Development of india
1. India has proven to be a country assuming global importance historically due to reasons of development and prosperity. It was the 'Golden Bird' of yesteryears and was envied by other nations with an intention to dominate and control the vast resources she commanded. In recent times India has proven its global significance again through sound economic development with potential of further strengthening in the years to come. The development of India and its neighbour, China as rising major economic powers, has changed the socio political structure of the South Asian region and has attracted global attention. The region is important to the developed countries due to the existence of a massive expanding market, as well as presence of vast natural resources. However, the region is also infested with instability and mistrust between neighbouring nations which either always existed, or, was put in place by the developed countries with an intention of creating rivalry leading to imbalance and, thereby, exploiting the region in the name of peace initiatives aided by them.
2. India is going through a series of remarkable transformations. Economically, its growth rate has accelerated. These transformations began in late 1980's, when economic growth started to accelerate India's changing geopolitical role. India today is increasingly integrated with the world economy, especially compared to its own previous record. Its foreign policy is built on the pursuit of security and preponderance of power in its broader neighbourhood, and of substantial influence in global governance. India's policy makers, fundamentally pragmatic, recognise that India's continued economic growth is the essential foundation for accomplishing these goals. Energy supply will be critical to achieving a satisfactory level of growth. India's foreign policy goals require much more sophisticated and substantive relations with other global players. Developments in Asia and globally have led the global players to reciprocate India's interest for reasons of their own, and this growing convergence of interests has given a further boost to India's geopolitical reach.
3. The rapid economic growth of India, in the world order, would definitely envisage securing strategic resources, markets and energy interests some of which could be across the globe. There is bound to be an interference from various countries, esp Pakistan and China, which will oppose such development. Thus India would need to build a credible deterrence to safeguard its global interests. It would demand definite military objectives to be attained to ward off any challenge. Amongst the three services, given the nature of future warfare, IAF would be the most definitive arm of the Indian Armed Forces capable of providing swift, precise and decisive intervention to safeguard global interests. Therefore, there is a definite need to develop IAF as a credible Strategic force in order to meet any global challenge.
4. The challenges to the development of IAF are varied and will metamorphose with time due to environmental requirements. The vision to develop India as a global player to reckon by the year 2030 necessitates certain finite developments for the IAF. Therefore, it would be prudent on our part to assess the requirements in a balanced manner so as to foresee the IAF capability to be achieved by 2030.
Statement of the Problem
5. To study the requirement of transforming IAF into Strategic Air Force by year 2030 to safeguard the global interests of India.
Justification of the Study
6. India is pursuing a relentless march to economic development at a sustained growth rate of over eight percent in the past few years and it is bound to continue till next decade as well. A similar situation is predicted for the Chinese economy as well. The promises held by such rapid growth ensure Indian and Chinese economies overtake the leading world economies by 2035. The rapid growth of the two neighbouring Asian giants has focused the world attention to the South Asian region. This region has always been in state of flux due to various reasons, and the situation is likely to be exploited by the nations with threatened strong economies to further create imbalance to stall the Indian and Chinese developmental process. In order to continue development, this calls for an expansion in military capabilities in order to safeguard global and regional interests. This paper weighs the possibilities of achieving such capabilities and forwards the most suitable role needed to be acquired by the IAF by 2030.
Alternate J ustification of the Study
8. Aerospace power is being looked at as a military asset that can deliver the greatest amount of firepower at the shortest notice at the greatest distance. Aerospace power can deliver the required fire power to give total control of the air, which is necessary for successful completion of land operations. Thus, aerospace power posses the ability to shrink time zones and be available to safeguard interests globally, both military and non-military.
9. Western air power, in particular, has embarked on a stage of what can be confidently described as 'technical maturity' at the turn of this century. It has the proven ability to integrate its different elements - manned, unmanned, space-based, command, support, transport, ordinance delivery etc. - with the information and communication revolution. Thus, the ability to deploy the full range of aerial techniques and vehicles in a real time operational scenario has become a reality and can be regarded as maturing of the inherent promise of military air power.
10. India has built its armed forces with the aim of retaining a minimum credible deterrence against any external aggression. As a country and as a set of people, Indians do not subscribe to the policy of annexation of territory or use of force to subjugate any other country. Thus, the build up of a force with offensive global deterrent capability may project a change of mindset.
11. The questions that India needs to answer as a nation are:-
(a) Does India need to develop a military capability to safeguard its increasing global interests?
(b) Will the development of an air force with state of the art global reach enable India to safeguard its global interests?
(c) If yes, then what should be the framework and structure of our air force in the future and how should we go about achieving it?
(d) Does India need to change its mindset and become an offensive protector of its global interests through armed interventions or should it stick to its present policy of no intervention into another sovereign nation and just build up its capability to project a credible global deterrence?
LIKELY ROLES FOR THE IAF IN 21st CENTURY
Victory smiles upon those who anticipate the changes in the character of war, not upon those who wait to adapt themselves after the changes occur23. ---Gen Giulio Douhet
1. It is essential that air power be seen as an instrument of national power and not as an adjunct to the surface forces. Even those possessing modest air forces will increasingly use air power for power projection, deterrence, coercion, and in more innovative roles. It is clear that most regional and global players have learnt the lessons of the conflicts mentioned in earlier chapters and are busy adapting themselves to their specific needs and circumstances. In this respect, the IAF enunciated a doctrine in 1995, and had put in place the doctrinal underpinnings for its expansion being seen today. However, the raison de etre for a strong air power, capable of projecting Indian power lies in the kind of roles that the IAF is likely to undertake in the new millennium. The vital roles of air power in future warfare would include the following: -
(a) To avoid being surprised.
