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Rafale would have been better in Balakot, says IAF chief Dhanoa

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 16 Apr 19 | 02:35 AM

In his address to a gathering at a seminar on aerospace power of the future and impact of technology, the IAF chief also asserted that the strike on a “non-military target with precision at night, deep inside Pakistan demonstrates our ability to hit the perpetrators of violence in our country, wherever they may be".

“In the Balakot operation, we had technology on our side, and we could launch precision stand of weapons with great accuracy. In the subsequent engagements, we came out better because we upgraded our MiG-21 Bisons, and Mirage-2000 aircraft," he said.

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“The results would have been further skewed in our favour had we inducted the Rafale aircraft in time," Dhanoa said.

The Air Force struck a Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Balakot area on February 26, in response to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed.

The Pakistan Air Force retaliated the next day by unsuccessfully targeting various military installations in Jammu and Kashmir.

The IAF chief asserted that it was a "critical demonstration of our national will and capability which is the major lesson coming out of the present crisis".

Dhanoa said in his speech, "In the proposed induction of the Rafale and S-400 surface-to-air missile system, in the next two-four years, once again the technological balance will shift in our favour, like it was in 2002 during Operation Parakaram during the last stand-off." India inked an inter-governmental agreement with France in September 2016 for the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of around 58,000 crore.

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