Tuesday October 24, 2017
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India will use all might if sovereignty threatened: President

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Picture Courtesy:-www.deccanchronicle.com

Hasimara (West Bengal): President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said India is committed to peace but will use “all its might” if its sovereignty is threatened.

Speaking at Haismara air base in the eastern sector, the President, who is the supreme commander of the forces, also lauded the India Air Force’s role in humanitarian operations.

President Mukherjee earlier presented President’s Standard to two IAF squadrons based here. The squadrons which have been honoured are the 18 Squadron and the 22 Squadron.

“Though we remain firmly committed to peace, we will use all our might to protect the sovereignty of our nation. I am confident that our valiant men and women in uniform will rise to the occasion,” the President said.

The air base, which is around 15 km away from India-Bhutan border, is considered critical given its proximity to India’s border with China, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Lauding the IAF’s role in recent humanitarian operations, Mukherjee said: “The IAF, besides safeguarding the sovereign sites of our nation, has also been at the forefront of all humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.”

The 18 Squadron initially flew the Gnat fighters, getting the nickname ‘Flying Bullets’. It was was formed in Ambala in 1965.

The 18 Squadron was also the first fighter squadron to operate from Srinagar after Independence, making maiden sorties in 1968. It came to be known as ‘Defenders of Kashmir Valley’ during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

In the 1971 war, the 18 Squadron flew in escort duties with Mystere and Vampire across the Pir Panjal mountain ranges. In 1989, the squadron converted to MiG 27 fighters.

The 22 Squadron was formed in 1966 in Bareilly and is known as ‘The Swifts’.

In the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war, the squadron drew first blood by shooting down three Pakistani F-86 Sabre jets. It was flying the Gnat Mk-1 aircraft at that time and got the MiG 27 fighters in 1990.

The 22 Squadron was involved in Operation Vijay and Operation Parakram as well.

The award of President’s standard is one of the highest honours bestowed upon an air force unit or a Squadron in recognition of exceptional service rendered by it to the nation, both during the war and in peace.

Hasimara is an important air base of the Eastern Air Command in northern West Bengal. It was set up after the India-China war of 1962. It has two MiG 27 squadrons and Akash missile systems.

(IANS)

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7 killed, after Mi-17 V5 an IAF Chopper Crashed in Arunachal

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IAF chopper Mi-17 v5
IAF chopper Mi-17 V5, at Yelhanka, Air Force Station. Wikimedia

Tawang, October 6:  Seven Indian Air Force personnel were killed after a Mi-17 V5, IAF Chopper Crashed in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday.

Tawang district Superintendent of Police Manoj Kumar Meena said the IAF Chopper Crashed around 6.30 a.m. killing all the seven people on board.

The chopper was on a routine Air Maintenance Mission, Meena quoted a Defence officer as saying.

The crash site is located at some four-to-five hours drive from Tawang. “It is a forested area,” Meena said adding that the bodies are being brought to the helipad near Tawang.

“We are told that there were no civilians and all were defence personnel,” he said.

Earlier in July an Indian Air Force chopper engaged in a flood rescue mission crashed near Papum Pare district in the hill state killing four persons including three IAF crew and one India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel.

The frequently changing weather condition in Arunachal Pradesh makes flying of choppers difficult in the area and there have been several incidents of crashes in the hill state in the past.

The then Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Dorjee Khandu, and four others also died in an IAF Chopper Crashed in the hill state in 2011. (IANS)

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India has ‘Plan B’, ready for any challenge from China, says Indian Air Force Chief B S Dhanoa

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ACM Dhanoa
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa.

New Delhi, Oct 5: Indian Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Thursday said India is prepared to counter any threat from China and was also ready to face a two-front war.

Addressing the annual press conference of the IAF ahead of Air Force Day, the Indian Air Force Chief said they have a ‘Plan B’ to cater for the shortage of strength if there is a situation of war on two fronts.

“We need a strength of 42 squadrons to carry out full spectrum operations, but it doesn’t mean we can’t fight a two-front scenario. There is a Plan B,” he said when asked about being prepared for a two-front war.

He also said the possibility of a two-front war in the current geopolitical scenario is low.

He said “our capability is adequate” to counter any threat from the Eastern side — China.

The Indian Air Force Chief also said more than assets, the question was what China can and cannot do operating from Tibet against India.

He also said that Chinese troops are still stationed in the Chumbi valley, of which Doklam is a part, and hoped that they return soon.

Dhanoa said: “We are not in physical face-off but in Chumbi valley their troops are still deployed.”

“Hope they will withdraw in future after their exercises are over,” the IAF chief said.

He also said that there was no face-off in the air during the over 70 days long standoff and there were no air violations.

“I take this opportunity to assure the nation of our sacred resolve in defending the sovereignty of our skies,” he added.(IANS)

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IAF trainer aircraft crashes in Telangana

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HAL Intermediate jet trainer
IAF kiran. wikimedia

New Delhi, Sep 28: IAF’s intermediate trainer aircraft- Kiran, crashed in Telangana on Thursday morning, but the pilot and another person on board ejected out safely.

The aircraft got airborne from Hakimpet Air Force base on Thursday morning for a routine training sortie and crashed around 11.45 a.m.

The aircraft was being flown by a trainee pilot.

IAF sources added that a Court of Inquiry has been ordered to look into the cause of the accident.

According to police, the aircraft caught fire and was gutted after the crash near Ankireddypalli village in Keesara ‘mandal’ (block) of Medchal district.

Minutes after taking off from Hakimpet Air Force Station, the aircraft developed some technical snag and crashed in the fields.

Eye-witnesses said they heard a huge thud and soon flames engulfed the aircraft.

The pilot and another person accompanying him ejected out with parachutes before the crash, police said.(IANS)