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Aero India 2019

Got plans to counter any threat: IAF chief on China ramping up def infra in Tibet

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Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa addressing the media ahead of IAF Day in New Delhi on Wednesday. A PTI photo

NEW DELHI (PTI): Amid reports of China ramping up its air defence infrastructure in Tibet, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Wednesday said the Indian Air Force is monitoring the situation and has plans to counter any threat.

Responding to a question on the issue, Dhanoa said the Government has sanctioned construction of the next-generation hardened aircraft shelters in far-flung areas.

"We are monitoring the development of infrastructure," he said.

China has always been saying its airports in Tibet are coming up for regional connectivity and not for offensive operations, Dhanoa said.

"We also have initiated measures - like the Government has sanctioned construction of next generation hardened aircraft shelters. On our side, we are making adequate (preparation). Also, we have a plan to counter them," he told a press conference held in New Delhi.

On reports about the presence of over 50 Chinese aircraft in the Tibet region, Dhanoa said it is not a threat as India also has a number of air bases on the eastern front.

"If you look at our bases, starting from Leh, Thoise... as you come down to Adampur, Halwara, Ambala, Chandigarh and carry on up to Chabua, you work down the number of aircraft we have got. So, are only 50 aircraft in Tibet a threat? The answer is no," the IAF Chief said.

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