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Thread: IAF breaks new ground

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    IAF breaks new ground

    IAF breaks new ground


    The IAF along with the Indian army and navy plans to work towards the integration of fire power resource to ensure optimum effect on the target.
    The75-years old Indian Air Force (IAF) as part of its long term plan to emerge as a truly continental force, is now seriously pursuing the creation of a tri-service aerospace command. As envisaged, the Indian Aerospace Command, whose headquarters is planned to be located in Thiruvananthapuram, will help extend its reach and boost its strike capability by a substantial extent. As pointed out by the IAF Chief, FH Major, over the years the responsibilities of the Air Force have not only increased tremendously but the force's area of operations might go up to the South China Sea.

    Suffice to state, that the IAF is preparing the ground for operating beyond the home-base. On the issue of using outer space to augment the capability of IAF, Major said, "Having sensors in the sky gives us a lot of strength. We have a lot to learn. We are talking to the Army and the Navy for the joint use of the command. It is going to take time. The scope for putting weapons in space is as wide as space. For the moment we are not thinking on those lines". Of course, the significance of the successful anti-satellite test carried out by China in early 2007 as part of its ambitious plan to exploit the outer space to boost its "strategic punch" has not been lost on the IAF.

    The state owned Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as well as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are expected to make an important contribution to the aerospace command through their know-how, expertise and hardware. To begin with, the Indian Aerospace Command, considered a force multiplier by the Indian defence establishment, would make use of a string of satellites being operated by ISRO for a variety of end uses including communications, earth observation, weather watch, and navigation.

    Further into the future, the Indian Aerospace Command is expected to build is own constellation of satellites designed for communications, surveillance, reconnaissance, weather monitoring and navigation. Moreover, if everything goes as planned, India's first exclusive defence satellite Cartosat-2A designed for surveillance would be launched along with an Israel-built military reconnaissance spacecraft by the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) before the end of the year.

    The stunning success with which the US-led allied forces made use of a string of satellites to realize their goals during their operations in the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq has nudged the IAF to go in for an Aerospace Command for putting in place a net-centric warfare strategy. Clearly, a network-centric warfare capability would not only help expand the strategic reach of IAF but also make for its air dominance in the areas of interest.

    The rapidly evolving net-centric warfare concept centres on the coming together of separate communications systems under a single, composite synchronized network. This in sharp contrast to the traditional platform-centric network based on a separate and often non-interoperable network-centric warfare, thus paving the way for a faster and more efficient strike capability. The Indian Navy too, has rolled out its net-centric warfare plan. In fact, the Navy has been in discussion with the ISRO for a satellite system to support its operations with a particular reference to getting the coverage of the entire Indian Ocean region.

    In the ultimate analysis, by using both the space-based assets and the ground supporting system, the Indian Navy seeks to interlink armament, intelligence and the communications set-up of the warships and flotillas, whether in mid-ocean or on shore. The IAF on its part plans to make use of the UAVs with a laser designator and a combat aircraft with laser-guided bombs as a lethal force multiplier to sustain its air superiority. The Israel-built Searcher and Heron UAVs in service with the IAF can easily cover all types of terrain in the Air Force's area of interest and provide real time surveillance and targeting.

    As a logical extension to the use of the UAVs, the IAF plans to build a significant level of capability in the area of UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles). Importantly, the IAF along with the Indian army and navy plans to work towards the integration of fire power resource to ensure optimum effect on the target.

    Similarly, efforts are on to exploit the advances in the areas of communications, computers, command and control and information and interoperability (C412) with a view to get a holistic picture of the battle space and hit the targets with a high degree of precision in real time.

    On another front, intelligence, surveillance and the reconnaissance (ISR) system that would help monitor the movement of enemy formations would be realized through the extensive use of air and space platforms. Of course, the key to the success of the operations would be held by the GPS System which helps the defence forces to beam their positions into a central system. Significantly, during the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the entire reconnaissance information including the tactical UAV imageries were analyzed at a central facility and transmitted back to the ground forces with a minimum loss of time.

    By all counts the network-centric operations paves the way for information sharing across multiple levels of the traditional echelons of command and control. Significantly, the availability of accurate and detailed information at all levels holds the key to the success of network-centric operations. The IAF is now studying the aerospace commands and network-centric warfare concepts of other countries.

    Coming to the brass-tacks, the Air Force which is striving to become a force with more lethal power, plans to retain only three types of combat aircraft in its fleet - the Russian-made Sukhoi, the home-grown fourth generation Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas and the 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA), the process for the acquisition of which has already been initiated. The idea behind this philosophy is to trim down the inventory so that the complexity involved in maintaining various types of fighter aircraft is reduced. Currently, the IAF fleet flies eight types of aircraft.

    Added Air Chief Major for good measure, "In the future, we will have a few lethal weapons so that maintaining them will be easier. Typically, we are looking at a fleet comprising the Su-30, LCA and MMRCA." However, as a stop-gap arrangement, the IAF has taken up the upgradation to extend the service life of the existing aircraft. "The Jaguars and Mig-27s have been upgraded. We are now negotiating the upgradation for Mig-29 and Mirage-2000,"quipped Major.

