New Delhi: Indian Air Force chief Arup Raha on Saturday expressed concern over delays in key acquisition and development projects and hoped that the government puts in place a faster system to ensure greater accountability.

Maintaining that the Indian Air Force is “not my air force", he said it was the government’s responsibility to review all the processes. Almost all key acquisition and development projects are running behind schedule, he said as he sounded a note of caution over its implication for IAF’s fighting capability.

“We have quite a few fleets which are on their last legs. The draw down has to be prevented by quick induction of medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) as well as light combat aircraft (LCA)," the air force chief said at an interaction with the media ahead of IAF’s 82nd anniversary.

“Every project, be it acquisition or design development, is taking longer than it ideally should. We have lost time lines. Time overrun is much more than it should have been. It is a concern," he said. “After all, the Indian Air Force is India’s air force, not my air force. It is the government’s responsibility, the responsibility of the nation to provide whatever is necessary. We are concerned that it is not coming on time," he said.

Raha, however, hoped that the NDA government would take steps to rectify the situation. “They are reviewing every project. Accountability is being fixed. There is a great urgency," he said, adding that all three service chiefs can meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi one-on-one every month to discuss matters of importance. He also termed as a “mystery" the Chinese incursion into Ladakh and the way the episode had coincided with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India.

“It’s been always a mystery the way incursions take place and the way they get timed with various visits... It’s nothing new, it remains a mystery for all of us," he said. However, making it clear that India was “not giving ground to anyone", Raha blamed the frequent face-offs between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control on differences of perception between the two countries over the actual position. PTI