New Delhi: – Rafale fighter jets, equipped with missiles, carried out sorties in the Ladakh airspace. The Indian Air Force (IAF) published photographs informing that these were routine sorties. But talks are scheduled to be held between the Indian and Chinese military for reducing the tension on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh on 9th April. The sorties of the Rafale fighter jets near the border are a clear warning for China. Reports are being received that China is still unwilling to withdraw its military from certain areas of the LAC in Ladakh. Therefore, claims are being made that the Rafale fighter jets carried out these sorties to warn China.
Even when the LAC tension was at its peak, sorties had been carried out by the IAF fighter jets, including the Rafale. But now, these sorties by the Rafale fighter jets, equipped with missiles, demonstrate the capabilities of the IAF. IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria had said that the IAF is dominating the Ladakh airspace. Even the foreign analysts had passed a verdict that the Indian air capabilities are much higher than China’s in this sector. The might of the IAF seems to have increased tremendously with the induction of Rafale fighter jets.
The IAF had expressed confidence that Rafale fighter jets will prove to be the game-changers. China claims that it has more advanced fighter jets than the Rafale. But these Chinese claims are hollow, and China does not have fighter jets to match Rafale’s capabilities. Military analysts point out that although China developed advanced fighter jets using Russian designs and technology, their capabilities are limited, and their abilities have never been tested.
This is the reason that the IAF is increasing pressure on China using the Rafale fighter jets. The process of military withdrawal has not been completed on the LAC in Ladakh. Although China has withdrawn its military from the Pangong Lake region, Chinese soldiers are still deployed at Gogra, Hot Spring, and Depsang. The Indian Army Chief had said a few days ago that it cannot be claimed that the tension on the LAC in Ladakh has been diffused unless the military is withdrawn from these sectors. China is still hoping that it would succeed in pressurising India on this front. But India has issued a stern warning that the tension in Ladakh will not be over unless there is a complete military withdrawal.
There are indications that India will adopt a tough stand regarding this, even during the talks on 9th April. At the same time, the sorties of the Rafale fighter jets are a clear warning that India is fully prepared to retaliate against any Chinese misadventure.