GANDHINAGAR: Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said on Wednesday that India's "aircraft strength is inadequate and is just one third of China's air force.'' He said it would take at least three years for the situation to change as the IAF was in the process to augment its inventory.
Talking to the media at the South Western Air Command during his two-day visit to Gujarat, the IAF chief said: "IAF is known worldwide as a professional organisation for its capabilities. But India's aircraft strength is just one third of China's. Our present aircraft strength is inadequate -- it is not enough.''
"China is one of the many challenges, including terrorism, a low spectrum conflict that India is facing in the current geo-political situation. The country was seized of the problems and taking multi-pronged measures ranging from diplomatic to economic to face the challenges besides developing capabilities. We are playing it cool. This is also a part of the strategy,'' he said.
On reports of incursions by Chinese troops, he said as far as IAF was concerned, there were no incursions anywhere. He also sought to allay fears by saying that adequate deployment has been made on the border. "The coordination between Indian armed forces and intelligence agencies is much better now than what it was a year ago,'' Naik said.
The IAF chief said contracts have been signed between Russia and India for a fifth generation fighter and transport aircraft. "India proposes to buy at least 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMCA) like F-18, F-16, Raphael and C-150 Hercules. One Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) has already arrived while two are expected by next year. Besides, we intend to buy heavy transport aircraft (global inquiry floated) and medium lift helicopters,'' said Naik. Times of India. IAF strength just one-third of China's: IAF chief. TNN 24 September 2009, 12:15am IST