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IAF prepared to fight across entire spectrum of warfare: Air Force chief

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NEW DELHI (PTI): The Indian Air Force (IAF) is ready for any kind of warfare, be it a skirmish like Kargil conflict, retaliation to a terrorist attack or an all-out war, Air Force Chief B S Dhanoa has said.

Addressing a seminar on '20 years of Op Safed Sagar' on Tuesday, Dhanoa, who was then the Commanding Officer of 17 Squadron and operating from Srinagar, recalled the air action that took place during the Kargil conflict.

It was for the first time that the MiG-21 aircraft carried out air-to-ground bombing at night in the mountains, he said.

Operation ‘Safed Sagar’ was carried out by the Air Force in “Operation Vijay” to drive out infiltrators from Kargil.

Dhanoa spoke about the operational limitations that existed in 1999 and the innovative ways adopted by the IAF to overcome the difficulties during the conflict.

The developments which took place post Kargil war have transformed the Air Force in capability so as to counter any kind of air threat in conventional and sub-conventional domains of warfare, he said.

"The IAF is prepared to fight across the entire spectrum of warfare, be it an all-out war, a skirmish like Kargil conflict or retaliation to a terrorist attack," the Air Force Chief said.

Early this year, after the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel, the Air Force launched air strikes at a terror camp in Balakot, deep inside Pakistani territory.

During the Kargil conflict, precision bombing capabilities which existed only on Mirage-2000 are now also available on Su-30, Jaguar, MiG-29 and MiG-27 upgraded aircraft, Dhanoa noted.

At present, BVR (beyond-visual-range) missiles are carried by MiG-29, Su-30 and Mirage-2000 aircraft.

The IAF has the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft to monitor the airspace deep inside the enemy territory and operates on secure communication with network-centric warfare capabilities, he said.

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