CAS an­swers to SP’s on Air Force Day press con­fer­ence

Jayant Baran­wal, Ed­i­tor-in-Chief, SP’s M.A.I. in­ter­acts with the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Mar­shal B.S. Dhanoa ahead of the cel­e­bra­tions com­mem­o­rat­ing 85th an­niver­sary of In­dian Air Force.


Jayant Baran­wal: How do you per­ceive the stand­ing of our Air Force on the eve of 85th year, in terms of tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment and can you also in­di­cate a lit­tle on the tech­nol­ogy achieve­ments of the Air Force?

Air Chief Mar­shal (ACM): As far as the tech­nol­ogy is con­cerned, like any other Air Force in world we have got the top of the line high end sys­tems, we have medium tech­nol­ogy and we also have the low tech­nol­ogy air­crafts like MiG-21 but they are go­ing out soon.

As far as the medium tech­nol­ogy air­craft is con­cerned, all the plat­forms that we got in early 1980s like – MiG-29, Mi­rage, and the Jaguar, these all have been up­graded to level up to the avion­ics and they are com­pa­ra­ble to any fourth-gen­er­a­tion air­craft as far as the avion­ics is con­cerned.

We are go­ing in for the cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy. We al­ready have the cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy in Rafale, S400 and MRSAM. The In­dia Air force has a mix of all three tech­nolo­gies. Jayant Baran­wal: How is the moral of our Air War­riors?

ACM: As far as the moral of the IAF peo­ple, I would say that the moral of the Air Force is very high! Our peo­ple have re­sponded in very timely man­ner and we have seen that when­ever the need arises, our peo­ple have re­sponded in any Hu­man­i­tar­ian As­sis­tance and Dis­as­ter Re­lief (HADR) op­er­a­tions way be­yond their call of duty. Jayant Baran­wal: While Navy is go­ing for Preda­tor UAVs, 22 in num­ber. The Air Force is will­ing to look at Avenger. What is the ob­jec­tive be­hind it, if that is the case? ACM: As far as the UAVs are con­cerned, we have not put up any RFI or RFP for any of these two UAVs as of now. IAF will con­sider Preda­tor, un­manned aerial com­bat ve­hi­cle, in case it is of­fered by the United States. Jayant Baran­wal: Re­gard­ing the strate­gic part­ner­ship model, how re­al­is­tic it is? Is it re­ally go­ing to give a boost to our pri­vate sec­tor?

ACM: Maruti came and give a boost to man­u­fac­tur­ing in the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor in In­dia. Man­u­fac­tur­ing in de­fense sec­tor is cur­rently a do­main of the PSUs. The Strate­gic Part­ner­ship will give a boost to the pri­vate sec­tor. There is a se­quence for reach­ing the Strate­gic Part­ner­ship model, once we come to the se­lec­tion of the plat­form, we can come to the strate­gic part­ner. Once we have se­lected the strate­gic part­ner we can tell the plat­form man­u­fac­turer that this is the strate­gic part­ner deal with them. How can we pre-sup­pose who is go­ing to come. The process is pretty strin­gent and that’s how it is en­vis­age.

Game Changer: Rafale fighter air­craft

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