Upgrading Mirage 2000 and getting a 5th Generation Light Combat Aircraft will help the Indian Air Force in bridging the technological divide and ensuring a lethal arsenal, top air forces officers said on Monday. Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Air Command, pointed out that countries like China and Russia were already developing 5th Generation fighter jets.
He said, “China and Russia are trying to reach the 5th Generation fighter and our technology is of the 4th Generation.” He further said that the Indian Air Force was in the process of making a 5th Generation Light Combat Aircraft and the prototype of the same would be ready in 10 years.
The senior IAF officials also confirmed that Mirage 2000, which were used for bombing terror camps in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26, were undergoing an upgrade. According to Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Central Air Command, Air Marshal Rajesh Kumar, the upgradation would extend the life of Mirage 2000 by 20 years.
Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, Air Marshal Nambiar and Air Marshal Kumar were addressing at a press conference on 20 years of Kargil War commemoration at the Gwalior Air Force base.
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa talked about the advancement made by the IAF since the Kargil War. He said that the role of the IAF was of “reconnaissance”, which means military observation of a region to locate an enemy.
“Even since before Kargil, the role of the air force has been that of reconnaissance, and if something abnormal is noticed, the same is reported. Earlier, the process was film-based but there’s digital technology,” said the Air Chief Marshal.
The IAF chief added that there are unmanned armed vehicles and aircraft that provide report on real time basis.
Referring to the 20 years of Kargil War, the IAF chief said that purpose of all attacks by India has always been to show “our resolve and capability”.