Understanding of Airforce needed by leaders for right use: Air Chief

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Pune, Nov 18 (UNI) A thorough understanding of the principles of airpower and its applications are essential to enable the military and political strategists to use it when required, Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major said here today.

''It is our mandate to provide our leadership with an array of response options. The questions of when, where, why and how to use aerospace power will continue to torment the military and political strategists in the future, if they do not understand our principles,'' the Air Chief Marshall said, while delivering the B C Joshi Memorial Lecture, at the University of Pune's Department of Defence and Strategic Studies.

''Aerospace capabilities of a nation, undoubtedly form one of the major strands of its strategic posture. Control and superiority in this sphere, not necessarily in direct conflict, automatically places a national in a position of pre-eminence, giving it strategic power,'' he said.

While referring to the contribution of aerospace power with specific reference to the India Air Force (IAF), in furthering relationship with other countires, the chief of airstaff said after long decades of seclusion, it was only around 2004 that the the IAF re-initiated interaction with foreign Air Forces and made its present felt on the international stage.

He also said in the past four to five years, the IAF has participated in bilateral and multilateral exercises in the USA, South Africa, France, UK, Singapore, UAE and with many other countries. The competence and professionalism of the IAF is now recognised the world over, he added.

Putting light on the future plans of the Air Force, the Air Chief Marshall said, ''To acquire our envisaged potential, the Indian Air Force is in the process of a very comprehensive and focussed modernisation programme. IAF is incorporating a wide range of equipments, which includes all types of aircrafts, weapons, missiles, sensors, communication equipments and also upgrading the airfield infrastructure, laboratories and maintenance facilities.'' Narendra Jadhav, Chancellor of the University of Pune, was also present for the function.

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