Addresses the Air Force Commanders Conference

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik, has said the Indian Air Force which is in the process of modernisation would observe the period as “Year of Consolidation”.

Over the past few years, the IAF has added different platforms, radars and weapon systems in its quest to “look first and look farthest” and the Air Chief emphasised the need to consolidate the operational availability of weapon systems and sensors on account of times of transformation.

The Air Chief said this in his address at the Air Force Commanders Conference here and thanked the Defence Minister for his support to IAF modernisation plan.

Earlier this year, the IAF inducted the first of the six C 130J Super Hercules transport aircraft

It has completed the evaluation and report to procure 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft, and a decision as to which of the six competitors would get the deal is expected to be taken by the government during the current financial year.

In addition, the IAF has ordered for two squadrons of indigenous Akash surface-to-air missiles besides other equipment.

Besides reviewing matters of operations, the inaugural day also looked at acquisitions, aerospace safety, maintenance, administration and personnel matters, IAF spokesman Wing Commander Tarun Singha said.

At a separate Army Commanders' Conference, the Chief of Army Staff, General V.K. Singh, underlined the global and regional trend and said the “strategic shift” was more in favour of “balance of interests” than “balance of power.”

Gen. Singh said one of the major concerns was the attempt by non-state actors to acquire weapons of mass destruction.