Air Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria took over as the Chief of Air Staff on Monday after Air Marshal BS Dhanoa retired from the post. Succeeding BS Dhanoa, who led the IAF during the Balakot airstrikes, RKS Bhadauria said the force is prepared for any such challenges in the future.
Speaking to reporters after taking over as the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said, “We were prepared then, we will be prepared next time. We will be ready to face any challenge, any threat.”
Asked about the recent reports of Pakistan reactivating the Jaish-e-Mohammed terror camps that were destroyed in the Balakot airstrikes in February, IAF chief said, “We are aware of the reports and we will take necessary action as and when required.”
Talking to news agency ANI, Bhadauria said the induction of Rafale fighter jets will be a game-changer for the Air Force.
He said, “My first priority is the modernisation and indigenous capability in view of all budget constraints. Rafale will be a game-changer in our operational capability. It will give India an edge over Pakistan and China.”
Speaking on Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s warning of a nuclear war, Bhadauria said, “That is their understanding of nuclear aspects. We have our own understanding, our own analysis. We will be ready to face any challenge.”
Air Marshal Bhadauria, an alumnus of National Defence Academy, was commissioned in the fighter stream of IAF in June 1980. He has, over 39 years of service, held various command, staff and instructional appointments.
On Monday, he succeeded departing Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa as the Chief of Air Staff.