Air Chief Marshal hails SC’s order, says IAF badly needs Rafale

Jodhpur: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Rafale jet deal and said the Indian Air Force needs the fighter aircraft badly.

Addressing the media during his visit to Air Force Station at Jodhpur, he said, “The Supreme Court has given a very fine judgement and I am not going to comment on it. It has also said that this plane is badly needed. Rafale is always a need for the Air Force. It (fighter jets) took a long time to come. Others have upgraded their squadron.

Also, very fine comments are given by the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) and our Defence Minister (Nirmala Sitharaman).

The Rafale jet deal controversy has been on the boil over the last few months. The Congress has alleged irregularities in the deal for 36 aircraft and claimed that the Narendra Modi government is buying them at a price much higher than the one that was being negotiated by the previous government.

Last week, the Supreme Court dismissed petitions seeking a probe into the Rafale deal. But later the controversy on the Supreme Court’s verdict started after the Centre filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking correction in its judgement on the deal.

Sharing his views on the launch of satellite GSLV-7A, the Air Chief said the launch of the satellite would boost the networking and communication capabilities of the Air Force.

“We will get many benefits due to this launch. We have several platforms (aircraft) which have capabilities of communication through satellite. The communication to the platform (aircraft) through the satellite will be made possible with this launch,” he told the media in Jodhpur.

Yesterday evening, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched GSLV-7A from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Air Chief Dhanoa on Wednesday visited Air Force Station at Jodhpur to interact with the participating forces of ongoing Exercise Avia Indra-18 between Indian Air Force (IAF) and Russian Federation Aerospace Force (RFASF).

The second edition of Exercise Avia Indra-18 is aimed at exposing RFASF and IAF pilots to single/multi-aircraft missions in a Counter-Terrorism Scenario within the predefined scope. The 30-member RFASF contingent comprises of fighter, transport and helicopter pilots.

The Chief of the Air Staff was briefed in detail about various phases of the exercise and was apprised of its progress. Post-briefing, he visited the RFASF and IAF detachment, wherein he interacted with the personnel of both the Air Forces.

During the interaction, Chief of the Air Staff welcomed RFASF team and emphasised the importance of joint exercises, as they create an environment of camaraderie and provide an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices. He spoke about the long-standing military partnership between RFASF and IAF and the common equipment that both the nations operate.

Exercise Avia Indra-18 is a testimony of the Indo-Russian Military relationship and would enhance mutual cooperation and understanding between IAF and RFASF.