(b) Deterrence through Punishment. (c) Information Dominance.
(d) Escalation Control.
(e) Quick Victory or Conflict Termination on Own Terms.
2. Avoid Surprise. This would be possible only if India's air power is intimately linked to the process of formulating national security options and is used effectively to gain and maintain information dominance. India
23 Eugene E Emme, ed., The Impact of Air Power: National Security and World Politics, (New York, D Van Nostrand Company Inc, 1959), p 166, Essay on 'Command of the Air' by Gen Giulio Douhet.
would, however, have to develop, maintain, and continuously fine-tune her surveillance and reconnaissance assets, both air and space based, so as to derive the maximum benefit, these will also have to be used regularly and intelligently to build a comprehensive strategic picture for timely decision making.
3. Strategic Deterrence. Future wars may demand surgical strikes against certain target systems simply to forestall a war. It is, therefore the deterrent role of air power that will be highlighted. India will have to build this capability based on Long Range Precision Strike (LRPS) fighter-bomber aircraft, Cruise missiles and UAV/UCAVs and other land based missiles. Without such measures, it is likely that India may be subjected to coercion and 'salami slicing' as in the past. In fact simply raising the alert status of these long-range forces can send a powerful signal to the adversary and dissuade him from embarking on a misadventure. Counter coercion strategies would call for a regular assessment of the strategic environment so that effective measures can be taken to shape the environment. This is the only way to avoid a conflict from developing into a full-scale war. But only deterrence is not sufficient as it may well fail. In such an eventuality a certain assured war waging capability has to perforce be developed with suitable force structure for the IAF. India would also have to enhance her strategic airlift, AWACs, air defence and strike assets.
4. Information Dominance. Information domain is the new battle space. Information dominance cuts across the cognitive, physical and informational domains to shorten the sensor to shooter loop. Space-based strategic surveillance and reconnaissance assets would need to be created to supplement the land-based assets. The strategic effects of superior reach and precision firepower of airborne platforms cannot be exploited to their fullest extent without the requisite degree of information dominance.
5. Escalation Control. Air power was considered escalatory in its historical evolution, primarily because of its ability to operate outside the traditional envelope of warfare, which was supposed to be confined to military forces and targets. The escalation was inherent in the ability to hit civilian targets, leading to widespread death and destruction, as well as massive collateral damage. The post independence Indian leadership, having been profoundly affected by needless death and destruction caused by the strategic bombing campaigns of World War II, culminating in the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki came to regard air power as almost demonic in character, except in its tactical avatar as an adjunct to the army. However, with technology making the use of air power far easier to avoid or minimise collateral damage concurrently with a quantum jump in its effectiveness, the question of air power being escalatory has to be viewed afresh. Precision strike would intrinsically escalate the destructive effect but not necessarily cause collateral damage, thereby limiting the escalatory effect in the political domain. The core issue, therefore, is not that air power is escalatory, but that its use for area targeting and indiscriminate bombing is escalatory.24 Therefore, it is imperative that India acquires the aforementioned capabilities to employ air power for inflicting punishment and simultaneous escalation management.
6. Quick Victory or Termination Control. The geopolitical and economic realities of 21st century preclude a long drawn war between nuclear-armed adversaries. Therefore, quick victory along with an exit strategy is the need of the hour. The political objective has to be very clear and the military objectives would follow. Before the adversary has the time to fall back on the international community/ political allies, precision application of air power should have achieved the objective. 24 For a detailed exposition, see Air Cmde Jasjit Singh (Retd.), Some Reflections on the IAF, Air Power Journal, Monsoon 2004, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi, pp
7. After having seen an overview of the roles that air power is
required to perform in the Indian context in the next century, it would be pertinent to summarise the air power mission as follows: -
(a) Air Superiority. (b) Air Defence.
(c) LRPS for coercion, deterrence and for punishment. (d) Deep Interdiction.
(e) Strategic Reconnaissance and Surveillance. (f) Strategic Lift.
(g) Operations in Conjunction with Land and Naval forces. (CSFO)
(h) Aid to Civil Power.
8. Out of Area Contingency Ops. Being an aspiring regional power, the ability to undertake effective operations out of the country, whether in aid of Indian diaspora or to secure strategic advantage cannot be ruled out. In fact, this capability will be the stepping-stone to regional power status and has to be created with an eye on the future. Enhanced strategic airlift, surveillance and command and control assets, and long reach of fighter aircraft with AAR and AWACS would form the foundation of this capability.
9. These terms are self-explanatory and are well known hence all that needs to be reiterated is that the air defence of the country will continue to be the most important mission of the IAF in peace and war but merely defensive measures alone cannot deter an enemy. 'Command of the Air' or more correctly 'Aerospace' will confer the necessary immunity from enemy interference but is often forgotten that, 'with it anything is possible,
without it everything is at risk.'25
25 Maj Gen Charles D Link, USAF, The Role of the US Air Force in the Employment of
Air Power, as quoted in Air Cmde RV Phadke (retd.), Strategic Analysis , January 2001.
PRESENT CAPABILITY AND FUTURE REQUIREMENTS OF IAF
The Indians believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no king like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs26.---Al Beruni.
1. Al Beruni was an Arab traveller who visited India in the eleventh century (circa 1030 CE) and recorded his impressions of the land and her people. Were he to return today, the state of India's nuclear deterrent would vindicate his observation. In trying to analyse the present capability of air power in India, an endeavour will be made to steer clear of any hyperbole and state the case as it is. The capabilities and requirements will be addressed in the light of missions as outlined in para 7 of preceding chapter.
