India’s Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari spoke at a seminar on Tuesday about the importance of India’s air power in light of its adversaries. He noted that the Balakot operations in Pakistan in 2019 demonstrated the effectiveness of India’s air power even in a “no war, no peace” scenario and under a “nuclear overhang”. Air power has become an option of choice due to its flexibility and precision strike capability. Chaudhari emphasized that India needs adequate military power to achieve deterrence, ensure information dominance, coerce when needed, and provide multiple response options for security concerns.
The attributes of aerospace power enable the leadership to formulate an appropriate strategy with due cognizance given to the desired end state, conflict termination criteria and escalation matrix. Considering the advantages that the aerospace power offers, it will become a crucial factor in future battlespace operations. To be able to control the airspace across domains will prove vital in the future and in order to achieve that, he said. Chaudhari said there is a need to harness technology including the CMOS sensors, Artificial Intelligence enabled decision support matrix and manned-unmanned teaming.
He also stressed that humans in the chain are essential for effective automation. Any amount of automation will not be effective unless well-trained, situationally-aware and technologically sound professionals handle the systems. Chaudhari noted that next-generation fighter aircraft will prove to be a deciding factor when fighting “tomorrow’s wars”.