The Offensive Capability of the Indian Air Force

The Indian Air Force came into existence courtesy the British in 1933. At that time it came for being acknowledged as the Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF). It served as an appendage to the Army and took part in businesses against the Japanese Army in Burma during the Second World War.

After the British rule lapsed in 1947 the RIAF was split into two Air forces, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) and the Indian Air Force (IAF). The IAF had a checkered heritage and took part in vigorous operations during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan and did have a ground breaking over the PAF.

However inside the 20 first century the IAF is confronted with dilemma as how potent it may remain in case of a conflict with China or Pakistan or a worse case scenario a fight on two fronts with both Pakistan and China.

The IAF has a pressure amount of some 45 squadrons and about 750 first line fighter planes. These are more than enough to undertake Pakistan as all PAF bases are within range of the IAF. In addition the knowledge and also morale factor will weigh in the IAF’s favor. Pakistan in turn will find it tough to attack the Indian hinterland because of the distances involved. At current Pakistan has no strategic bomber or perhaps strong penetration aircraft which can go deep into India, say to Bangalore or Hyderabad. At a single stage the PAF had asked for the B 47 strategic bomber, although the deal never ever materialized.

However China is an alternative kettle of fish. The lack of a great deal of range bomber might be a terrible handicap for the IAF. A deal for the TU 22 (Backfire) supersonic bomber from Russian federation was heard off, but nothing materialized. Thus the IAF has no aircraft which can penetrate deep into China to bomb supply lines or perhaps roads and rail.

We are reminded of the Second World War in which the absence of a strategic bomber proved a terrible handicap for the Luftwaffe. It was like fighting a battle with one arm rendered unusable. In turn the Chinese Air Force can hit some target in India with impunity from the bases of theirs in Tibet. In addition the Chinese air force has about 4 times the first line strength of the IAF.

A nightmare for the IAF may be a 2 front war. In such a scenario the present IAF strength may prove inadequate. For ADF preparation training must lie with the central government which hasn’t thought of dominating the world stage and is content on taking care of a defensive force. India could still pay dearly for this particular lapse.

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