Emergence of New Threats Demands Preparedness for Prolonged Wars: IAF Chief

Indian Air Force

New Delhi: Indian Air Force (IAF) Chief, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari said that new forms of threats have emerged and there was a need for making preparations for prolonged wars instead of short and swift operations.

“We used to make preparations for short and swift wars. Now we have to prepare for the possibility of prolonged wars. We have to increase logistics footprints, technology and tactics,” he said at an event.

On the wide spectrum of threats, he said, “There are drones that travel at very slow speed, and then there are hypersonic weapons. Now, threats posed by information war are more pronounced.”

On the fighter jet fleet, the IAF Chief said, “Our strength is going down due to phasing out of older jets…After MiG 21s are phased out, the same will happen with Jaguar and Mirage.” He said the focus was on the production of the Light Combat Aircraft MK-1A version, followed by the TEJAS MK-2 version and the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft. “The immediate gap is being filled by the Multirole Fighter Aircraft, 114 of which will be made in India with a foreign partner,” he said.

The Chief of the Air Staff said the Ukraine conflict has underlined the importance of the requirement of having air superiority over battle zones.

To a question on what lessons India can draw from the Russian invasion of Ukraine as Moscow has not yet achieved its aim after the over nine-month military offensive, Chaudhari said it is premature to draw the complete lessons from the war, but added that three-four important aspects have emerged on the basis of available information.

Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar reiterated the need to get rid of colonial practices in the armed forces and specifically cited the names of some ranks in the Navy. He questioned the designations such as “petty officer” and “chief petty officer”. “Why should it be named ‘petty’?” he questioned. The Admiral suggested that some ranks and designations could be same in the three services.