Empire, the IAF retained the prefix Royal after independence in 1947, only to shed it once the India transitioned to a Republic in 1950. Ever since the IAF has been charged with the responsibility of ‘Defence of India and every part thereof including preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilisation’. This is a directive mandating the IAF to safeguard Indian airspace and further national interests in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces, a task that the Service has performed with pride and elan. Since 1950 the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People’s Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operations Vijay, Meghdoot, Cactus and Poomalai. In HADR operations within the country and abroad, the IAF has always been the first responder and acquitted itself with flying colours. Our cover story thus, carries a brief account IAF’s evolution into a mighty force that the country is proud of. An interview with the Air Chief provides an insight into the present status and a glimpse of the future.
This issue carries a number of features on current topics of interest. Gen Ata Hasnain has written about IS expansion to new bastions in SE Asia. Admiral Chauhan’s second contribution on environment’s effect maritime issues is a revelation, while Vijay Skhuja’s take on AI (wearable devices) makes interesting reading. Readers will also get a fair dose of international relations as we cover, India-US, India-Japan and India-Russia relationships in separate features. Defstrat had the privilege of attending the DSEi London, and PACC-PAMS conference in Seoul. A brief account of these two events is also included in this issue. Wish you an enjoyable read.