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16/02/2009
IAF: 39 squadrons by 2017


Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said the Indian Air Force would have its full sanctioned strength of 39 squadrons in eight years and asserted that operating at lesser strength did not compromise its fighting edge.
“The programme of phasing out, upgrading and induction is being carried out in a concerted manner without losing the combat edge. We should be able to reach 39 squadrons by 2017 and will have what we want and more by 2020,” the Air Chief said at a press conference here. All air forces in the world went through this process, he pointed out.
Emphasising that technology was at the core of any air force, he said there was a conscious move to reduce different kinds of aircraft from the present varied inventory so that ultimately, the IAF would have fewer kinds of combat and transport aircraft and helicopters. This was essential for better management of both the aircraft and weapon systems as it was a challenge to manage and maintain a varied inventory.
By this June, the IAF would connect all its 165 operational and other nodes through a secure fibre optic network while work on the voice and data net was also progressing well. By 2010, the IAF would have integrated command and control systems linking its entire operational data links to network platforms sensors, command and controls. The IAF would launch its own satellite by mid-2010.


Source: The Hindu





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