Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria took over as the 26th Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force September 30, with a major task at hand to oversee modernisation of IAF’s combat fleet. Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria succeeds Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa at the ceremonial takeover, flanked by the senior-most Air Marshals at the Air Headquarters, designated as Principal Staff Officers (PSOs).
On being asked by newsmen after taking over if IAF would take action like the strike on Balakot terrorist camp again if Pakistan continued to launch terror attacks, he observed:We were prepared at that point of time. We are prepared ever more now. We are fully capable of meeting any challenge, any requirement and any mission.”
Two key assignments at the Air Headquarters are those of the Vice Chief and Deputy Chief, and ACM Bhadauria has held them both. Notably, it’s the Vice Chief who plans the modernisation path and the Deputy Chief who does the execution in that direction.
IAF’s rapid modernisation and building its operational capability was his primary task, he said.
“My first priority will be to increase the operational capability of IAF. The process of modernisation of the Air Force, which is underway, must progress. There are budget constraints, and we need to economise. We need to focus n indigenous capabilities and technologies. We will focus on indigenization for more support to our current fleet.”