2. Air Superiority and Air Defence. Considering the region of security concern and our maritime responsibilities, only three squadrons of Su 30 MKI Air Dominance Fighters (ADF) are operational at present. The other aircraft available for this role are the Mirage 2000 (three squadrons), MiG 29 (three squadrons) and MiG 21 (four squadrons each of MiG 21 bison and MiG 21 bis)27. The numbers are inadequate and so is the technology mix. However, the programme for acquisition of the Su 30 MKI is on track and a total of 180 aircraft (as per the original contract) are likely to be in service by 2015-16. Considering the multifarious roles in which the aircraft is to be used, and the requirements to provide air defence to island territories, a fleet of 400 would just about be adequate.
Meanwhile, upgrade of Mirage 2000 to Mirage 2000-5/9 standards has been offered by M/S Thales Inc.28 As per a recent report, contract for 26 As quoted by Stephen P Cohen, India: An Emerging Power, (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001).
27 http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Units/Fleet.html accessed on 13 December 2006.
28 News item in Indian Express, 03 July 2006. upgrade of 66 MiG 29 aircraft has been signed. The contract includes up gradation of engines, radar, avionics, AAR capability and life extension from 25 to 40 years.29 IAF of the 2020 would be looking at about 150-200 upgraded versions of these types to provide effective air defence of the homeland. Meanwhile a Request For Proposal (RFP) for 126 Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) is likely to be issued soon.30 For the Air Defence Mission, DRDO has successfully tested an antimissile system on 27
November 2006, but an in service date would be speculation at this stage.31
3. LRPS. There is no aircraft in the strategic bombing class, in the league of B2 or Tu-22 bomber, and nor is there a likelihood of acquisition even in the long-term, say 2020. Therefore, the deterrence perforce would have to be through the use of Su 30 MKI. The AAR capability, presently only half a squadron32, needs to be enhanced. The precision-guided weaponry is an absolute essential for coercion, deterrence or inflicting punishment. This is one area, which needs immediate attention at the highest level. As the cost of ADF aircraft skyrockets (Su 30 MKI costs close to Rs 200 crore apiece), it is essential to get the maximum destructive effect from limited numbers in the inventory. This is possible only with the integration of long-range precision-guided weapons with ADF. The supersonic Brahmos Cruise missile has already been inducted into the Navy in anti-shipping role, its land attack version is under trials and efforts are on to integrate it with the Su 30 MKI.33 The upgraded Mirage 2000, with AAR and precision weapons could also be used in this role. However, a dedicated nuclear attack aircraft (like the Mirage 2000N), in limited numbers, would be a valuable component of deterrence in the nuclear triad. Given the relations between France and India, the option needs to be explored.
29 http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=7874, accessed on 13 December 2006
30 Flight International, September 05-11, 2006.
31 News item in The Hindu, 28 November 2006.
32 http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Units/Fleet.html accessed on 13 December 2006.
33 Lt Gen RS Nagra (Retd.), Brahmastra of Future Wars, Air Power Journal, Spring 2006, Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi. p 38
4. Deep Interdiction. This mission is the prerogative of Jaguar fleet of the IAF, with the MiG 27 chipping in. There is an upgrade programme for the Jaguar and the IAF would be looking at the aircraft remaining in service beyond 2020, with about 80 aircraft. The proposed MRCA would also have to take on some of the task of deep interdiction. In the interim, making the existing platform more capable with PGMs and giving it better avionics would serve the purpose. Aircraft like MiG 27 can also be used, but to a limited range as no AAR capability is available, and it may not be cost effective to provided for it.
5. Strategic Reconnaissance and Surveillance. Till recently, the IAF had the reconnaissance version of MiG 25 but it has been phased out and the mission has now moved to space. However, the space-based assets are woefully inadequate. Even for the assets that are available, their integration with other combat elements (the command, control and shooters) in near real-time has not yet taken place. An indigenous capability for satellite imagery and its processing with networking of various elements needs to be pursued for prosecution in a joint war fighting environment.
6. Strategic Airlift. The present assets are about a squadron and half of Il-76 aircraft.34 Needless to say, for a country of India's size and requirements of intra-theatre airlift, in addition to airlift to island territories, the numbers just don't match up. The expeditionary mission of air power in India's region of security concern is entirely dependent on a robust strategic airlift capability. It is argued that the growing civil aviation assets could be requisitioned for the purpose. However, these will come into play only in case of a planned operation and at a later time frame. Initial task would, perforce, have to be carried out by the IAF. Therefore, at least three squadrons of strategic airlift aircraft need to be acquired over the next two decades. At present, the IAF does not have a medium lift tactical aircraft, suitably equipped for Special Operations. This shortcoming was
34 http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Units/Fleet.html accessed on 13 December 2006. painfully evident in the Kandhar episode. At least one squadron of C-130 class of aircraft fully equipped with the wherewithal for special operations needs to be inducted at the earliest. The requirement gains urgency in view of the fourth generations warfare being waged on India from many quarters. Though seemingly a tactical capability, it is deliberately being included in the strategic assets, primarily because the effects of such operations are often strategic in nature.
7. CSFO. Operations in conjunction with land and naval forces are presently assigned to MiG 21, MiG 27 in case of the former and Jaguar for the latter. The numbers are inadequate and the capabilities are equally inadequate. The MiG 21 upgrade is in progress and the fleet is likely to be supplemented by LCA as and when it enters service. By 2020, IAF should be looking at some 150 upgraded MiG 21 and about 100 LCA.
