On the sidelines of Aero India 2021, while giving a press conference, Indian Airforce Chief RKS Bhadauria has expressed his confidence in Rafale amidst the current Indo-China standoff. He has also stated that IAF is fully prepared to handle PLAAF aggression in case bilateral talks between India and China don't go well.
From China’s side, there've been some pullbacks from air deployment & changes in deployment. But there have been some other actions which are contrary like strengthening their air defence capability, those deployments haven't reduced & deployments are being strengthened:IAF Chief https://t.co/lWCocgJQZD— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2021
Chief Bhadauria has stated that there have been certain pullbacks from the Chinese side, but that doesn't mean that China is backstepping in any manner, on the contrary, PLAAF is actually strengthening its air defense capabilities in order to counter IAF.
From China’s side, there've been some pullbacks from air deployment & changes in deployment. But there have been some other actions which are contrary like strengthening their air defense capability, those deployments haven't reduced & deployments are being strengthened: IAF Chief.
RKS Bhadauria has also said that PLAAF's most advanced aircraft J-20 has been deployed to counter Rafale. IAF Chief said, " They had brought their J-20 fighter aircraft (to areas close to Eastern Ladakh) and they go off from there but that is the flexibility of airpower. The moment Indian Rafales were brought in, their J-20 was there. We know their actions and capabilities".
While commenting on the current Indo-China border stand-off, Bhadauria said that IAF is closely observing the situation and they hope that situation is resolved peacefully, however, in case, the situation escalates further towards confrontation, the Indian Airforce will give an appropriate response.
The situation there (the India-China border) is that talks are going on. It all depends on how talks go. A lot of attention is being given to that & if de-escalation & disengagement starts, it'll be good. If it doesn’t happen or some new situation happens,we're fully prepared:IAF Chief
According to various defense experts, there were some deficiencies in the Indian Air power before the induction of Rafale, same deficiencies were also observed when PAF breached Indian airspace on 27th Feb 2019, however, as of now with the induction of Rafale, new BVR Air-to-Air missiles and LCA Tejas, these deficiencies have been significantly reduced.
Now IAF has the capability to outgun PAF and PLAAF in case of any Beyond Visual Range engagement. It has to be noted that while IAF is continuously developing its capabilities to meet its security requirements, there are certain things that have become a point of concern such as depleting squadron strength of IAF, which is down to 30 against the sanctioned strength of 42.
However, some positive trend has been observed in this area such as Induction of LCA Tejas Mk1 and further orders of 83 Mk1a variant, moreover, an order for 33 Sukhois and Mig-29s has also been placed to prevent the squadron strength from depleting further.