Takeaways from Balakote: IAF Looks at Regaining Edge over Pakistan

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: In a move aimed at having its position a notch above than Pakistan in air-to-air missile capabilities, the Indian Air Force (IAF) is looking at regaining its edge after it was “allowed to slip” amid a “struggle” to acquire them in a process that has lasted 15 years, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhaduria said on February 28.

Air Chief Marshal was speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS).

Saankhya Lab

In a frank conversation on the takeaways from the Balakot air strike and the subsequent dogfight on February 27, 2019, the IAF chief said the force is not just depending on the Rafale aircraft and its weapons to regain the edge but also on other missiles, including indigenous ones.

It may be noted here that when Pakistan launched Operation Swift Retort, their F16s were armed with the Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile — AMRAAM — which has higher capability than that of the R-77 used by the Su-30MKI and the MICA used by the Mirages. This meant that while Pakistan could hit Indian aircraft in air from BVR, the Sukhois and the Mirages could not.

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