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Updated: February 8, 2011 23:45 IST

Air Force to forge close ties with Sri Lankan counterpart: Air Chief Marshal

C. Jaishankar
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Air Marshall Pradeep Vasant Naik
Air Marshall Pradeep Vasant Naik

Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik on Tuesday said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) would forge close coordination with the Sri Lankan Air Force on all aspects.

In a chat with The Hindu at Rameswaram he said, he had undertaken a four day official visit to Sri Lanka recently and met the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke and senior defence officials and held discussion with them on many aspects. The Indian Air Force had been maintaining good relationship with the island neighbour and the ties would be strengthened further.

Asked about the preliminary reports on the functioning of Tejas, India's indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, which obtained the Initial Operating Clearance to be eligible for flying by the Indian Air Force, he said it was a very good aircraft in its class. He expressed hope that Tejas would serve the Indian Air Force for long.

On the need for improvements in the overall efficiency of Tejas, which was designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited with the support of various agencies including the Defence Research and Development Organisation, the Chief of Air Staff said every aircraft, which was given to the IAF, was being monitored and Tejas too would be monitored.

Mr. Naik was briefed about the air station and the proposed plan to expand the run way and other facilities.

He also held discussions with the IAF detachment officials including Wing Commander Sakthi Balan and others.

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