As the Indian Air Force celebrates the 83rd Air Force Day on 08 Oct 2015, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff, in a frank and forthright interview with South Asia Defence & Strategic Review (Defstrat) articulated his views on a number of contemporary issues facing the IAF. Replying to our questions, the CAS in a freewheeling manner, addressed issues related to force planning, combat readiness and HR management in the IAF amongst others. Excerpts from the interview:
Full spectrum war waging capability remains an essential component of the military instrument of National Power and it cannot be diluted at any cost -General Dalbir Suhag
As the Indian Army celebrates 68th Army Day, Chief of the Army Staff in an interview with South Asia Defence & Strategic Review (Defstrat) articulated his views on a number of contemporary issues facing the Indian Army and the Nation. Excerpts from the interview:
In the increasingly competitive environment of defence procurement and capability development, Lt Gen Subrata Saha, UYSM, YSM, VSM**, holds the all important position of Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (P&S) and helps coordinate all defence procurements for the Army. He discharges this onerous responsibility with the same calm, composed efficiency that charecterises him. In a frank and forthright Q&A session with South Asia Defence & Strategic Review, the DCOAS (P&S) discusses diverse facets of defence acquisitions and the steps to streamline it.
“The Indian Navy’s strategy envisages positive engagement with maritime forces from friendly nations, so as to enhance mutual understanding, build interoperability, strengthen shared perceptions and develop opportunities for maritime security cooperation.”
Defstrat: During the International Fleet Review Indian Navy affirmed its position as a potent force capable of supporting the nation’s aspirations. It also sent a strong message of international cooperation friendship. What would be the next step?
“Success of Make in India in Defence would depend on making available test facilities for trial and validation of home grown products and technologies”.
The Indian Army Corps of Engineers has a long and gallant history dating back to the 18th century. With ‘Sarvatra’ as their motto, the Sappers are a key element in all operations of war and play a pivotal role in peacetime engineering support to the three services and have contributed immensely in Nation building.
A definition of QR given in a business dictionary states that it is ‘in contracting, quality of design specifications defined in narrative form to be later translated into numerical values’. In procurement parlance in the Services, it could be termed as General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQR), Air SQR or Marine SQRs. In general term it could be termed as Services QR (SQRs) as given in the DPP.
Listening to a lecture at an Army institution a student officer disagrees with what is being said. His own experience recalls something else but the teaching which the senior officer is referring to is on a different tack, more about theory. Situations in the profession of soldiering are seldom as per theory and planning. The officer’s grouse or disagreement could be given vent through a comment or a question at the end of the lecture but instead he reaches for his smart phone and punches a tweet of frustration followed by a Whatsapp message expressing his unhappiness.
“Simulators are amazing - they create reality where none exists.”
The policy drift and creeping paralysis over the modernisation and equipping of the defence forces with latest genre combat systems in the past one decade have undoubtedly taken a heavy toll of the combat capabilities of the eight decades plus old Indian Air Force (IAF). Buffeted with a gradual depletion of squadron strength and shortage of combat pilots, the IAF is struggling it out to remain battle ready for a full scale war on one front and holding action on the other.
In November 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Vienna Programme of Action for the sustainable development of landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) keeping in mind their geographical challenges and development needs. This 10-year action-plan identified six priorities areas for the LLDCs’ economies including infrastructure development and enhancing international trade, which in their case can take place through a maritime state.
The Indian Government is responsible for making decisions on how billions of taxpayers’ money is spent in acquiring the capabilities needed to defend the nation and its interests now and in the future. To aid the government in making these decisions, it is critical that defence forces provide robust, considered and timely advice followed through a transparent and accountable execution process.