Chiefs of Air Staff Conclave at Aero India 2021
Air power has major role in maintaining regional stability and peace in Indian Ocean Region, says Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh;
First ever such gathering attracts participation from 40 countries
Posted On: 03 FEB 2021,Delhi
The Chiefs of Air Staff Conclave began at Aero India 2021 at Air Force Station, Yelahanka on February 03, 2021. Chiefs of Air Staff (CAS) of more than 24 countries are attending the conclave physically and 16 virtually. The theme of the two-day event is “Leveraging Aerospace Power for Security and Stability”.
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh in his address, said that Aero India 2021 isintended to showcase India’s intent to be among the top countries in defence and aerospace industries citing the example of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) that has been successfully operationalised and inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF) with state-of-the-art weaponry. Shri Rajnath Singh said that the superior performance of this aircraft has impressed aviation experts around the world.
Raksha Mantri said that the LCA Mk-1A will be indigenously designed, developed and manufactured and would bolster the “Make in India”initiative of the nation. He added that close to 500 indigenous design and production agencies are involved in the manufacture of the LCA. Speaking of the success stories of the indigenous defence industry he applauded the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for testing 12 missile types spanning the spectrum of ranges and purposes in a matter of one and a half months.
Shri Rajnath Singh added that the IAF has launched a major indigenisation drive for sustenance of all aircraft fleets and maintenance aspects and expressed belief that this will prove to be the growth engine for Indian’s domestic aerospace manufacturing capability.
Raksha Mantri said that the country has reached an inflection point in domestic defence manufacturing and the trajectory from here on would only be upwards.He expressed the intention of the country to cooperate with defence partners in these niche technologies with focus on knowledge sharing and co-production.
Shri Rajnath Singh assured that India can take on the role of being the net security provider in the region adding that air power has and would continue to play a critical role in maintaining regional stability and peace in the region. Recalling Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s historic keynote address at ShangriLa Dialogue-2018, Shri Rajnath Singh said that the Prime Minister had articulated the key role of India’s Armed Forces in building partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region for peace and security, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Raksha Mantri further said that India’s unique disposition in the Indian Ocean Region complimented by a potent airlift capability of IAF enables it to contribute significantly in Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) missions.He pointed out that in the last five years itself India has tackled roughly about 100 contingencies during which more than 6,000 sorties have been flown evacuating over 44,000 persons in distress. He said India had been regularly conducting exercises to deepen HADR cooperation and coordination with neighbours with focus on sharing expertise and assisting capability building.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria pointed out that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, rising mistrust and geopolitical tensions have reinforced the need for mature and balanced cooperation at the international level. In this backdrop, there is a need to strengthen mutual understanding and existing security frameworks based on the principles of cooperation, collaboration and co-existence, he stressed, recalling that the IAF has built bridges of friendship through numerous bilateral and multilateral exercises with a large number of nations who share common values and interest in maintaining peace and stability. He said conclaves such as the current one, provide an opportunity to discuss current and emerging security challenges and enhance cooperation among the air forces.
Referring to the changing nature of warfare Chief of Air Staff said that advent of new technology and cross linking of physical, digital and cognitive domains have complicated the art of fighting. The understanding of national boundaries has shifted beyond classical definitions, he said. He added that low cost and easy availability of technology to state or non-state actors have made them more lethal and capable of generating disproportionate effects. He said that the IAF was closely observing these developments and was working on capabilities in the unmanned and optionally manned platforms, manned unmanned teaming and anti-drone technology.He highlighted the growing criticality of space-based technologies for modern warfare and the importance of software capabilities in the digital great game. Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat was also present in the Conclave.