New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Sunday reiterated that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is ready to fight at short notice, if the need arises. The Air Chief Marshal made the statement, while speaking at an event, organised to mark the occasion of 85th Air Force Day at the Hindon Air Force base in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

“Notwithstanding the pace of ongoing acquisition, modernisation, indigenisation effort and our desire for peace, we are prepared to fight at a short notice should the need arise,” Dhanoa said in his address. The Indian Air Force chief also said losses during peacetime is a cause of concern. (Also Read: PM Wishes IAF on 85th Anniversary; Akash Ganga, SKAT Teams to Display Scintillating Aerobatic Show)

His remarks came two days after five air force personnel and two army personnel were killed in a chopper crash in Arunachal Pradesh. The IAF helicopter Mi-17 V5 crashed in Tawang near the India-China border on October 6.

A couple of days ago, while addressing the IAF’s annual press conference, Dhanoa had said that the IAF is capable of locating, fixing and carrying out strike across the border. He had 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.

Earlier in May, BS Dhanoa had penned a personal letter to more than 12,000 officers asking them to be ready for any combat at a very short notice. The letter read, “In the present scenario, there is an ever persistent sub-conventional threat. Therefore, we need to be prepared for operations with our present holdings, at a very short notice. Training needs to be focused towards this.”