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When Rafale comes, Pakistan will not come anywhere near LoC: IAF chief BS Dhanoa

When Rafale comes, Pakistan will not come anywhere near LoC: IAF chief BS Dhanoa Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 25, 2019, 01.17 PM (IST)

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa said Monday that once the Rafale is inducted into the Indian Air Force, Pakistan "will not come anywhere near the LoC"

He added that "the deterrence of our air defence will increase manifold" and that Pakistan will not "have an answer" to the Rafale. 

The Indian Air Force chief was speaking in Chandigarh at the induction into the air force of the first Chinook helicopters. This first unit of Chinooks — India took possession of them from Boeing on February 1 — will be deployed in Chandigarh. 

Dhanoa said Monday that another unit would be deployed in Dinjan in Assam. 

"Induction of Chinook will be a game changer the way Rafale is going to be in the fighter fleet," Dhanoa said on Monday. 

On February 27 this year, the Indian and Pakistani air forces had engaged in a dogfight for the first time in over 40 years. 

Both air forces lost a plane each — the Indians a MiG-21 Bison and the Pakistanis an F-16. 

A day earlier, on February 26, the IAF had conducted an air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunwa province. The strike had been retaliation for the suicide attack on a security convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that left at least 40 CRPF personnel dead

On February 27, Pakistan dropped bombs on Indian territory from its side of the Line of Control. Pakistan said it was proving its "deterrence capabilities". 

India said the bombs were aimed at military installations but that they missed their targets. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also said that the February 26 air strike would have been more effective if India had had the Rafale. 

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The previous UPA government had signed a deal with Dassault Aviation — the maker of the Rafale — to buy 126 of the planes. Then, in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra announced a new government-to-government deal to purchase 36 of the planes. 

India is still to get possession of the fighter planes. Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said the first planes will arrive in India in September 2019. 

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He added that 'the deterrence of our air defence will increase manifold' and that Pakistan will not 'have an answer' to the Rafale.