    The IAF is also expecting the first of the 66 Hawk AJT it has ordered from BAE Systems before the end of this year. The induction of the Hawk AJT would fill a vital gap in the area of training the combat aircraft pilots.

    In fact, the increased number of mishaps involving the MIG aircrafts has been pinned on the lack of an advanced jet trainer. According to the contract India has signed with the BAE Systems, 24 of these trainers will be supplied in flyway conditions while the rest will be produced by the Bangalore-based aeronautical major HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd).

    The IAF is also preparing for the induction of the Phalcon Air Borne Warning and Control System which Israel would deliver next year. In the meantime, the Government has approved the proposal for the development of a fifth generation fighter aircraft as a joint enterprise between India and Russia. The air launched version of the Indo-Russian supersonic cruise missile Brahmos is now getting ready for trials with SU-30MKI combat aircraft platform.

    On its part, the DRDO has decided to initiate work on the development of the Medium Combat Aircraft (MCA) with stealth features. The MCA would make use of the technologies developed for the LCA. Similarly, the development of a Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) by HAL would add to the fighting punch of IAF.

    There is no gainsaying that opportunities and challengers of the future drives the IAF to look beyond the Indian skies with advanced technological systems and innovative warfare strategies.

    Radhakrisha Rao, INFA

    An interesting read

    :: Bharat-Rakshak.com - Indian Military News Headlines ::

  2. #2
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    *** shaking my head *** Well, there goes the Chief of Defence Staff idea out the window.

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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    *** shaking my head *** Well, there goes the Chief of Defence Staff idea out the window.
    Why so, sir?
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    I wanna be TopDog syndrome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    Why so, sir?
    Overall procurement strategy is the job of the CDS. It is him who has a vision of what the force should behave and look like. Here we have the birdbrain chief inviting the bellycrawlers and the boat people in on his policies. Not exactly a vision of an overall force.

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    Like I said, there needs to be a reform of the procurement process system and that will only happen when the MoD is seriously reformed.

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    Liberté, Unité, Egalité Senior Contributor Tronic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Overall procurement strategy is the job of the CDS. It is him who has a vision of what the force should behave and look like. Here we have the birdbrain chief inviting the bellycrawlers and the boat people in on his policies. Not exactly a vision of an overall force.
    I guess the IAF chief invisions the air force at the centre with the army and navy for support.
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.

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    He's got that right!

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    We're 1st in and last out. You just play with your stick. :-)

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    Why is this Pentagon Wars fever spreading to every military in the world?

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    Process On For Establishing Aerospace Command


    Once the aerospace command is created the strategic reach of India would extend beyond the confines of the globe.
    by Staff Writers
    Shillong, India (PTI) Nov 20, 2007
    India is on fast track to establish an Aerospace command that will help extend its strategic reach beyond the globe and exploit outer space besides controlling its space-based assets. "A space cell has been set up under the Air Vice Marshal. A tri-service dialogue will soon be held between the three defence forces as aerospace command will be a tri-services entity," Chief of IAF Air Chief Marshal F H Major told a press conference.
    The proposed Command being set up with the help of ISRO is vital for air dominance, he said.

    Once the aerospace command is created the strategic reach of the country would extend beyond the confines of the globe, he said, but declined to comment on the time-frame by when it would be set up.

    IAF, he said, had emerged as a potent force with trans-continental reach but transformation from a low-end to a high-end technology force required time.

    "Before going ahead on the ground, it is necessary to assimilate knowledge and create a knowledge base. We are vigorously pursuing the matter," he said.

    The Aerospace command was mooted by Major's predecessor ACM (retd) S P Tyagi.

    Defence sources said training has started for a core group of people for the proposed comand.

    The command will have distinct features as it is a military command and various components ranging from satellites, radars, communication systems, fighter aircraft and helicopters, keeping in mind diverse needs such as communications, reconnaissance and battlefield damage assessment.

    The command will also be used for civilian purposes by ISRO, the sources said.


    Source: Prsss Trust of India
    Process On For Establishing Aerospace Command

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    Does anyone know why india has none of the American planes? It seems to me India is just about dealing with everybody except America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinja View Post
    Does anyone know why india has none of the American planes? It seems to me India is just about dealing with everybody except America.
    CHEAPER!!??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bella View Post
    CHEAPER!!??
    Na, Politics. Somehow Americans during the 1960's figured Pakistani's were easy to work with when it came to American interest, while Indians had their own views on the world. In short, our independence and foriegn policy were not for sale. India was always pro-west. Cheaper has nothing to do with it. Americans have too much political strings attached to their products. Not something we enjoy. When we buy French, British, Swedish and Russian systems. Except for Russians, all of the rest are more expensive than the Americans, and we have'em

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zinja View Post
    Does anyone know why india has none of the American planes? It seems to me India is just about dealing with everybody except America.
    At the time when India and the former USSR made their deals, Soviet systems were on par and in some incidences, exceeded Western technologies.

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