Indian Air Force Chief Lauds China’s Air Defenses In World’s Toughest Terrain

Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief BS Dhanoa, in a first-ever frank assessment of the northern neighbor’s activities, has described China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) as one of the fastest growing air forces in the world, ranked second in terms of combat airpower. Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa also said that during the process of modernization PLAAF has developed credible year-round capability in the world’s toughest terrain — the Tibet region.

“Over the past few years, we have seen a significant increase in aircraft and aircrew in the Tibet Autonomous Region from other military regions. The deployment of Sukhoi-27 and J-10 fleets (in Tibet) for continuous operations during the winter months affords them a credible year-round capability. Earlier, many years back they only used to occupy the airfields during the summer,” Dhanoa said during a talk on the “Role of IAF in the Changing Security Environment” at the Vivekananda International Foundation (think tank) in New Delhi.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said that China has developed a modern air force that relies on quality rather than quantity and ensures that more than 50 percent of its fleet will be comprised of advanced multi-role combat aircraft.

“It has a credible mix of multi-role fighter and strike aircraft. They have got an adequate reserve to replenish after attrition. They have multi-layered air defense systems and rocket forces that allow them (China) to fight a ground campaign without a decisive air victory,” Dhanoa added. Read More

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