8. Aid to Civil Power. The medium transport fleet of the IAF (occasionally also the strategic airlift aircraft) and its utility helicopters are mainly utilised for aid to civil power. The utility helicopter fleet is being augmented with induction of 80 Mi-17IV helicopters by 2008.35
Additionally, Dhruva (Advanced Light Helicopter) is also being inducted, but the numbers remain inadequate, as the aircraft has not yet attained full operational capability. The medium transport fleet comprises about 112 An3236 aircraft, which are likely to be upgraded. But considering the requirements, the aircraft with a range of only about 800 nm and load carrying capacity of only five tonnes hardly fits the bill. HAL and United Aircraft Corporation of Russia have recently inked MoU for design and development of Medium Range Transport Aircraft (MRTA), the likely replacement for An32.37
The aircraft is planned to be designed and developed within four years, but the if past record of HAL is any indication, the prototype may be a decade away and in service date could possibly be pegged at 2020.
35 Gazeta, 17 October 2006, as quoted in Strategic Analysis, November 2006.
36 http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Units/Fleet.html accessed on 13 December 2006.
37 New Item in The Hindu, 26 November 2006.
9. At first glance, a sixty-squadron force may appear to be too ambitious and unjustifiable. After all hasn't the country managed without such a massive complement of air power in the past? Actually, the IAF today is barely adequate against Pakistan and is not in a position to engage any worthwhile targets in China. The existing strength of air defence assets leaves many gaps especially in the east and southwest and would not deter a determined enemy from attacking high value targets in the country's heartland. India is thus open to coercion through the medium of air. Coupled with this, the ambitions to be a regional power aspiring for a permanent membership of the Security Council, the responsibility devolves on India to be able to project power in its area of security concern. It is toward this end that this force structure is focussed.
In the interest of prosperity of the country, a king should be diligent in foreseeing the possibility of calamities, try to avert them before they arise, overcome those which happen, remove all obstructions to economic activity and prevent loss of revenue to the state.38 ---Kautilya
1. The growing Indian economy, and the assurance that defence expenditure may go up to 3% of GDP in the near term would allow military capabilities that have been a professional warrior's dream for a long time. The change in relative power today allows India to become a self- assertive and independent strategic player in the world. There is not need to turn to the US and the UK to pull our Kashmir chestnuts out of the fire, fight terrorism, and even to define the nature of India's nuclear threat and, therefore, of the nuclear deterrent, as if what is in the US' interest in also in India's.39
2. Considering the reach and flexibility of air power, the deterrence, punishment and escalation control could best be executed by a strong, networked and well-trained defence force working jointly to achieve national security objectives. The air power needs to be understood, not only by the land and naval forces, but also by the policy-making academia, bureaucrats and the political leadership. Only then will it be possible to weave it in to the strands of national security policy.
3. The recommended force structure for the IAF in circa 2020 is as
Su 30 MKI
38 LN Rangarajan. Kautilya The Arthashastra. (New Delhi: Penguin, 1992), p 116.
39 Sh Bharat Karnad, Seminar, Nov 2002 (Issue no 519).
C 130 (Special Ops)
4. In addition to the air assets outlined above, the following capabilities would need to be acquired: -
(a) Network Centric Warfare.
(c) Strategic Surveillance and Reconnaissance.
(e) Special Operations.
(f) Missile Defence Systems.
(g) Advanced Surface to Air Missiles. (h) Cruise Missiles.
(i) Surface-to-Surface missiles. (j) Indigenous Space Assets.
(k) Bases in Indian Ocean Region.
5. All these acquisitions and capabilities must be indigenous to the greatest extent possible. The private sector in India has become globally competitive and the national strength in IT must be leveraged to India's advantage. Stephen Cohen has written that "In the area of computers, engineering and advanced research, Indian-American talent may well exceed the talent available in India itself."40 Innovative steps are required to reverse this situation.
6. The role of air power in the 21st century India would include avoiding being surprised, deterrence through punishment, information dominance, escalation control and quick victory or conflict termination on own terms. The air power missions which flow out of these goals are air superiority, air defence, LRPS, deep interdiction, strategic reconnaissance and surveillance, strategic lift, CSFO and aid to civil power. There will be a need to acquire surgical strike capability to exploit the reach and escalation control function of air power, especially so in fighting the fourth generation warfare with some of our adversaries.
7. Historically, the counter air campaign has not only generated inter service controversy but, as a key doctrinal component, remains little appreciated. The overall strategy is to seize the initiative, carry the war into enemy territory and neutralise enemy air power. What needs to be appreciated here is the fact that command of air is not an end in itself, but an essential pre-requisite for quick and successful prosecution of the land and maritime campaigns. After an air campaign of almost two months, the land campaign in 1991 was over in a mere 100 hours. Such is the critical importance of counter air campaign that with it, anything is possible and without it, everything is at risk.
8. Indian leadership has had little inclination to engage the armed forces in a serious discussion on challenges to national security. It is mostly a one-way dialogue from the higher echelons of the services to the leadership, that too, through the bureaucratic filters. Therefore, it is not surprising that military power in general and, air power in particular remains little appreciated at the highest levels of national leadership. Stephen Cohen has poignantly brought home this reality in his book,
India: An Emerging Power, where he says that "In no middle or great 40 Stephen P Cohen, India: An Emerging Power, (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001). power is military's advice so detached from political or strategic decisions."419.
