New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa on Monday asserted that the results of Balakot air strikes could have been more decisive if Rafale jets were inducted in time. Addressing a gathering at a seminar on aerospace power of the future and the impact of technology, Dhanoa said,”In the Balakot operation, we had technology on our side, and we could launch precision stand of weapons with great accuracy. In the subsequent engagements, we came out better because we upgraded our MiG-21s, Bisons, and Mirage-2000 aircraft.”

He added,”The results would have been further skewed in our favour had we inducted the Rafale aircraft in time.”

Reacting to Pak’s allegations Dhanoa further said,”Post our strike on terror training camp, to thwart impending strike on our soil, PAF launched a riposte on 27 Feb against Indian military targets. Did they succeed in their objective? Answer is clear ‘No’ as attack was thwarted while we achieved our objective in Balakot.”

12 days after the deadly Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans martyred, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had decimated biggest terror hideouts of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Pakistan’s Balakot area on February 26. The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully targeting various military installations in Jammu and Kashmir.

“In the proposed teinduction of the Rafale and S-400 surface-to-air missile system, in the next two-four years, once again the technological balance will shift in our favour, like it was in 2002 during Operation Parakaram during the last stand-off,” Dhanoa said further.

India had inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around Rs 58,000 crore. The delivery of the jets — capable of carrying a range of potent weapons and missiles — is scheduled to begin from September.