03:35 GMT30 October 2020
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    From a service with a strength of six Royal Air Force officers and 19 air soldiers established on 8 October 1932 in British India, the Indian Air Force today is a formidable group to be reckoned with, ranking fourth in the world in terms of personnel and assets.

    Indian Air Force Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria on Thursday cautioned that the evolving threat matrix in the region is becoming complex.

    “The evolving threat matrix in our region is becoming complex ranging from aspirational adversaries with huge investments in a military arsenal to those collusively supported by non-state actors, apart from growing sub-conventional threats emanating from terrorism and cyberspace", said Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria.

    Addressing the 88th anniversary celebrations of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the "Indian Air Force will evolve and be ever ready to safeguard our nation's sovereignty and interests in all circumstances".

    The air force chief cautioned that disruptive technologies and easy options like low-cost drones now demand greater attention in the sub-conventional domain.

    Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria claimed the Indian Air Force was able to deploy its assets at short notice in the northern region during the recent standoff with China, in support of the army to handle any eventuality.

    Without naming any country, the air chief said his force has clearly demonstrated its resolve and operational capability to effectively engage an adversary, should the need arise.

    After the recent standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies, New Delhi adequately deployed its air assets within the easy reach of its borders.

    India lost 20 soldiers in one of the worst face-offs with the soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China in mid-June.

    On Monday (5 October), addressing a customary press conference ahead of Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said the Indian Air Force has made deployments in all of the relevant areas, considering the security scenario.

    "We have made deployments in all of the relevant areas; Ladakh is a small part", he said.

    The newly inducted Rafale and other fighter aircraft as well as vintage aircraft like the Tigermoth were on full display, showing their aerodynamic capabilities, which added to the pomp and show of the celebrations.

    India and China have unresolved border disputes over Arunachal Pradesh in India's northeast and in Ladakh.

    The neighbours have been engaged in a dialogue to resolve the issue both at army commander and diplomatic levels. But disputes still remain. 

    The India-China border covers the Line of Actual Control (LAC), a de-facto border line, which is mainly a land border in most regions. But in the Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh it passes through a lake.


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    Ladakh region, People's Liberation Army, China, Indian Air Force (IAF), New Delhi, India
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