IAF Chief BS Dhanoa flies the Rafale at Saint-Dizier Air Base

During the war games between India and Russia, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa called the Rafale a ‘game-changer’ and said there shouldn’t be any politics over its acquisition.

He lamented that politics over defence acquisitions harmed the preparedness of India’s forces. He said that because of the Bofors scandal, India’s armed forces had to suffer for a long. He hoped that the fight wouldn’t create a similar situation for the Indian Air Force.

Praising the Rafale fighter jet, he called it a necessary for the Indian Air Force. He said as far as the Armed Forces were concerned all governments had a positive outlook and no one should doubt that.

He said that it wouldn’t be his place to comment on the political tussle over the Rafale deal but said that the Indian forces were harmed by the Bofors brouhaha.

He however added that there should be no doubt about the efficacy of the fighter jets and no one had raised any questions about them.

He said the Air Force was waiting for the Rafale and hoped that the jets would be delivered by September of next year.

He said that while they were getting less jets than expected, they would use them properly. He said the Rafale was a highly capable jet which could equal four fighter jets.

He said that far as preparedness was concerned the Air Force was always ready. 

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa also said the launch of satellite GSLV-7A would enhance the networking and communication capabilities of the Air Force."We have several platforms (aircraft) which have capabilities of communication through satellite. The communication to the platform (aircraft) through the satellite will be made possible with this launch," he told reporters here. 

ISRO will launch the military satellite GSLV-7A at 4.10 pm from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

Dhanoa was at the Jodhpur air base to interact with the contingents of the Indian Air Force and the Russian Aerospace Forces, who are participating in the joint exercise, 'Aviaindra-18', from December 10-21.