IAF: Don’t have the numbers to fully fight two-front war

The IAF officers said that the Rafale will significantly enhance the capability of the IAF. Talking about the low serviceability of the Su-30, the IAF vice chief Dhanoa said that it is an issue.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 11, 2016 10:09 am
indian air force, IAF Indo Pak war, Indo Pak war, IAF Pakistan war, india pakistan, indo pak, pakistan attacks, india terror attacks “Our numbers are not adequate to fully execute an air campaign in a two-front scenario,” said Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, Vice Chief of Air Staff.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) Thursday said that it does not have enough numbers in case a two-front war involving China and Pakistan breaks out. Air Marshal BS Dhanoa, Vice Chief of Air Staff, said that the IAF’s “numbers” were “not adequate” to fully execute an air campaign involving a two-front war. In what has already been an established fact, the IAF’s squadron strength is down to 33 from the stipulated strength of 42.

While citing that the IAF may need more numbers of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) fighters, IAF officials refused to get into the numbers and said the case has been taken up with the government at the highest level.

“Our numbers are not adequate to fully execute an air campaign in a two-front scenario. Probability of a two-front scenario is an appreciation which you need to do. But, are the numbers adequate? No. The squadrons are winding down,” said Dhanoa, while addressing a press conference in the capital. He added that the IAF had conveyed its “concerns” to the government.

Share This Article
Related Article

“Government is seized of this problem and the reason why the government signed the 36 aircraft deal on G- to-G (Government to Government) basis is because of urgency they felt because of the depletion in squadron numbers,” Dhanoa further said.

While the IAF has been operating aircraft such as MiG- 21s, Mirage-2000s, Jaguars many of which have been upgraded or have been due for retirement, it has been banking its hopes on the yet-to-be-finalised Rafale deal, home-developed Tejas fighter jets and the under-development Indo-Russian joint venture of Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) to boost its dwindling numbers.

A Parliamentary standing committee had last year raised alarm regarding the IAF’s depleting squadron strength. Commenting on the MMRCA for which Rafale has been zeroed down upon, Dhanoa said, “There are various avenues that are being explored. There is a requirement for us to buy an MMRCA-class aircraft more than the 36 numbers that we have signed. Which platform may come in, that is something between us and the government.”

Air Marshal R K S Bhaduria, Deputy Chief of Air Staff, said, “I am not going into numbers. We are getting 36 out of that (earlier numbers). So there is a leftover there and we will take a rather holistic view of the overall numbers.”

It may be noted that the initial plan to buy 126 MMRCA jets was scrapped by the government in April last, when PM Modi, during his Paris visit, announced that India will buy 36 of these fighters from France.

