IAF has Plan-B for a two front war scenario involving Pak and China

IAF has Plan-B for a two front war scenario involving Pak and China
Taking its depleting squadron strength into account, Indian Air Force has readied a ‘Plan-B’ for a two-front war scenario involving Pakistan and China, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said here.
“We need 42 squadrons to fight a full spectrum war, but that doesn’t mean we are not capable of fighting a two front-war. We have a Plan-B to cater to the scenario with reduced strength,” Dhanoa said at his annual press conference.
At present the air force have 33 squadrons, out of which 10 squadrons are to be phased out. But five new squadrons are being envisaged to be in place by 2019. The requisite number of 42 squadrons is likely to be in place by 2032.
The IAF chief pointed out in the current geo-political scenario the possibility of a two-front war with China and Pakistan was remote, but that didn’t mean the force won’t prepare for such a contingency.
“The possibility of a two front war is low in current geopolitical scenario. But our response would be in according to the enemy’s capability as the intention of the enemy can change overnight,” he said.
“On a single-front scenario, we can deal with Pakistan and our capability against China is adequate,” Air Chief Marshal said.
He also flagged the geographical advantages that India enjoyed against China because the People’s Liberation Army Air Force couldn’t operate several of its fighter aircraft with full weapon load from Tibetan air bases because of altitude and unfavourable air density.
Asked about the possibility of IAF’s involvement in a surgical strike on terror camps across the Line of Control, Dhanoa said going across the Line of Control with the air force would mean a full-fledged war and it would have to be a political decision.
“But the air force has the capability to locate, fix and strike the targets across the border,” he asserted on the eve of the 85th Air Force Day.
Queried on the Chinese military strength in Doklam plateau and surrounding areas, Dhanoa admitted that Chinese forces continued to be present in the Chumbi valley. “We expect them to withdraw once their exercise is over,” he said.
This is the first official admission of continued Chinese military presence in the vicinity of the contentious Doklam area near India-Bhutan-China tri-junction where troops from India and China had a stand-off for 72 days.
On the acquisition of new fighter jets, Dhanoa said 36 Rafale and 36 Su-30 MKI would join the service in the next couple of years. Also the IAF has ordered 40 indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft and order for another 83 would be issued shortly.
The IAF also looks at a ‘Make in India’ plan to manufacture single engine fighter aircraft though the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route involving an Indian partner and the original equipment manufacturers. Several global aviation majors have shown interest for the programme.

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