It is time that the Indian nation regains its rightful place amongst the comity of nation, which it so rightly deserves. But nobody is going to give it to us. India's primary objective is to achieve economic, political, social, scientific and technological development within a peaceful and democratic framework. This requires an environment of durable peace and insurance against potential risks to peace and stability. Autonomy of decision making in the developmental process and in strategic matters is an inalienable democratic right of the Indian people.42 Since India's security is an integral part of her developmental process, it could only be ignored at a serious risk to the well being of its billion plus citizens. For this reason alone, if for no other, the strands of combat air power must be woven into the fabric of national strategy.
41 Stephen P Cohen, India: An Emerging Power, (Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001). 42 Indian Nuclear Doctrine (Draft), Agni: Studies in International Strategic Issues, Vol 4, Number 2, Feb-May 1999,
1. Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.
2. Rizvi, SAA. The Wonder That Was India Part II, New Delhi: Rupa & Co, 1993.
3. Baru, Sanjay. Strategic Consequences of India's Economic
Performance, New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2006.
4. Naipaul, VS. India A Wounded Civilisation, London: Deutsch, 1977.
5. Huntington, Samuel P. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and
Politics of Civil-Military Relations, Harvard: Harvard University Press,1957.
6. Emme, Eugene E. ed. The Impact of Air Power: National Security and World Politics, New York: D Van Nostrand & Company Inc, 1959.
7. Mason, Tony. The Aerospace Revolution: Role Revision and Technology-An Overview, London: Brassey's, 1998.
8. Mason, Tony. Air power: A Centennial Appraisal, London: Brassey's, 1994.
9. Singh, NB. Air Power in the New Millennium, New Delhi: Manas Publications, 2000.
10. Cohen, Stephen P. India: An Emerging Power, Washington: Brookings Institution Press, 2001.
11. Rangarajan, LN. Kautilya The Arthashastra, New Delhi: Penguin 1992.
1. Kak, Kapil. A Century of Air Power: Lessons and Pointers,
Strategic Analysis. March 2001.
2. Phadke, RV. Response Options: Future of Indian Air Power Vision 2020, Strategic Analysis. January 2001.
3. Karnad, Bharat. Seminar. November 2002.
4. Singh, Jasjit. Some Reflections on the IAF, Air Power Journal. Monsoon 2004.
5. Nagra, RS. Brahmastra of Future Wars, Air Power Journal. Spring 2006.
6. Strategic Analysis, November 2006.
7. Agni: Studies in International Strategic Issues, Feb-May 1999.
8. Flight International, September 05-11,2006.
1. The Hindu, 01 Dec 06.
2. Indian Express, 03 July 2006.
3. The Hindu, 28 November 2006.
1. Raj, Janak, Director RBI. Indian Economic Scenario: 2020
Perspective. Guest Lecture at CDM on 28 July 2006.
2. Karnad, Bharat. Guest Lecture at CDM on 07 September 2006.
3. Rao, Narsimha T. India's Foreign Policy. Guest Lecture at CDM on
04 December 2006.
1. Annual Report of the Ministry of Defence, Govt of India,
www.mod.nic.in/reprts/welcome.html accessed on 07 December w2006.
2. Annual Report to the US Congress: Military Power of the Peoples
Republic of China, www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/2006/
2006-prc-military-power.htm accessed on 04 December 2006.
3. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/newsrf.php?newsid=7874, accessed on 13 December 2006.
4. http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Units/Fleet.html accessed on
13 December 2006
CORE COMPETENCIES DESIRED
"If you want peace, prepare for war."
Flavius Vegetius Renatus circa 375 AD
1. The core competencies represent the combination of professional knowledge, airpower expertise, and technological know-how that, when applied, produces superior military capabilities. Within the Air Force, core competencies provide a bridge between doctrine and the acquisition and programming process. In the context of long-range planning, defining future core competencies provides strategic focus for the vision. Each core competency illuminates part of the strategic vision that will guide decisions and set the course toward the Air Force of the 21st Century.
The core competencies required by IAF to become a credible Strategic Air Force by year 2030 are listed below.
Rapid Global Mobility
Rapid Global Mobility provides the nation its global reach and underpins its role as a global power. The ability to move rapidly to any spot on the globe ensures that tomorrow the nation can respond quickly and decisively to unexpected challenges to its interests.
When an operation must be carried out quickly, airlift and aerial refueling will be the key players. Rapid Global Mobility may build an air-bridge for joint forces, enable multi-national peace efforts, or speed tailored support to forces already on the scene.
Rapid deployment would remain the future combat force multiplier. Fighter forces paired with precision weapons provide formidable capabilities that our mobility fleet can deploy worldwide and sustain at high in-theatre sortie rates. In other cases, such as delivery of humanitarian relief, the rapid delivery of material is the focus of effort.
In the 21st Century, Rapid Global Mobility will be multi-faceted. Better use of commercial carriers will be made to increase the efficiency of Air Force mobility. The speed with which forces are moved will increase, and airlift and air refueling capabilities must be able to deliver tailored forces operating with a smaller footprint.
Joint Vision 2010 defines Precision Engagement as the capability "that enables our forces to locate the objective or target, provide responsive command and control, generate the desired effect, assess our level of success, and retain the flexibility to re-engage with precision when required."
The Air Force's Precision Engagement core competency provides the nation with reliable precision, an ability to deliver what is needed for the desired effect, but with minimal risk and collateral damage.
