The Indian Air Force is capable of effectively countering any threat from China and Pakistan simultaneously in a two-front war, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa said today, and indicated existing tension between Chinese and Indian troops in Dokalam.
Noting that the Chinese troops were currently present in the Chumbi Valley in the Dokalam Plateau, the IAF chief said a peaceful resolution of the issue would be in the interest of both the countries.
Asked about concerns over Pakistan’s tactical nuclear weapons and whether the IAF would be able to disarm Islamabad of its nuclear arsenals if necessary, Dhanoa said his force had the capability of locating, fixing and striking across the border.
Asserting that the IAF was capable of a two-front war to counter China and Pakistan, he, however, said the possibility of such a scenario was “low”. At the same time he added that India’s response had to be based on the enemy’s capability as intentions could change overnight.
“We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations in a two-front (war) scenario. It does not mean that we are not capable of fighting a two-front (war) as we speak. We have a plan B,” Dhanoa said.
Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat had said last month that the country should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting that China had started “flexing its muscles”, while there seemed to be no scope for a reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India.
“Surgical strike is a decision that has to be taken by the government. The IAF has the capability to carry out the full spectrum of air operations,” he said.
He said a war-like situation may arise if the IAF crossed the border.
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