IAF alert after LTTE's display of aerial strength

New Delhi, Feb 21 : In the wake of the LTTE displaying aerial capability in conducting surprise attacks, the Indian Air Force has adopted an extra vigilant mode.

The IAF's decision assumes significance in the wake of militant outfit LTTE' s show of aerial strength.

The IAF plans to install an Aerosat Radar capable of picking up targets at low ranges at the Southern Air Command here, considering the region's strategic importance.

Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Marshal S Radhakrishnan told reporters here yesterday that "considering the region's strategic importance, an Aerosat Radar capable of picking up targets at low ranges would be installed at SAC in two years".

The press conference came hours before the LTTE carried out surprise attacks in Colombo last night, killing two persons and injuring 54 others.

Radhakrishnan also said that the control of Maritime Air Operations (MAO), now under South Western Air Command, would be handed over to the Southern Air Command in Thiruvananthapuram.

IAF sources said in New Delhi that they have already geared up air defence units by placing mobile radars all along the southern coast particularly to secure sensitive infrastructure following the first LTTE attack in 2007.

Those radars and air defence units are already in place and are keeping a round-the-clock vigil and are ready to meet any challenges rogue aerial vehicles may pose, the sources said.

After the Mumbai attacks there had been intelligence inputs that the next terror strike could be through the aerial route following which the IAF had strengthened its air defence units all across the country.