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Ready for Two-Front War, We Have Plan B, Says Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa

Dhanoa’s statement came in response to questions on Pakistan’s claim of possessing short-range nuclear weapons to counter the “cold start doctrine adopted by the Indian Army”.

News18.com

Updated:October 5, 2017, 6:38 PM IST
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Ready for Two-Front War, We Have Plan B, Says Air Force Chief BS Dhanoa
File photo of Air Marshal BS Dhanoa. (Getty Images)
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New Delhi: Air Force chief BS Dhanoa on Thursday said the force is ready for a “full-spectrum” operation across the border, but added that any decision on surgical strikes involving the IAF has to be taken by the government.

Addressing a press conference on the eve of Air Force Day, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said, “Air Force has the capability to locate, fix and strike across the border.... We are ready to take on any challenge."

Dhanoa’s statement came in response to questions on Pakistan’s claim of possessing short-range nuclear weapons to counter the “cold start doctrine adopted by the Indian Army”.

Dhanoa added that the Air Force is ready to counter any threat from China and was also ready to “face a two-front war”.

The Air Force chief added that more than assets, the question was what China can and cannot do operating from Tibet against India, adding that Chinese troops are still stationed in the Chumbi valley, of which Doklam is a part, and he hoped that they return soon.

"We are not in physical face-off but in Chumbi valley their troops are still deployed," said Dhanoa.

"Hope they will withdraw in future after their exercises are over," he added.

He also said that there was no face-off in the air during the over 70-day long standoff and there were no air violations.

"I take this opportunity to assure the nation of our sacred resolve in defending the sovereignty of our skies," he added.

The Chief of Air Staff also said the IAF will achieve the sanctioned strength of 42 fighter squadrons by 2032.

"We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations, but it doesn't mean we can't fight a two-front scenario. There is a Plan B," he said when asked about being prepared for a two-front war.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat had said last month that the country should be prepared for a two-front war, insisting China has started "flexing its muscles", while there seems to be no scope for reconciliation with Pakistan whose military and polity saw an adversary in India.

(With inputs from agencies)
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