File photo of Marshal BS Dhanoa. Photograph:( Zee News Network )
Wing Commander Abhinandan was released by Pakistan authorities on Friday
Indian Air Force(IAF) chief BS Dhanoa spoke to the media for the first time since Mirage 2000 air strikes on Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
"Mig-21 Bison is a capable aircraft, it has been upgraded, it has better radar, air-to air missiles and better weapons system," India's air chief said, adding,"Wing Commander Abhinandan will fly again if fit."
Wing Commander Abhinandan was released by Pakistan authorities on Friday after his MiG-21 Bison was shot down as he was involved in a dogfight with Pakistani F-16 last Wednesday.
"Whether Wing Commander Abhinandan flies or not depends on his medical fitness. That's why post ejection, he has undergone medical check. Whatever treatment required, will be given. Once we get his medical fitness, he will get into fighter cockpit."
#WATCH Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa on Mig-21 Bison, says, "One is a planned operation in which you plan & carry out.But when an adversary does a strike on you, every available aircraft goes in, irrespective of which aircraft it is. All aircraft are capable of fighting the enemy" pic.twitter.com/B2mZQTLBRd— ANI (@ANI) March 4, 2019
"We hit the target at Balakot," Dhanoa told reporters, adding,"the Air Force doesn’t calculate casualty numbers, the government does that."
"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 (Pak PM Imran Khan) have responded, if we dropped bombs in the jungles why would he respond," the air chief asked reporters when asked about Indian jets hitting the target at Balakot on February 26th.
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"We fight with all aircraft's in our inventory," he said. Dhanoa stressed that operations were still ongoing, therefore he won't comment on the issue at present.
On the Rafale fighter jets, the air chief said it would be inducted into the Air Force in September.