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Balakot like operations have shown that, given the political will, aerospace power can be effectively carried out beyond enemy lines: IAF Chief

Wed, 27 Mar 2024   |  Reading Time: 3 minutes

New Delhi [India], March 27 (ANI): Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief VR Chaudhari on Wednesday said Balakot-like operations have shown that, given the political will, aerospace power can be effectively carried out beyond enemy lines, in a no-war, no-peace scenario, without escalating into a full-blown conflict.
The IAF Chief said this in his inaugural address at the 15th Jumbo Majumdar International Seminar on Aerospace Power in Future Conflicts in New Delhi on Wednesday.
“Balakot-like operations have shown that, given the political will, aerospace power can be effectively carried out beyond enemy lines, in a no-war, no-peace scenario, under a nuclear overhang without escalating into a full-blown conflict. Ongoing conflicts across the globe have brought out significant lessons for nations in general and air power in particular. Fora such as this are crucial towards developing a better understanding of the nuances of air power application in modern battlespaces,” he said.
He also asserted that aerospace power will always remain vital to the conduct of all military operations in the future of warfare.
“The future of warfare will always be a complex tapestry woven with evolving technologies, shifting alliances and the ever-present threat of conflict. Within this tapestry, aerospace power will always remain vital to the conduct of all military operations,” he said.
Chaudhari also said that aerial superiority has shaped the destiny of many nations and determined the outcome of many wars, adding that aerial superiority would play a pivotal role and also serve as a symbol of national strength, a tool for peace and cooperation.
“Through the annals of human history, the skies have often been regarded as realms of wonder and exploration, where dreams take flight and boundaries dissolve in the vast blue expanse. Yet, beneath this veneer of calmness lies a domain fraught with competition, where the contest for aerial superiority has shaped the destiny of many nations and decided the outcome of many wars. As we navigate these uncharted skies, air power being a key component of national power would undoubtedly play a pivotal role and also serve as a symbol of national strength, a tool for peace and cooperation,” he said.
“Future conflicts will be characterised by a blend of simultaneous application of kinetic and non-kinetic forces, high levels of battlespace transparency, multi-domain operations, high degree of precision, enhanced lethality, a compressed sensor-to-shooter cycle and intense media scrutiny. Coupled with that is the convergence of niche technology like AI, big data, additive manufacturing, block chain and quantum communication making existing weapons and inventories redundant. To be able to fight effectively in such an environment, there is a need to reimagine, realign and reform conventional war fighting ways and means,” he said.
He further asserted that as nations increasingly rely on space-based assets for building strategic advantage, militarization and weaponization of space have become an inevitable reality.
“Evolution of aerospace power is not merely a matter of technological prowess but also a testament to the ingenuity and adaptability of human innovation in the face of emerging threats and challenges. Space has emerged as a critical domain for conduct of military operations, wherein, seamless communication, navigation and surveillance capabilities would enhance survivability of modern military forces. As nations increasingly rely on space-based assets for building strategic advantage, militarization and weaponisation of space has become an inevitable reality,” he said.
Speaking about the next step in the development of air power, The IAF Chief emphasised that the focus should be on man and unmanned teaming.
“When we talk of aerospace power in future conflicts, one very important element is the design, development and production of the next generation of fighter aircraft. I am aware that there are many discussions being held on the relevance of manned aircraft in the future. In my opinion, reliance solely on unmanned aircraft is a little farfetched. The next step in development of air power would be man and unmanned teaming. The CATS programme and other such initiatives will go a long way in realizing this capability. Technology like pure stealth, super cruise technology, cross domain integration, advanced long range precision weapons, counter stealth technology, enhanced electronic warfare for full spectrum ops and the capability to deliver a wide array of weapons are some key constituents of fifth and sixth generation aircraft,” he said. (ANI)



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