Col AK Sharma (Retd)


As the Indian Air Force gets ready to commemorate the 87th Air Force Day on 08 Oct 2019, this issue of the magazine is dedicated to assessing many of its strengths. IAF’s strategic lift capability, its latest acquisition – the Apache, and comparison between shore and carrier based air assets are some of the issues connected with IAF’s power. Most importantly the cover story calls for fresh assessment of IAF’s capabilities and restructuring, taking into account acquisition of new technologies and force multipliers. It is our considered opinion that force levels should be re-evaluated and restructured in all domains after due consideration of new threats born out of emerging and disruptive technologies. Beyond current readiness concerns, we are at a point where we can no longer afford to defer modernising our capabilities and developing new ones.

As Air Marshal Ramesh Rai states in his article in this issue, “Force structuring an air force is always a challenge for military planners as they must endeavour to build the right mix of capabilities to address the myriad challenges of the future battle space. The challenges get further complicated by the prospect of the types and generations of platforms and technologies that can be inducted vis-à-vis the costs involved. These key elements of the structure are identified based on the strategic construct and operational concept for fighting a future war”.  This brings us to the new capabilities that the IAF has acquired in strategic mobility. AVM Sanjeev Kapoor, ACAS Ops (T&H) has authored a feature on the subject which appears in this issue.

Integrated theatre commands have been the subject of debate after Prime Minister’s statement on the institution of CDS. Widely accepted as the final testimonial of jointmanship, theatre commands aim to maximise synergy amongst all the services. However, whether or not the model suits Indian conditions and geography, is a different matter. Readers will find this piece interesting and well analysed.

For those keen on understanding the ramifications of removal of Article 370 and the way forward, Gen Ata Hasnain’s articles are highly recommended.

All of this and much more informative and analytical stuff in this Sep- Oct issue. Wishing all our readers an enjoyable and happy festival season!