IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa is all set to embark on a four day official visit to Sweden, beginning June 3.
In a statement, the Indian Air Force (IAF) said, “Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa is embarking on a four day official visit to Sweden from June 03 to June 06, 2019. The bilateral goodwill visit is on invitation by the Chief of the Swedish Air Force.”
“BS Dhanoa is also scheduled to visit various operational and training units as well as interact with senior functionaries of the Swedish Air Force amongst others,” it further said.
“The visit would provide an impetus towards defence cooperation and pave the way for greater interaction and cooperation between the Air Forces. This would also strengthen relationships and enable engagement in productive exchanges between the two Air Forces,” the IAF concluded.
Recently, BS Dhanoa was appointed as the new Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee. He succeeded Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. The Chairman of Chiefs of Staff Committee is tasked with ensuring synergy among the three services and evolve common strategy to deal with external security challenges facing the country.
It is to be noted that earlier in February this year, the then Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had visited Sweden. During her visit, India and Sweden had signed defence cooperation and security protection agreements.
Interestingly, Swedish Company SAAB is a contender in the Indian Air Force's multi-billion dollar 114 fighter aircraft programme. The Swedish company is fielding its Gripen fighter jet in the contest and is pitted against American F-16, F-18A, Russian MiG-35, and French Rafale jets.
About BS Dhanoa
An alumnus of Rashtriya Indian Military College and the National Defence Academy, BS Dhanoa was commissioned in the flying branch of Indian Air Force in June 1978. He is a Kargil war veteran and top rated fighter pilot with over 3,000 hours of flying experience. During the Kargil war in 1999, he was the Commanding Officer of a frontline ground attack fighter squadron.
BS Dhanoa has primarily flown the MiG-21 aircraft with flying experience across the entire spectrum of fighter aircraft of the IAF. The IAF chief has also led many coveted operational and staff assignments that include command of a frontline fighter base and director of the fighter operations and war planning at Western Air Command.
He was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of South Western Air Command and has also been the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.