Jammu airbase attack was act of terror, says IAF chief Bhadauria

In the first reaction from the top echelon since the terror attack on the Jammu airbase on Sunday, IAF chief RKS Bhadauria on Friday termed it an act of terror aimed at targeting key military assets.  He also said here the IAF is in the process of bolstering its capabilities to deal with such security challenges.

The IAF has carried out a detailed analysis in terms of implications of drones and other similar capabilities falling into the hands of non-State actors, and taking a series of measures to counter them, he said. Incidentally, Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday said the easy availability of drones had increased the complexity of security challenges.

Bhadauria said, “What happened at Jammu was essentially a terrorist act which attempted to target our assets there. The attempt failed of course. The assets were not damaged. Two explosives were used.”

He made these observations in an interactive session at a think tank.

 The IAF chief said a detailed investigation into the attack was underway and that all sets of measures would be on the table based on the findings of the probe.

 “We have gone over the subject in terms of the implications of this kind of capabilities in the hands of non-State actors and the kind of effect the armed drone capabilities would have in future conflicts,” Bhadauria said.

 He said the IAF analyzed a large extent the requirements in terms of planning and required systems and infrastructure to enhance its abilities to go for “soft kill” and to have a counter-drone system.

 “It should be possible to react in the short notice, detect, quickly react and be able to target it, and that targeting is essentially directed energy kind of targeting in terror attack kind of a situation,” the IAF Chief said.

 “All these issues have been looked at and many of the projects have already been undertaken and some of the systems were already fielded,” he said.

 He said the Jammu Air Force station did not have critical assets and systems to detect drones were not fielded there.  Referring to the attacks, he said there was no visibility when the incident took place.

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