The Indian Air Force (IAF) is prepared to fight the entire spectrum of warfare, be it an all-out war, a skirmish like the Kargil conflict or retaliation to a terrorist attack, Air Chief Marshal B.S.Dhanoa said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a seminar to mark the 20th anniversary of Operation Safed Sagar, the air operation during the Kargil war, the IAF Chief said: “It was for the first time that the MiG-21 aircraft carried out air to ground bombing at night in the mountains.”
During the 1999 Kargil war, Air Chief Marshal (CAS) Dhanoa was the Commanding Officer of the 17 Squadron and was operating from Srinagar. He said the IAF adopted some innovative ways to tide over its operational limitations during the conflict.
“However, the developments post Kargil war have transformed the IAF’s capabilities enough to counter any kind of air threats in conventional and sub-conventional domains of warfare,” he said.
Speaking on how the might of IAF has evolved after 1999, the CAS said: “The precision bombing capabilities that existed only on Mirage-2000 during the Kargil war, are now available on Su-30, Jaguar, MiG-29 and MiG-27 upgraded aircraft. Currently, BVR Missiles are carried by MiG-29, Su-30 and Mirrage-2000 aircraft.”
“The Force also has AWACS (early warning and control aircraft) to monitor the airspace deep inside the enemy territory,” he said.