Technology has driven each military era's definition of precision. In the 21st Century, it will be possible to find, fix or track and target anything that moves on the surface of the earth. This emerging reality will change the conduct of warfare and the role of air and space power. As Air Force members, we have a responsibility to understand, develop and advocate new ways that air and space power can serve the nation and the Joint Force Commander. We must develop new operational concepts that clearly address how air and space power can achieve directly or contribute to achieving the full range of joint campaign objectives. Our ideas and doctrine must be as creative and flexible as the instrument itself.
When conflict occurs, the Air Force of the 21st Century must be able to offer options for the employment of force in measured but effective doses. To do so, the Air Force will rely on global awareness capabilities to support national decision-making and joint operations to determine military objectives and enable precise targeting. Air and space forces will then apply power that is no less overwhelming because it is also discriminating. Discriminating effects are selective; they aim for efficiency and steer away from unwanted collateral damage. The Air Force core competency of Precision Engagement will remain a top priority in the 21st Century.
Core Competency: Global Attack
The ability of the Air Force to attack rapidly anywhere on the globe at any time is unique. The military utility of air power, particularly its speed, range, and flexibility prompted creation of the Air Force as a separate Service following World War II.
With the advent of the Cold War, Air Force long-range bombers and later intercontinental ballistic missiles began their vital roles in the nation's first priority of deterring nuclear war. Although nuclear weapons no longer play as central a role in America's national security strategy as they did during the Cold War, we recognize the dangers posed by the efforts of rogue states and others to acquire them. The Air Force will sustain its efforts in the nuclear area and strengthen its response to the growing risk of proliferation. To this end, the Air Force will maintain the bomber and land-based ballistic missile legs of the Triad while remaining prepared to undertake further reductions as circumstances require. The Air Force will also sustain its commitment to support the nuclear requirements of the theater CINCs. Moreover, the Air Force remains absolutely determined to maintain its record of excellence as the custodian of nuclear weapons by ensuring the safe and secure operation of those weapons.
Air Force short- and long-range attack capabilities continue to support the deterrence of conventional warfare by providing versatile, responsive combat power able to intervene decisively when necessary. The ability of the Air Force to engage globally, using both lethal and non-lethal means, is vital to today's national security strategy of Engagement and Enlargement. At present, almost a quarter of Air Force personnel are deployed overseas at any one time. The Air Force will maintain that level of commitment and will employ air and space power aggressively to meet the nation's needs for presence and power projection. Over time, however, technological change, threats to forward bases, asymmetric strategies by adversaries who seek to deny entry to U.S. power projection forces, and growing budgetary pressures will likely change the way the Air Force carries out its presence and power projection missions.
The Air Force has developed and demonstrated the concept of an Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) rapidly deployable from the United States. This expeditionary force can be tailored to meet the needs of the Joint Force Commander, both for lethal and non-lethal applications, and can launch and be ready to fight in less than three days. The Air Force will develop new ways of doing mobility, force deployment, protection, and sustainability in support of the expeditionary concept.
Air Force power projection and presence capabilities today are a complementary mix of long-range and theater aircraft, based in the United States and forward-based. The Air Force has relied heavily in the past on the elements of that mix that were permanently forward-based overseas. Currently, the Air Force is increasing the role of expeditionary forces to maintain its global engagement capability. In the future, capabilities based in the continental United States will likely become the primary means for crisis response and power projection as long-range air and space-based assets increasingly fill the requirements of the Global Attack core competency.
Core Competency: Air and Space Superiority
Superiority in air and space - control over what moves through air and space - delivers a fundamental benefit to the Joint Force. It prevents adversaries from interfering with operations of air, space or surface forces, and assures freedom of action and movement. The control of air and space is a critical enabler for the Joint Force because it allows all U.S. forces freedom from attack and freedom to attack. With Air and Space Superiority, the Joint Force can dominate enemy operations in all dimensions - land, sea, air and space.
Gaining Air and Space Superiority is not just operationally important, it is also a strategic imperative for protecting American lives throughout a crisis or conflict. It is the precursor for Dominant Maneuver and is also the basis of Full-Dimensional Protection. Strategic attack and interdiction - crucial to the outcome of any battle - are not possible without air superiority. Effective surface maneuver is impossible without it. So is efficient logistics. The bottom line is everything on the battlefield is at risk without Air and Space Superiority. Moreover, if air dominance is achieved and joint forces can operate with impunity throughout the adversary's battlespace, the Joint Force Commander will prevail quickly, efficiently and decisively.
Defense against ballistic and cruise missiles is an increasingly important element of Air and Space Superiority. The rapidly growing theater and global threat posed to Americans and America's interests by cruise and ballistic missiles is one of the developments which is accelerating warfare along the air-space continuum. The Air Force is moving aggressively to counter this threat. Although the global and theater missile threats are now addressed separately, over time they will merge into a common missile defense architecture, becoming a single counter air and space missile defense mission.
Core Competency: Information Superiority
In no other area is the pace and extent of technological change as great as in the realm of information. The volume of information in joint warfare is already growing rapidly. The ability of the future Joint Team to achieve dominant battlefield awareness will depend heavily on the ability of the Air Force's air- and space-based assets to provide global awareness, intelligence, communications, weather and navigation support. While Information Superiority is not the Air Force's sole domain, it is, and will remain, an Air Force core competency. The strategic perspective and the flexibility gained from operating in the air-space continuum make airmen uniquely suited for information operations.
Providing Full Spectrum Dominance requires a truly interactive common battlespace picture. The Air Force is committed to providing the integrated global and theater air, space and surface picture of the battlespace to the 21st Century Joint Force Commander. Moreover, its future Battle Management/Command and Control (BM/C2) systems will enable real-time control and execution of all air and space missions. The Air Force will also ensure that its information systems will be fully interoperable for seamless integrated battlespace management.
