Making it clear that there was nothing to fear from the Sino-Pak partnership at the global or regional level, Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief, Marshal VR Chaudhari on Tuesday cautioned the western countries against providing weapon systems to Islamabad as it shares their military technology with Beijing. Addressing his maiden Air Force Day press conference, the IAF chief also suggested that the IAF had an edge over the Chinese Air Force as even though the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) was building three bases very close to the Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh, they would continue to remain weak in terms of capability to launch multiple high altitude operations. “There was nothing to fear from this (partnership between Pakistan and China), the only worry is about the western technology (given in aid to Pakistan by western countries including US, Sweden and other European countries) passing from Pakistan to China,” Chaudhari said when asked about the possibility of a two-front war and the ongoing collusion between the two adversaries at the multiple fora.
When asked about the deployment of fighter aircraft by the Chinese side on their side of the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, the IAF chief said the disengagement process was on in the area but the Indian Air Force was fully prepared and deployed there to deal with any eventuality. On the threat from new airfields coming up in Pakistan near the Indian border, the IAF chief said these new airfields were developed mostly for helicopter operations and the one built close to the Afghan border was to evacuate Pakistanis fighting inside Afghanistan.
While answering a query on whether the induction of new air defence systems such as the S-400 from Russia would result in the reduction of the number of aircraft required by the force, Chaudhari said there should be no comparison between the offensive and defensive weapon systems. Further, he also made it clear that the first S-400 air defence system would be reaching India this year itself and along with the Spyder, MRSAM and Akash surface to air weapon systems would help strengthen the air space of the country.