern and South-Western Command areas.
The mid-life upgrade of aircraft such as the Mirage 2000 and Jaguar will enhance their capabilities and "add punch to the country`s air power," Browne said.