India to work with China: Air Chief

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Panaji, Nov 24: India may conduct joint military exercises with neighbouring China in future, says Air Chief Marshal F H Major. ''Our Army is slated for joint exercises with the Chinese counterpart next year. Other wings also may follow suit later,'' the Chief of the Air Staff told media persons.

He was interacting with reporters after inspecting a colourful passing-out parade at the Naval Academy at the INS Mandovi where 74 officer-cadre trainees of the Indian Navy and the Indian Coastguard turned out.

The Air Chief further said it may take more time for induction of the indigenous version of the ''Akash'' air-to-surface missile as trials had still been going on.

At the same time, he said, the engine of the India's Light Combat helicopter ''Dhruv'' was undergoing certification even as its performance had been rated excellent.

Taking salute of the spectacular parade earlier, the Air Chief exhorted the cadets on the need for ''keeping themselves abreast of the latest technologies so that you are fit for the challenges today, ready for the tasks of tomorrow and capable of building for the future''.

Admitting that it was one of the best turned out batch of trainees, he said, ''Although your basic training comes to an end, it is only the beginning of your military career, with more specialised training in the offing.''

UNI

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