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INTERVIEW
 
‘We Hope to Sign the MMRCA Contract During the Current Financial Year’
-Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC   

How do you assess the security scenario where the IAF could have a role to play?


Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC 
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The changing geo-political alignments in the South Asian region warrants close monitoring. The region is characterised by turmoil and instabilities, as people attempt to determine and reshape their destinies. While the Middle East remains politically unstable, the security situation in Afghanistan remains as volatile as ever. The planned drawdown of coalition forces in the future and the consequent emergence of new power centres will further exacerbate the situation. Closer home, Pakistan continues to reel under relentless terrorist violence and stabilisation of internal security situation appears a distant dream.
China’s increased presence in our neighbourhood, be it in POK, Sri Lanka or the South East Asian countries warrants attention. So, if you see the complete picture, South Asia will remain a global security challenge for some time to come, therefore, we need to monitor the situation very closely so as to be ready for all contingencies.

At a recent CII seminar, you had mentioned that modernisation in the IAF will be most visible in the 11th (2007 to 2012) and 12th (2012 to 2017) five year plans. Which assets and capabilities are expected to join the IAF inventory in this period?

IAF is modernising its fleet as per the Long Term Perspective Plan. The capability building being undertaken includes both new inductions and upgrades of the existing weapon platforms and systems. Modernisation programme of the IAF has gained momentum during the 11thplan period and we have added more Su-30MKIs, C-130J, Flight Refuellers, AWACS, radars of various classes and missiles to our inventory. We have also achieved certain milestones in our progress towards network centricity. The modernisation process would be further accelerated during the 12thplan period with the planned induction of additional Su-30 MKIs, LCA, MMRCA, C-17, additional C-130J, Flight Refuellers, AWACS, Helicopters of all classes and Radars & Missile systems. More RPAs are being inducted and existing inventory is being upgraded. The IAF would achieve complete network centricity during this period. I believe, modernisation during 12th Plan would be crucial since a number of units would be closing down after 2011. As long as we continue to get the budgetary support from the government, the IAF would have crossed the hill by 2014.
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