Hyderabad: Disengagement with China has taken place in certain areas in eastern Ladakh but complete disengagement has not yet been done, Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said here on Saturday.

Till the disengagement takes place on the ground, the Indian Air Force (IAF) would continue to maintain the deployment and high level of alertness.

“I would not like to go into the details, but suffice to say that we are deployed and prepared to take on any challenges in that area with the shortest of notice. If necessary, we will enhance the deployment,” he said.

Responding to a query, the IAF chief said India was aware of the threat which comes in multiple domains. “We are continuously pushing our preparedness and training to be able to tackle threats from multiple domains simultaneously,” he said.

Stating that IAF has signed a contract for 83 additional Light Combat Aircraft TEJAS this year, Chaudhari said the IAF has complete trust and faith in the ongoing Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) project and would be going in for many squadrons of two variants of the AMCA.

The process for acquiring the 114 Multi Role Fighter Aircraft was ongoing, Chaudhari said, adding that IAF was procuring a large number of anti-drone systems of both hard and soft kill options from indigenous sources. “Whatever we acquire will be made in India,” he added.

Pipping Ceremony – Highlight of Parade

To mark the successful culmination of training for 175 flight cadets of flying and ground duty branches in the Indian Air Force (IAF), a Combined Graduation Parade was held at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, here on Saturday.

Cadets showcase their skills at the Combined Graduation Parade held at Air Force Academy in Dundigal, on Saturday. — Photo: Yuvraj Akula

Of the total commissioned, 28 were women. Two officers from the Indian Navy, nine officers from the Indian Coast Guard and three cadets from Vietnam were also awarded wings on successful completion of flying training.

Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari reviewed the passing out parade. The highlight of the parade was the Pipping Ceremony in which the graduating flight cadets were awarded their ‘Stripes’ by the reviewing officer. Flying Officer Shashwat Bhardwaj from the flying branch was awarded the President’s Plaque and the Chief of the Air Staff Sword of Honour for standing first in overall order of merit in the pilots’ course.

Similarly, Flying Officer Shrikant Mishra from the navigation branch was awarded the President’s Plaque for being first in the overall order of merit in the navigation course and Flying Officer Astha Kaur was awarded the President’s Plaque for standing first in the overall order of merit in the ground duty officers’ course.

Addressing the cadets, the Chief of the Air Staff said the IAF was on the cusp of transformation into a highly potent Air Force with new inductions like Rafale, Apache, Chinook and a wide variety of Surface to Air Guided Weapon (SAGW) systems. The nature of warfare was undergoing fundamental changes, he said, adding that the new technology and radically newer doctrines have emerged in the last few years.

“India’s security dynamics involves multi-faceted threats and challenges. It would require us to build multi-domain capabilities and execute all our operations simultaneously and in shortened timeframes. The Air Force has big expectations from you as you will be the leaders who will steer the IAF and this country into the future,” he added.

CGP Was Low Key Affair

The Combined Graduation Parade (CGP) at the Air Force Academy here on Saturday was a low key affair with several of the usual events cut down as a mark of respect for Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and 13 others who passed away in the recent air accident.

Generally, during the CGP, the IAF conducts an air show with aerobatic display by the Surya Kiran aerobatic team, Sarang helicopter display team and para-jumping by the Akash Ganga team. Instead, a ceremonial salute and ‘Antim Pag’ (last step), a well-coordinated and synchronised fly past by Pilatus PC-7, Hawk and Kiran trainer aircraft and Chetak helicopters were showcased on Saturday.