The vice chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa said on Thursday that the IAF was unprepared to take on Pakistan and China at the same time, in a two-front war.
Our numbers are not adequate to fully execute an air campaign in a two-front scenario. Probability of a two-front scenario is an appreciation which you need to do. But, are the numbers adequate? No. The squadrons are winding down.
Although the vice chief has merely admitted what is common knowledge about the squadrons winding down, this appears to be the first time anyone in the IAF has confessed an inability to defend Indian airspace from both, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).
Not sure the last time someone admitted this publicly – our fighter numbers not adequate for a two front war. (Vice Chief Dhanoa)
— Manu Pubby (@manupubby_ET) March 11, 2016
Dhanoa said this during a press conference on the IAF’s upcoming live fire demonstration, IronFist 2016, the motto for which is Demonstrating the capability to punish. Weapons on target…on time…
War, conflict or misadventure (like Kargil) takes place when the adversary doubts your deterrence. If you demonstrate your deterrence, there will be peace because he knows he will be hit very badly,”
At the same event, Dhanoa also said:
We have invited defence attaches but not those of Pakistan and China.
Who will now, presumably, not witness the IAF’s deterrence capability, questions on which have been raised by Dhanoa, himself.