Ahmedabad: There is an imperative need for the Indian Air Force to “reorient and retrain” itself to a changed paradigm of war and the Rafale fighter aircraft and S400 missile defence system will help restore technological asymmetry in India’s favour, said former Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa in Ahmedabad recently.
“Though the Indian Air Force has trained itself to fight a full-scale conventional war in a joint campaign with sister services, it has to reorient and retrain itself to the changed paradigm. It must plan and address capability voids in time,” the former Air Chief said at a lecture on February 9.
“We come to realise that sub-conventional conflict over terrorist attack on one of our installations and personnel has the highest probability of occurrence, because it can happen anytime and anywhere. This is something for which we need to be prepared 24/7,” he said.
Speaking on likely scenarios of the future, the former IAF chief said, “a skirmish or a localised conflict like Kargil due to a terrorist attack that has gone awry like Uri and Pulwama is within the realm of possibility of our western neighbour,” he said.
“Hence spending on the integrated perimeter security system of our bases is more important than bemoaning not having a full authorised centre required for a two-front war,” he added.
The Former IAF chief said the surgical strike carried out in retaliation to the attack on the Uri base has signalled a paradigm shift in the way Indian government would respond to terrorist attacks involving mass casualties.
“A surgical strike was authorised, and Balakot strike was approved by the government to send a political message to Pakistan that such attacks will incur a heavy price,” he said.
“Pakistan got the message that the new government will respond militarily to major terrorist attacks on its soil. This happened because of decisive national leadership,” he added.
Regarding the Balakot strike, the former IAF chief said going after a “non military target” was “a very wise decision”.