Amid multiple provocative activities by the Chinese Air Force on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) ahead of the military talks, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari today said whenever the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) fighter jets come too close to the border, the Indian Air Force immediately responds by scrambling its combat aircraft to tackle the situation.
The Indian Air Force chief's statement to ANI in an exclusive interview comes on a day when India and China are holding the 16th round of Corps Commander talks and the Chinese Air Force fighter jets provoked India on multiple occasions just before it.
"Chinese aircraft activity is closely monitored by us. Whenever we see Chinese aircraft or remotely piloted aircraft coming too close to the LAC, we take appropriate measures by scrambling or putting our aircraft on higher alert. This has deterred them quite a lot," Mr Chaudhari told ANI in an interview.
Asked why the Chinese Air Force was trying to provoke India just ahead of talks, he said, "I cannot point to any particular reason why they are doing it but we are monitoring it and we take immediate action by scrambling our fighter jets there."
The IAF chief said that ever since the Galwan incident in June 2020, "we had started deploying our radars all along the LAC in eastern Ladakh sector. Gradually we have integrated all these radars with our Integrated Air Command and Control System so that we are able to monitor the air activity across the LAC."
Mr Chaudhari said the Air Force has also bolstered the surface-to-air-ground weapon capabilities along the northern borders and has also increased the number of mobile observation posts in that area.
"We get a lot of inputs from the army and other agencies deployed there. Chinese aircraft activity is closely monitored by us," he said.
The first major incident of air violation took place in June last week when a J-11 fighter aircraft of the Chinese Air Force came very close to a friction point between the two militaries.
In the last week also, the Chinese side has done multiple provocative activities along the LAC in the Eastern Ladakh sector where they are flying very close to the LAC violating the Confidence Building Measures as per which the two sides cannot fly within 10 km of the LAC.
Indian Air Force has scrambled its MiG-29 and other aircraft deployed in the region to counter the threat posed by the Chinese aircraft to handle the possibility of any misadventure by the Chinese side.