June 2016

Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC, Chief of the Air Staff

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:

Gen Dalbir Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM, Chief of the Army Staff

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:

Lt Gen Subrata Saha, UYSM, YSM, VSM**, DCOAS (P&S)

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.

Admiral RK Dhowan, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC

“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?

Services’ Qualitative Requirements (SQR)

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.

Scholar Warriors

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.

Aerospace Command

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.

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