Aerial platforms will affect outcome in war and peace: Raha

Arup Raha
Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha today stressed the need for procuring aerial strategic assets on a continuous and long-term basis, saying it will affect the outcome in war and peace.

His comments came at a time where the Air Force is facing a possible depleted strength in the near future owing to planned phasing out of fighter aircrafts.

Addressing the top brass of the three services and civilian officers of the government at the Naval War College, Goa, he said aerospace power is the youngest by virtue of a mere 110 years of existence and has a unique advantage of freedom from surface friction inherent in land and sea operations.

Stressing on the primacy of aerospace power, he also said that it would remain the primary instrument of choice in most operational contingencies and thus affect the outcome in war and peace.

Talking on the subject 'Transformation of the IAF- Challenges and Opportunities', Raha stated that for India to have a greater strategic footprint in the existing world order, the requirement of aerial platforms for enhanced air mobility, heavy lift, airborne early warning and in-flight refueling were considered inescapable.

"These platforms would also have enhanced relevance in the future threat environment," an IAF statement quoted him as saying.

He said it was imperative that procurement of strategic assets be made a continuous and long-term endeavor, based on judicious allotment of funds combined with visionary planning and commitment of national resources, involving all stake holders.

Three squadrons of the aging MiG 21 and MiG 27 fighter jets are set to be phased out this year.

Senior Air Force officials are hopeful that the government will quickly wrap up the ongoing negotiations for 36 Rafale jets with France even as they await the Mark 2 version of the indigenous light combat aircraft Tejas.

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