Citing that the US sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan makes his life “more difficult”, Dhanoa added, “I have to put more hi-tech platform against it. The MMRCA is designed in such a way that we need to offset this capability. If you demonstrate your deterrence, we should have peace because he will know that he will be hit very badly,” he said.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. K
    Mar 15, 2016 at 2:17 am
    They can't fight at Chinese front alone why to talk of two fronts. By the way reduce enemies
    1. D
      Deeply Concerned
      Mar 12, 2016 at 5:51 am
      Under UPA the requirement was 126 fighter planes for $10 billion now BJP is buying just 36 fighter planes for $10 billion. Something major is fishy and degrading Indian made Tejas by BJP Govt is strange. Use atleast S5 bn to support, enhance and manufacture Tejas in India. Looks like the country is being sold to foreigners by RSS Govt again ?
      1. N
        Narinder Dogra
        Mar 11, 2016 at 7:13 am
        Defense comes 1st. The corruption in IAF will not let local companies develop equipment for IAF. There is big money for IAF officers buying from foreign sorces.
        1. S
          Mar 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm
          Why this info is being talked out publicly, it should not be.
          1. J
            Mar 10, 2016 at 5:49 pm
            How about chipping in with your advt revenue and foreign doles to get IAF combat ready. I'm willing to donate if you start a fund....
            1. M
              Mohan K.N.
              Mar 11, 2016 at 4:51 am
              Let the politician fight in Parliament continuously, stall the function of Parliament, take allowance, go home , watch cricket and sleep well.
              1. M
                Mar 11, 2016 at 5:24 am
                and the nukes are only for decorative purpose.
                1. I
                  Mar 11, 2016 at 6:52 am
                  IAF wants world war 3.
                  1. P
                    Sep 5, 2016 at 12:03 pm
                    Scrambling for a two-front war today’s Generation 4 and 4 aircraft have long legs The Su-30s, MiG-29s India needs 4 4 Generation Aircrafts. They need Rafal to back the SU30 and mig 29. We have only 2 Tejas. The Jaguar needs upgrading to a 4 4 gen Aircraft.. The Mirage-2000s are versatile fighters that not only undertake strike and bombing missions, jaguar need upgrading the Indian Bison mig 21 100 Ac and ,mig 27 100 Ac needs replacing. I would feel more confident that the IAF would be able to face a two front war. The Chinese Air force would have to face a very modern Indian Air force. The stani Air force could be destro on the Ground. lt;br/gt;Prem
                    1. A
                      Mar 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm
                      strange that this Airforce keeps saying their top-of-the-line superiority fighter is not good. The world says it is an awesome beast. This Airforce wants just 126 RAFFALES, and nothing else?. Will it be enough for the two front war. The BJP government says buy our own figter, which was made to replace MIG-21s, IAF not satisfied again. So essentially everything is non-transparent anyway. The problem is if India buys Raffale domestic defence projects are all doomed. Can this Air force fight a two front war with just 126 RAFFALES?. How. They will be pitted against SU-35s of chinese Air force. will those raffales stand a chance?. Dont think so.Time to come clean and say openly "Why only Raffales?."
                      1. R
                        Mar 11, 2016 at 6:08 am
                        It's IAF to blame. Always cribbing and complaining against Tejas. They want only imported planes that will satisfy. A lot of corruption in the foreign deals. Dwindling squadrons are a major concern. Unfortunately IAF has chosen the lowest bidder in MRCA deal which proved to be the costly one. Government not in a position to afford Rafales. There is no plan B for IAF either. Indeed a pathetic and grim future for IAF and the security of the nation.
                        1. K
                          Kartik Rao
                          Mar 11, 2016 at 5:50 am
                          Well, successive governments have neglected the Armed Forces systematically. Be it veterans or serving personnel. Short change them...simply because the "Bureaucracy" has complete control on the Armed Forces.. The Armed Forces do not have any authentic representation in decisions and policies pertaining to their interests.. So while an IAS officer gets Rs 70K allowance for a posting to Gauhati... an officer from the Armed Forces in Siachen gets Rs 30K allowance.. This news item is nothing new. And the political cles apathy on such matters is a given as well. Simply sit on it and make the right noises and it time for another election. A K Anthony anyone?? To what extent can the "Made in India" Tejas match the JF series fighter aircrafts and the F-16's which America liberally doles out to the 's...is something which only time will disclose.. Finally, its the Armed Forces who will bite the bullet, while the Babus control finances and the politicians control the mike. A good setup after all.
                          1. S
                            Sanjeev Singal
                            Mar 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm
                            Most of India's defence spending (Armed Forces and Police) goes into ries, pensions and corruption. Very little money is left for weapons, technology and infrastructure. Recently, in Feb '16 communal violence, Haryana Police was fighting the Taliban like hooligans with wooden batons. And the Armed Forces couldn't reach in time to save Haryana people from the hooligans.
                            1. T
                              Thomas John
                              Jul 26, 2016 at 2:24 pm
                              The earlier govt and it's spineless ministers are wy responsible for buying some junks- risking the safety of the nation at stake and mis appropiration of the funds alloted thus pushing the defence sector into a precarious state. The w team should be held responsible and the funds misused should be recovered from them as they don't have even a prick of conscious
                              1. Load More Comments