Ukraine conflict has lessons for future wars, IAF must gear up: Rajnath Singh

Ukraine conflict has lessons for future wars, IAF must gear up: Rajnath Singh

India News


The Ukrainian conflict has lessons for future wars and the Indian Air Force must gear up for it, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday.

“If we look at some of the recent conflicts, there are several insights. If we closely watch conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and more recently, Ukraine, we will get many points to think about and plan for future wars,” Singh said delivering the keynote address for the 37th Air Chief Marshal PC Lal Memorial Lecture.

The event was attended by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; President of the Air Force Association Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd) and senior officers of the IAF, both serving and retired.

“Change is the rule of nature. It also applies to war. We have to think whether we are ready for the changing warfare. No one can predict when such wars may happen. As students of military and geopolitics, it is our duty to assess what will be the form and shape of future wars. Our adversaries are making military use of space. This has the potential to adversely impact our interests. Therefore, you have to up your game. Should Indian Air Force move towards becoming Indian Aerospace Force. The time demands that we ponder over it,” Singh said.

He added that to defend against space-guided attacks and for the security of our space assets, IAF should ponder over technological evolution, developing expertise and human resource management.

“Technology has had a massive impact on not just wars but even our daily lives. It is not necessary that advanced weapons systems and platforms will ensure victory. Technology is a force multiplier, but without innovative employment it will be reduced to a showpiece,” Singh said.

The defence minister also brought up the issue of defence supplies being under stress due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and pushed for self reliance in defence.

The event was attended by Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari; President of the Air Force Association Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria (Retd) and senior officers of the IAF, both serving and retired. (Express photo by Amit Mehra)

“No nation can be secure only on the basis of imports. We have been dependent on imports for a long time to secure our borders. From MiG to Sukhoi to now Rafale, we have imported essential defence equipment from across the world. Recent conflicts, particularly the Ukrainian conflict, have taught us that when it is a matter of national interest, there is always the possibility of tension in not just defence supplies but even commercial contracts. Thus self-reliance is very important for sustaining our independence,” Singh said.

He added that road of self-reliance that the government had chosen was not easy. “Perhaps, we may not find it economical even. But we are certain that in the middle and long run it will help us build a robust industrial foundation,” he said.

Singh also made a special mention of aviator and former Odisha CM Biju Patnaik. Singh said that his role during conflict with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 was exemplary.

“In October, 1947, before Indian armed forces could reach Jammu and Kashmir, invading forces (from Pakistan) had already arrived. I would like to make a special mention of Biju Patnaik here. As a pilot, he played a very important role in helping soldiers of the Sikh Regiment reach Kashmir when tribal raiders had cut off the road connectivity. It is said that had the airport in Jammu and Kashmir, which was till then only used by Raja Hari Singh, gone out of our hands, so would have J&K. In this context, the contribution of Biju Patnaik can never be forgotten,” Singh said.

On the occasion, the Raksha Mantri also released a book titled ‘INDO-PAK WAR 1971- Reminiscences of Air Warriors’. The book comprises 50 articles penned by the veterans who have shared their experiences in detail. The book has been edited by Air Marshal Jagjeet Singh and Group Captain Shailendra Mohan.





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