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Rafale will give IAF edge over China and Pakistan, always prepared for Balakot-type airstrikes: ACM Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria

IAF will base its 36 Rafale jets in two squadrons. While 18 Rafale fighters will join the 17 Squadron 'Golden Arrows' at Ambala in Haryana to tackle Pakistani threats, the remaining 18 combat aircraft will be stationed in West Bengal's Hashimara to take care of China.

Rafale will give IAF edge over China and Pakistan, always prepared for Balakot-type airstrikes: ACM Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria

Sending out a stern message to Pakistan and China, Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria asserted that Rafale combat aircraft will give the Indian Air Force (IAF) an edge over its western as well as northern neighbours. Soon after taking over as the 26th Chief of the IAF, ACM Bhadauria (PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC) on Monday declared that his force was always ready to take action as and when required.

"Rafale is a very capable aircraft. It will be a game changer in our operational capability. It will give India an edge over Pakistan and China," replied the ace fighter pilot. "We were prepared then, we will be prepared next time. We will be ready to face any challenge, any threat. We are aware of the reports and we will take necessary action as and when required," he asserted when asked if the IAF is better prepared to carry out another Balakot like airstrike in the future.

He added that he was aware that Pakistan had reactivated the Balakot terror camps which were bombed by IAF Mirage 2000 fighters on February 26, 2019, in retaliation to the suicide attack carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists on a convoy of Central Reserve Police Force convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama.

IAF will base its 36 Rafale jets in two squadrons. While 18 Rafale fighters will join the 17 Squadron 'Golden Arrows' at Ambala in Haryana to tackle Pakistani threats, the remaining 18 combat aircraft will be stationed in West Bengal's Hashimara to take care of China.

The Chief of Air Staff also spoke on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan warning of a nuclear war with India over Kashmir. "That is their understanding of nuclear aspects. We have our own understanding, our own analysis. We will be ready to face any challenge," he explained.

The Air Chief Marshal took over as 26th Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) on September 30, 2019, after Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa retired following 41 years of glorious service with the force. The trainer version of the Rafale jet has the initial RB in honour of ACM Bhadauria's contribution in sealing the deal for the 36 jets.