Defstrat: There have been a number of speculative writings and debates related to IAFs strength and operational capability particularly in view of dwindling number of Sqns. Where does the IAF stand today in terms of combat readiness?
CAS: IAF fighter squadron strength is currently less than the Government authorised 42 squadrons. This shortfall is planned to be made good through induction of remaining contracted Su-30 MKI, LCA and Rafale aircraft.
I am aware that in writing this piece I can be overtaken by events even before it reaches print. Therefore I shall restrict myself to analysing and commenting on issues which are core and not peripheral.
The upsurge of violence in all ten Districts of the Kashmir Valley post the killing of Burhan Wani, continues in spurts. While the State’s response on ground has been the predictable imposition of curfew, application of force to contain violence and outreach to local ‘leadership’ for cooperation in restoring calm, the real challenges lie in how the more substantial ‘strategic’ aspects are addressed.