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Friday, October 2, 2009

India Seeks Strategic Posture for Air Force

NEW DELHI - As the Indian Air Force (IAF) turns 77 this year, it aims to become an emerging strategic force.
Addressing an Oct. 1 news conference here, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik, the IAF chief, said, "We are acquiring capabilities and modernizing the existing assets to deal [effectively] with any conflict scenario."
The IAF will never be an adversary force, Naik said, adding that "our priority is to meet the country's aspirations. India has spheres of influence from the Strait of Malacca to the Strait of Hormuz, and the IAF should have greater reach and air superiority."
The IAF today is improving its reach, firepower and protection, he said, adding that priorities are to have long-range aircraft, lethal weapons, precision munitions and a robust air defense network.
The IAF this year inducted one AWACS aircraft, and two more will come on line in 2010. In addition, the IAF is acquiring three midair refuelers, six C-130 transport aircraft, 80 medium-lift helicopters, Spyder air defense systems, medium power radars and low-level transportable radar.
India also has entered into an agreement with Russia for the joint development of fifth-generation fighter aircraft and for production of medium transport aircraft.
"We are also building capabilities in satellites, communications, radars and electronic countermeasures," Naik added.
In addition, IAF will procure 180 basic trainer aircraft through a global bid.


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