IAF doesn’t count number of dead, govt will give casualty figures for Pak. terror camp attack: Air Force Chief Dhanoa

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa addresses a press conference at the Sulur Air Force Station, near Coimbatore, on March 4, 2019. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa addresses a press conference at the Sulur Air Force Station, near Coimbatore, on March 4, 2019.   | Photo Credit: M. Periasamy

The Indian Air Force Chief says Rafale jet should come into India’s inventory by September 2019.

Amid ongoing speculation over the number of terrorists killed in the Balakot air strikes by the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal B.S. Dhanoa on Monday said the IAF does not count human casualties and said that statement (on casualties at Balakot) will be made by the government.
“(The) Air Force is not in a position to clarify how many people were inside We don’t count human casualties, we count what targets have we hit or not hit,” Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa told reporters. He said the IAF cannot count how many people were killed in the operation. “That depends on how many people were there (at the facility), he said
Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said the bomb damage assessment post the mission calculates the number of targets their fighter pilots were able to hit or not.
Rejecting doubts that the IAF had not hit its targets at Balakot, the Air Force Chief said “the target has been clearly amplified by the Foreign Secretary in his statement. If we plan to hit the target, we hit the target. Otherwise, why would he have responded? If we had dropped bombs in the jungle, there is no need for him to respond,” he said.

Ongoing operations

Curiously, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said he was not in a position to update on the situation at the border since there were “ongoing operations”. Responding to an earlier query on how the Mig-21 Bison had shot down an PAF F-16 too, he said there were ongoing operations.
He further said the Mig-21 Bison was in the inventory of the IAF. “So why not use it? It is capable, has been upgraded. It is not the old Mig-21.  It has got a better weapon systems, better radars, better air to air missile, radar warning receiver, whatever it takes to make it a third generation to 3.5 generation aircraft. We fight with whatever aircraft we have in our inventory,” he said.
Asked whether Wing Commander Abhinandan would fly a fighter jet again, he said that would depend on his medical fitness. “That’s why post ejection he has undergone a medical check. Thereafter if required, whatever treatment is required will be given. Then only will he get into a fighter cockpit.”
The Rafale jet should come into India’s inventory by September, the Air Force Chief said in his first comments since the attack on the terror camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Air Force, he said, had to get its act together and find out what caused the mid-air clash of two planes ahead of the opening of the Bengaluru air show on February 19 and a helicopter crash in Kashmir last week.

Source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/iaf-doesnt-count-number-of-dead-government-does-air-force-chief-dhanoa/article26429418.ece

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