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Deterrence would play significant role in preserving strategic autonomy: IAF chief


NEW DELHI (PTI):  Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Thursday pitched for a "whole of the nation" approach towards capability development of the armed forces and highlighted the pre-eminence of airpower as the instrument of choice to deal with any security challenges.

In an address at a seminar, he said deterrence would play a significant role in preserving strategic autonomy.

The Chief of Air Staff said that modern conflicts are likely to witness both "regular and irregular" styles of combat and that there was a need for India's armed forces to develop multi-domain capabilities.

"What we saw during the Arab Spring and what we are seeing now developing in Ukraine and Syria is how battles of tomorrow are likely to manifest," he said.

"Modern conflicts are likely to witness both regular and irregular styles of combat, sometimes, simultaneously," he said.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari said the traditional domains of land, sea and air have further expanded to include cyber and space domains which will be the battlegrounds of the future.

"In the past, the rise and fall of nations were dictated by the size and prowess of their fielded forces. However, conflicts in the last few decades have clearly established, without doubt, the pre-eminence of airpower as the instrument of choice for almost all operational contingencies," he said.

He also said that there is a need to synergise the strengths of individual services, adding that developing a tri-services data link is a combat imperative.

"A whole of nation approach towards capability development and warfighting is the need of the hour," he said.

Air Chief Marshal Chaudhary said the IAF is completely mindful of the changing nature of warfare and it has already reoriented our capability requirements for future wars.

"Agile combat employment to maximise speed and range would involve a combined force structure, optimised to take on the full spectrum of modern threats. Deterrence would play a significant role in preserving strategic autonomy," he said.

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