The Air Force will exploit the technological promise of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and explore their potential uses over the full range of combat missions. The highest payoff applications in the near-term are Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) and communications. A dedicated Air Force UAV squadron will focus on operating the Predator medium-range surveillance UAV, which also will serve as a testbed for developing concepts for operating high altitude, long endurance UAVs. In the mid-term, the Air Force expects that suppression-of-enemy-air defense (SEAD) missions may be conducted from UAVs, while the migration of additional missions to UAVs will depend upon technology maturation, affordability and the evolution to other forms of warfare.
Information Operations, and Information Warfare (IW) in particular, will grow in importance during the 21st Century. The Air Force will aggressively expand its efforts in defensive IW as it continues to develop its offensive IW capabilities. The top IW priority is to defend our own increasingly information-intensive capabilities. Already dedicated and operational in the garrison defense of computer systems, the Air Force will continue to invest in defensive IW, and move to defend its forward-deployed assets, particularly in BM/C2. On the offensive side, the Air Force will emphasize operational and tactical IW and continue, in conjunction with other Federal agencies, to support strategic information operations.
Core Competency: Agile Combat Support
Agile Combat Support is recognized as a core competency for its central role in enabling air and space power to contribute to the objectives of a Joint Force Commander. Effective combat support operations allow combat commanders to improve the responsiveness, deployability, and sustainability of their forces. The efficiency and flexibility of Agile Combat Support will substitute responsiveness for massive deployed inventories.
Combat operations in the 21st Century will require highly responsive and agile forces. The Air Force leadership adopted the concept of time-definite resupply, a fundamental shift in the way we support deployed forces. Resupply of deployed forces will begin upon arrival, reducing their initial lift requirement. Time-definite delivery will form the basis for all resupply in the theater, thus reducing total lift requirement. When combat commanders require an item, the system will reach back to the continental United States and deliver it where and when it is needed. This reach-back approach will make it possible to deploy fewer functions and personnel forward for the deployment and sustainment processes. This, in turn, will reduce the size and therefore the vulnerability of our forces forward. Providing for force protection is not just a matter of airbase operability and security, as important as they are. It also involves the redesign of our power projection forces to reduce the size of the force protection problem.
To provide Agile Combat Support, information technology must be leveraged to improve command and control which is key to accurate and timely decisions. As an example, the ability to know the location of critical parts, no matter which Service or agency holds the parts, will allow enormous gains in efficiency. The Air Force depot system will continue to reduce cycle times and streamline its infrastructure. Outsourcing and privatization, as well as other Services' capabilities, will be major tools in helping to move the materiel required for deployed forces from "factory to flightline." These concepts will be pursued, first in the context of the Air Expeditionary Force and, once matured, for the 21st Century force.
Agile Combat Support's essential contribution to air and space combat capability complements the Joint designation of Focused Logistics as an operational concept, which is indispensable to achieving Full Spectrum Dominance.
STRATEGIC ROLES OF AEROSPACE POWER
The most decisive victory is of no value if a nation is bled while gaining it. More potent and economical form of warfare is disarmament through paralysis rather than destruction through annihilation".1 - Liddel Hart
1 The ability of air power to reach, disrupt or possibly destroy an opponent's strategic or operational centre of gravity suggests that air power is inherently capable of military action with strategic effect. That effect may be created through independent distinct action or through joint or multinational activity operating in conjunction with other forces. Throughout the history of air power, air platforms and their associated weapon systems have been able to carry the fight to the enemy.
2. Two air power theorists from the USAF, Colonels Warden and Boyd have propounded path breaking theories of paralysing the enemy by strategic application of air power2. While Boyd talks of paralysing the enemy psychologically and weakening his will to fight, Warden emphasises the need to physically paralyse the adversary by attacking leadership, infrastructure, communication links and fielded forces as part of his now famous "Five Ring Theory" based on Clausewitz's centres of gravity, which formed the heart of the air campaign in Operation Desert Storm. In the conduct of strategic art, it is always much easier and more cost-effective to trigger functional paralysis rather than implement an annihilation strategy based on destruction of the enemy's armed forces. While the strategic air campaign that aims at paralysis is based on the overwhelming asymmetry the US forces are likely to enjoy in any conflict scenario, it is important for the strategy planners in India too to understand the tremendous advantages of creating asymmetry vis-a-vis potential adversaries by building up a potent strategic air capability that is built around technology, force multipliers and multi-theatre capability. The strategic roles in which air power could be employed are discussed in succeeding paragraphs.
1. John Boyd and John Warden," Air Power's Quest for Strategic Paralysis : David S Fadok, a thesis presented to the School of Advanced Air Studies, Jun 1994
Pol i tical S i gnalling
3. Air power has the ability to consistently provide the dominance of the battlespace with the utilisation of manned as well as unmanned airborne platforms that can stay on station for long durations of time. This ability can transmit clear signals to any enemy, thereby dissuading him from any misadventure. These signals may be transmitted in terms of raised alert status, extensive surveillance activities and deployment of combat forces at critical operational locations.
