Ladakh Standoff: IAF chief warns China, Pakistan; says India fully prepared for war

Both India and China have amassed massive amounts of military forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the course of their confrontation in Ladakh which has stretched on for almost five months now.

Ladakh Standoff: IAF chief warns China, Pakistan; says India fully prepared for war
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New Delhi:  Both India and China have amassed massive amounts of military forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the course of their confrontation in Ladakh which has stretched on for almost five months now. 


With no end in sight to the military confrontation at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, both the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) of China are gearing up to face the freezing Himalayan chill of the Ladakh winter.


With the Chinese troops of the PLA reluctant to return to their side of the LAC, the military confrontation in Ladakh seems set to continue well into the harsh, freezing winter months in the Himalayas.


While the PLA Air Force (PLAAF) is bigger in terms of numbers than the Indian Air Force (IAF), the recent induction of the Rafale fighter aircraft has given a massive boost to the IAF.


IAF chief Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria gave a warning to China on Monday, asserting that India is fully prepared for a military conflict.


"China can never get the better of us in any conflict scenario, The IAF is fully prepared to take on any adversary," Bhadauria told the media on Monday.


"We have deployed strongly in eastern Ladakh. Under no circumstances can the Chinese get the better of us," he said during the annual IAF press conference in the national capital.


The IAF chief also said that there was never a moment in the last five months when the force came close to an airstrike against China. He said the IAF was fully prepared for a full-scale war.


He said that the force's immediate offensive deployment of combat-ready units in response to the stand-off along the LAC in the north is indicative of the operational state today. 


"We are determined to handle any contingency - undoubtedly our capability and intent would deter," said Bhadauria adding, "Our airlift capability was also brought into focus as we supported the Indian Army in rapid mobilisation of troops and equipment to operational area at a pace which our adversary didn't expect."


Bhadauria also pointed out that so far there is no indication of any collusive threat from China and Pakistan.


However, the Air Chief Marshal asserted that the IAF is prepared to fight a two-front war along the northern and western borders if China and Pakistan decide to jointly carry out military strikes against India.


"Be rest assured. The IAF has deployed strongly to deal with any contingency at the LAC," he said.


"Despite the uneasy calm (at the confrontation spots in Ladakh), fears of a spark at the LAC remains a serious concern. The IAF has made deployment in all relevant areas. Ladakh is a small part," he added.


"The induction of the Rafale fighter jets at the LAC has given us a sizeable operational edge over the Chinese air force."


In response to American deployment in South China Sea, Bhadauria said: "We will have to fight our wars. No one else will fight it for us."


Talking about threats, Bhadauria said that the IAF is transforming at a rapid pace and over the years and has grown from being a tactical force to a strategic one with trans-oceanic reach.


Bhadauria said that the matrix of threat is complex, ranging from aspirational adversaries with huge investments in military arsenal, to those collusively fronted by non-state actors, apart from sub-conventional threats emanating from terrorism and cyberspace.


"Disruptive technologies and low-cost options like drones are making the threat picture even more complex, particularly in the sub-conventional domain," he said.


He pointed out that the emerging security scenario in the neighbourhood and beyond mandates a need to have a robust capability to fight across the entire spectrum of warfare.




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