Ghaziabad: Air Force chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Monday said the induction of Rafale fighter aircraft, the S-400 missile system and the Apache and Chinook choppers will considerably enhance the IAF’s capabilities.
While the Congress has been accusing the Modi government of indulging in crony capitalism and benefiting “a few friends” at the cost of the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in the Rs 59,000 crore Rafale deal, Dhanoa maintained that the deal for 36 Rafale jets was an emergency purchase and that India got a good deal. India also signed the Rs 39,000 crore deal with Russia for S-400 Triumf missile system last week despite US threats of sanctions.
Speaking about Exercise Gagan Shakti, the largest-ever pan-IAF drill that showcased the IAF’s capabilities and preparedness, Dhanoa said the IAF was “ever prepared to meet any contingency that challenges the defence of our country”.
During the exercise, designed to practise real time deployment of air power in a realistic short and intense battle scenario in case of a two-front war in coordination with the Army and Navy, more than 11,000 sorties were flown including 9,000 sorties of fighter aircraft. Over 1,400 officers and 14,000 men were pulled out of training and maintenance units and deployed for the exercise. (IANS)