New Delhi, Oct 5: Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Wednesday said that the IAF is capable of locating, fixing and carrying out strike across the border. He was addressing the IAF’s annual press conference in New Delhi on Thursday when he asserted that any decision on another surgical strike has to be taken by the government. (ALSO READ: IAF First Women Fighters May Fly Su-30 MKI)

He also asserted that IAF only needs 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum of operations in case of two front war and the requirement will be fulfilled by 2032. “With the number IAF has now, it is capable of carrying out full spectrum of operations,” he was quoted as saying by ANI. Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat, in reference to Pakistan and China, had recently said India is prepared for a ‘two-front war’.

Dhanoa also spoke about China and Doklam standoff. He said that the Chinese forces are still deployed in Tibet’s Chumbi Valley post-Doklam standoff while further claiming that the IAF expects them to withdraw once summer exercise gets over.

On the IAF involvement in the anti-naxal operations, Dhanoa said, “We don’t use kinetic air power against our people. We are involved in Recce and transport role in Operation Triveni.”

Addressing the media further, Dhanoa said that the requirement for single-engine fighters is a priority for IAF and request for information (RFI) will be issued soon. He also informed that the first three women fighter pilots -Bhawana Kanth of Bihar, Avani Chaturvedi of Madhya Pradesh and Mohana Singh of Rajasthan – will be commissioned in December this year.