Airfields in Tibet lack military infra for any offensive: Air chief
After the recent Doklam stand-off with China, which ended after both countries agreed to disengagement of troops, Air chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said the airfields in Tibet across India’s border with China lacks requisite military infrastructure to carry out offensive operations. He also said it is difficult to sustain air operations from where they are located on the Indo-Tibetan border. “In case the relationship deteriorates or some thing happens the buildup on infrastructure is going to be the first step anybody would take before envisaging any offensive operation in this sector”, he added.
He was in Bengaluru on Saturday to deliver a lecture and stressed the need for India to concentrate in northern and eastern sector to build infrastructure for operational efficiency, from western border along Pakistan as threat to our internal security remains a challenge. “China maintains a continuous air presence in Tibet, they exercise their aircraft, the strength increases and decreases as per the prevailing exercise,” Dhanoa said.
He said the satellite images of airfields in Tibet are not optimised for offensive operations. He said, “if you look at other airfields that are optimised for offensive operations, you will see that there is difference in airfields in which they mean business and the airfields in Tibet.” “The airfields in Tibet are more optimised towards ensuring regional connectivity, and they lack military infrastructure,” he added.
The Chief of the Air Staff was delivering the Air Chief Marshal LM Katre Memorial Lecture organised by the Air Force Association, Karnataka in association with HAL and Aeronautical Society of India.
Pointing out that other air fields across the border are in depth more than 400 kms away, Dhanoa said lot of us are counting those airfields and are saying that they will pose a significant threat for us.
However, he said “there were no transgressions (in air)” and during his last meeting with Chinese officials both sides had shared the need for continue to meet on ground so as to stay away from each other in the air”. Speaking on the western border without naming Pakistan, Dhanoa said in most countries State has an army; there the army has the state.
The Air Chief said biggest challenger is that of internal security on a 24/7 and 365 days a year. “Post Pathankot Indian Air force has carried out series of measures to enhance our ability to detect and to strengthening the base defence through training to nutralise fidayeen type attacks”.
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