A security apparatus being put in place for the protection of the Pathankot Air Base in Punjab will soon be replicated at all Indian Air Force (IAF) stations across the country. Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria comments came after credible intelligence inputs indicated the possibility of a terror attack similar to the one carried out at the Pathankot Air Base.
Seven security personnel and six Pakistani terrorists were killed in an intense gunfight after the attackers breached the perimeter wall and entered the complex.
Later, Indian intelligence agencies identified Maulana Masood Azhar, chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and his brother Abdul Rauf Asghar, the supposed mastermind of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 hijack case, as people responsible for the Pathankot attack.
After the attack, the IAF has initiated a pilot project to install an Integrated Perimeter Security System (IPSS) at the Air Base.
“The IPSS programme is underway at the Pathankot Air Base. It is a pilot project which is running late by around two months. The pilot project will be completed between November and December. It will be replicated across all air force stations thereafter,” IANS quoted Bhadauria as saying.
Bhadauria further said that in his term the main focus will be on carrying forward the legacy of the IAF through training, modernisation and indigenization. Bhadauria took over as the Air Chief on September 30.
Before the press conference started the IAF showed a video clip of the high-precision air strike carried out on Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26 in retaliation to the terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama in which 40 security personnel were martyred.
The IAF chief, however, said that the video footage was only representational and not original footage from the actual airstrikes.
On the acquisition of HAL Tejas, the IAF chief said that the contract negotiations are not complete yet, but will be signed soon. He also said that the prices of the aircraft are likely to go up.
For future security of the IAF, he said that India will not acquire fifth-generation aircraft from some other country but will start its own programme. He also announced that the programme for Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) has already been initiated.
There is no import plan yet in the foreseeable future, he said adding that the AMCA will be given top priority.