Top commanders to discuss if Rafale will be deployed in Ladakh
New Delhi, July 21: The top Indian Air Force commanders will meet this week and discuss the operational readiness along the Line of Actual Control.
The two day commanders' conference starting July 22 is also likely to discuss the possibility of deploying the Rafale jets in the Ladakh sector. The meet assumes significance in the wake of the tensions with China.
Further the conference would also discuss the rapid deployment and operationalisation of the Rafale fighter jets. The jets would be armed with Meteor and Scalp cruise missiles. The jets would arrive in India before the end of this month.
The conference which will be chaired by Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria and attended by seven commanders-in-chief will discuss the situation on the China border and the forward deployments done by the Indian Air Force in the Ladakh and norther borders.
The IAF has been carrying out night time combat air patrols over the eastern Ladakh region in the last few weeks, in an apparent message to China that it was ready to deal with any eventualities in the mountainous region.
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A number of IAF platforms participated in a military drill in Stakna in eastern Ladakh on Friday during the defence minister's visit to the region. The exercise showcased integrated combat prowess of the Army and the Indian Air Force in dealing with complex security scenarios in the high altitude terrain.
The IAF has deployed almost all its frontline fighter jets like Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar and Mirage 2000 aircraft in key frontier air bases in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China notwithstanding disengagement of troops by Chinese military from a number of friction points.
The IAF has also deployed Apache attack choppers as well as Chinook heavy-lift helicopters to transport troops to various forward locations
The IAF has pressed into service a fleet of C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft as well as C-130J Super Hercules in transporting heavy military equipment and weaponry to several forward bases in the region.