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Hope air defence command ensures Ukraine plane-like incidents don't take place in India: Army chief

The creation of an integrated air defence command will ensure incidents like the Ukrainian commercial plane hit by Iran do not take place in the fog of war, feels Army Chief Gen MM Naravane.

Last year after the Balakot air strikes on terror camps during aerial dogfight between Indian and Pakistan Air Force, a Mi17 helicopter was brought down by the Indian Air Force by mistake in Kashmir's Budgam.

"Formation of an air defence command will ensure such blue on blue incidents do not happen," Gen Naravane said in his press conference on Saturday.

"Can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that such incidents will not take place after the air defence command is set up," he said.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat has already asked for a proposal to set up an air defence command by June 2020.

Currently, each service has its own air defence establishment but with a common command this will be more effective for working in synergy and ensuring accidental incidents like Budgam air crash that killed six IAF personnel and the Ukrainian plane being in on the ongoing conflict between Iran and US do not take place.

The Budgam helicopter crash was brought down by our own missiles and was a big mistake, Indian Air Force Chief RKK Bhadauria said in his annual press conference last October.

The IAF had completed the court of inquiry that had established lapses and mistakes by officials.

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