4. It is a tool used to influence an. opponent's decision-making calculus either to prevent a policy action from occurring (deterrence) or to force a policy change after execution (compellence)16. AP 3000 defines coercion as "the use of force, or threat of force to persuade an opponent to adopt a certain pattern of behaviour against his wishes." Coercive leverage comes from the enemy's expectation of more violence and anticipation of higher future damage. The characteristics of speed, flexibility, reach and lethality provide air power with wide ranging capabilities to undertake coercive tasks. Three examples are the rice bombing of Jaffna in 1987 which demonstrated India's ability to intervene in a crisis situation in its neighbourhood and forced Sri Lanka to sign the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement; Operation Deliberate Force in 1995 by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) air power to force Bosnian Serbs to remove heavy weapons from designated exclusion zones; and Operation Allied Force, to change the thinking of President Milosovic of Yugoslavia. At display in these cases were air power's inherent characteristics of reach, speed, responsiveness and lethality (in the Yugoslavian example), to achieve strategic objectives of a nation/ group of nations, when employed in a coercive role. Without doubt, air power is the premier instrument of strategic coercion today.
5. The existence of credible deterrence can truly prevent war or any conflict. In case deterrence fails, there should be sufficient offensive capability to thwart any misadventure. Conflict prevention is the critical strategic role of an air force, essentially by possessing strategic deterrence capability. The existence of threat available in deterrence must be obvious to the enemy. Deterrence has a psychological element and in addition to the availability of credible forces, can be strengthened by resolute policy, demonstrated military capability, the will to use force and a readiness to escalate, should deterrence fail.
6. The notion that the strategic employment of air power is inextricably linked to bombing and bombardment is derived from historical experience. The purpose of the strategic employment of air power is to create strategic effect on the identified target set. This effect will be in support of the defined strategic aim but may not be part of a theatre campaign. In April 1986, exasperated by terrorist actions supposedly backed by the Libyan President, Col Qaddafi, the Reagan Administration authorised a retaliatory night air attack. For Operation El Dorado Canyon, a joint US Navy (USN) and US Air Force (USAF) force was mounted against terrorist and airfield targets in Libya. The Libyans boasted of an air force of 500 aircraft and a formidable ground environment bristling with integrated surface-to-air missile (SAM) sites, armed mainly with Soviet missiles and radar guided anti-aircraft guns. At 2.00 am local time on April 15, the coordinated raids of the USN and USAF swept into Libya to hit their targets. The attack lasted for thirteen minutes, and cost the Americans the loss of one F-l11 crew, but caused considerable damage to the Libyans.
7. The primary task of the air force is to gain and maintain "command of the air". If this is achieved, the resultant air supremacy will allow the land, sea and air operations to continue without enemy air interference. This was amply demonstrated in 1971, when the IAF gained command of the air over East Pakistan within the first 48 hours. Thereafter, the ground forces were able to move at a faster pace towards Dhaka. It was also possible to mount heliborne operations and launch airborne operations of a brigade group by using transport aircraft. All this would not have been possible without first achieving air supremacy. "Command of the air" has to be gained by fighting for it. With an opponent who has the state-of-the-art aircraft and weapons, combined with quality training and high morale, it would be a struggle for survival by each side. Therefore, in peace-time, it is imperative that the nation provides the best possible weapon systems, training and high class leadership which is truly professional, motivated and dedicated.
Psychological Operations (PSYOPS)
8. PSY OPS played a significant role in operations such as Operation Enduring Freedom, in which air-mobility missions delivered humanitarian rations while, at the same time, air-combat sorties struck militarily significant targets in other parts of Afghanistan. Furthermore, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Coalition forces dropped both leaflets and ordnance to prompt enemy soldiers to surrender. They also broadcast messages to them over their own radio systems. These transmissions had the complementary effect of denying the Iraqis use of their own radios. Air, space, and information power are all psychological instruments that can influence an adversary's perception, behaviour, and morale. For this reason, USAF PSY OP activities serve as an integral part of air operations planning and targeting processes; rather than as mere adjuncts. US aircraft, by their dynamic presence and actions, transmit an unmistakable psychological message to most adversaries. The mere threat or presence of superior aircraft can ground an enemy's air force, demoralise his army and civilian population, or promote stability. In the Kosovo operations, Lt Gen Short intended to generate functional and psychological effects targeted directly at Slobodan Milosevic." The IAF certainly needs to formulate appropriate doctrines and procure suitable equipment to conduct PSY OPS at all levels of any conflict.
9. The strategic airlift capability of a nation will govern to a large extent its armed forces' ability to respond. The airlift of troops by the IAF from Delhi to Srinagar to combat the Pakistani intruders was instrumental in saving two-third of Kashmir, including Srinagar. The airlift operations conducted by the IAF during Oeration Meghdoot resulted in the initiative being with Indian troops. This manifested in the Indian Army taking control of two-third of the highest battlefield in the world while the Pakistan Army was still preparing to launch operations. The IAF employed transport aircraft and helicopters to transport troops and stores, as well as airdrop supplies to the high altitude locations." On the night of November 3, 1988, the Indian Air Force airlifted a parachute battalion group from Agra and flew them non-stop over 2,000 km (1,240 miles) to Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Hulule and secured the airfield and restored the government rule at Male within hours.
Force Projection/Out of Area Contingencies (OOACs)
10. Depending on the quantum of force required and the time available, air power is the primary instrument of choice for force projection and OOAC situations. The tasks that could be envisaged include assistance provided to friendly countries (Maldives in 1988), humanitarian aid (tsunami aid to Indonesia/Sri-Lanka), protection of sea lines of communication (SLOCs), deterring offensive designs of the enemy, support for UN missions, rescue of Indians from crisis situations and protection of offshore platforms or island territories. These tasks require possessing an extended reach and a rapid response capability. There is a need to enhance our strategic airlift potential initially to brigade strength and thereafter to a division in the long term.
Need an essay? You can buy essay help from us today!