Shillong: Chief of the Eastern Air Command, Air Marshal R Nambiar Saturday said the Rafale fighter jets will be a game changer for the force.
The Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Air Command said all Air Force units in the region, except for some in West Bengal, would get the modern platforms, including the Rafale, the Chinook and the Apache attack helicopters.
"The Rafale is an excellent aircraft. I had the opportunity to fly it in France two weeks ago. Let me assure you that this is a very good platform, highly capable and a game changer. Its presence in this area would give us a lot of deterrence," Nambiar told mediapersons on the sidelines of an Indian Air Force function here.
"It provides us with a huge modicum of capability which never existed in this part of the world," he said.
On being asked if the capability enhancement of the command is to deter any country, including China, Nambiar said the capability enhancement is for India.
He also said the Rafale would be based in Hasimara, West Bengal, in the command close to the Assam border.
The IAF Eastern Air Command kicked off a two-day air-fest here to celebrate the 86th Air Force Day, beginning Saturday.
The festival was held at the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG).
The show began with Mi-17 helicopters and Su-30 MKI multi-role fighter aircraft flying past, besides demonstration of slithering operations by 'Garud', the elite commandos of the Indian Air Force.
There was a static display of aircraft apart from performances by the military band.