Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday that the situation on the India-China border is an uneasy “no peace, no war” one, but reiterated that India’s defence forces are prepared to face any threat, The Hindu reported.
“Our defence forces are prepared for any eventuality,” Bhadauria said. “IAF has responded with resolve to counter any misadventure. Air power will be a crucial enabler in our victory in any future conflict. It is therefore imperative that IAF obtains and maintains technological edge over our adversaries.”
The Air Force chief was addressing a webinar jointly organised by Centre for Air Power Studies and Society of Indian Defence Manufacturers.
Bhadauria said the tactical and strategic capabilities of the IAF have improved substantially due to the induction of Rafale fighter jets along with C-17 transport aircraft, Chinook heavy lift helicopters, Apache attack helicopters and other aircraft fleets. The IAF is currently on high operational alert due to the standoff with China on the Ladakh border, Bhadauria added.
The border standoff
Military heads of the two countries have engaged in several rounds of talks over the last three months after 20 Indian and unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in violent clashes in Galwan Valley in June. But these talks have so far failed to break the impasse.
On September 22, both the countries had issued a joint statement about the sixth round of Corps Commander-level talks and said they resolved to stop sending more troops to the frontline. The statement added that both sides will refrain from unilaterally changing situation on the Line of Actual Control.
Earlier this month, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told the Rajya Sabha that China continues to illegally occupy approximately 38,000 sq km of land in Ladakh.
On September 10, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. The two ministers agreed on a five-point plan to defuse tensions between the countries and said the current situation in the border areas of Ladakh was “not in the interest of either side”. This was after skirmishes between the two sides early in September.