Jammu Kashmir: Rafale fighter may be deployed at Srinagar airbase, know the reason
Srinagar. Jammu and Kashmir is a strategically important part of the country. The Indian Air Force is responsible for the security of its air border. Actually Srinagar is an important air base and till now it was the home base of 51 Squadron of MiG 21 Bison, but on 30 September the squadron is retiring. In fact, it is also said in the language of the Air Force that number plating means that the number of this 51 squadron will be given to another new aircraft.
Now the question arises that if which aircraft will be deployed in place of MiG 21 at Srinagar base. If sources are to be believed, Rafale fighter can be deployed at this airbase. Rafale can be deployed as a detachment to continue Operation Capability unabated. At present, the official announcement has not been made by the Indian Air Force.
Let us tell you, at present, one Rafale squad each is stationed in Ambala and Hashimara. It is believed that the Rafale stationed in Ambala can be sent to Srinagar as a detachment. Under the detachment, aircraft are deployed on that base but the mother base remains the base of his squadron. This deployment is done according to the task and the time is also fixed accordingly. The deployment of Rafale in Ambala has been done keeping in mind the two-front war and according to the capability of Rafal, China has an air base in Tibet, that is all under Rafale’s JD. At the same time, Rafale can also reach Pakistan easily.
It is not that Rafale will be stationed on this base forever. According to the operation capability, other aircraft can also be deployed at the Srinagar base in the detachment. However, even if Rafale operates from Ambala, any action of Pakistan can be given a befitting reply. But the game is only a matter of time, that is, if a Pakistani fighter tries to violate Indian airspace, then all the airbases in that area become active.
Not only this, if Rafale is deployed in detachment in Srinagar, then the distance of Kashghar, the important airbase of China, is 625 km and Hotan is 570 km. Talking about MiG 21, this 51 squadron was established in 1985 at Chandigarh Air Force. At that time the MiG 21 Type 75 was part of this squadron. But in 2004, the upgraded MiG aircraft MiG 21 Bison got a place in 51 Squadron and this squadron was deployed at Srinagar base.
The 51 Squadron of MiG 21 Bison stationed at Srinagar airbase came into the limelight on the day when a Pakistani fighter jet violated India’s airspace by crossing the LoC on 27 February 2019. At that time, Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, posted in this squadron, shot down Pakistan’s F-16 fighter jet while flying a MiG-21. According to sources, all the MiG-21s of 51 Squadron are divided equally among the remaining three squadrons. That is, their aircraft, pilots, ground staff and armament have been divided into all three MiG-21 squadrons.
The number of fighter squadrons may have decreased, but the number of aircraft left after the accidents is still the same. In the words of the Indian Air Force, this is called number plating, that is, the number plate of 51 Squadron will be given to the squadron of a new aircraft in the coming days, as recently when the first squadron of Rafale was established, that squadron was numbered. was given. 17 Squadron which was earlier known as MiG 21 Type 96 Golden Arrow and now the first squadron of Rafale is named 17 Squadron Golden Arrow.
If we talk about the current fighter fleet, then one squadron of MiG 21 Biz, one squadron of MiG 21 Type 96 and two squadrons of MiG 27 have been phased out, while there are only three left in 4 squadrons of MiG 21 Bison. The existing fighter fleet has been upgraded to 3 squadrons of MiG 29, 3 squadrons of Mirage 2000 and 6 squadrons of Jaguar. However, after the arrival of Rafale, there has been an increase in the fighter squadron, but considering the current challenges, the section fighter squadron is still less.
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FIRST PUBLISHED : September 30, 2022, 05:30 IST