New Delhi: Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria, who on Monday took over as the 26th Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force (IAF), called the Rafale fighter jet a ‘game-changer that will give India an edge over Pakistan and China.’

Speaking to news agency ANI after taking over as the Air Chief from BS Dhanoa, ACM Bhadauria said, “Rafale is a very capable aircraft. It will be a game-changer in our operational capability. It will give India an edge over Pakistan and China.”

When asked if the IAF was capable of carrying out another Balakot-like airstrike, he said, “We were prepared then, we will be prepared next time. We will be ready to face any challenge, any threat.”

On reports that Pakistan has reactivated the Balakot terror camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Chief of Air Staff said that the IAF was aware of the reports and will take the necessary action as and when required.

Speaking at an event in Chennai last week, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that Pakistan had reactivated the Balakot terror camp.

ACM Bhadauria, who was appointed as the next Air Chief by the government on September 19, was, just like his predecessor, due to retire on September 30, will now have a tenure of three years or until the age of 62, whichever is earlier.

The first IAF officer to have piloted the Rafale, it is after him that the tail number of the first Rafale received by the IAF has been named: ‘RB-01.’