Balakot airstrike showed air power can be effectively used in ‘no war, no peace’ scenario, Indian Air Force chief says

Team India Sentinels Tuesday 18th of April 2023 10:48 PM

Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari. (Photo: Indian Air Force)

New Delhi: The chief of the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, on Tuesday, said India’s air power was critical considering India’s adversaries as it can be effectively used in a “no war, no peace” scenario. He highlighted this by giving the example of the 2019 Balakot airstrike, in which the Air Force bombed a terrorist camp deep inside Pakistan in retaliation for the deadly Pulwama suicide attack on a CRPF convoy that had killed 40 soldiers.

ACM Chaudhuri said this while delivering his speech at the Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh Memorial Seminar on the topic of “Aerospace Power: Pivot to Future Battlespace Operations”, in New Delhi. The thinktank Centre for Air Power Studies organized the seminar.

He said, “Operations like Balakot have also demonstrated that given the political will, aerospace power can be effectively used in a ‘no war, no peace’ scenario, under a nuclear overhang without escalating into a full-blown conflict,” adding, “Attributes of aerospace power enable the leadership to formulate an appropriate strategy with due cognizance given to the desired end state, conflict termination criteria and escalation matrix.”

“This is very important given the nature of our adversaries. The response options available to the leadership have suddenly increased and increasingly, air power has become an option of choice due to inherent flexibility and unmatched precision strike capability,” he said.

Stressing on the critical necessity of air power, the air chief said, “The foremost lesson that can be drawn from the twentieth century, and indeed the early twenty-first century, is that no war can be successfully prosecuted without aerospace power.”

The air chief also stressed the need to be in sync with modern warfare strategies. He said, “The traditional battlefield has long left the lexicon of modern strategists and what is increasingly being used is battlespace in the land, sea, air, cyber and space domains. … The future battlespace will be increasingly complex characterised by heavy dependence on technology, asymmetric nature of threats, increased fog, and friction, expanded battlespaces, high tempo of operations, enhanced lethality, compressed sensor to shooter cycles and media scrutiny.”

It may be recalled that in February, the Air Force released its revised doctrine in which it laid out its role in a “no war, no peace” scenario. Tuesday’s speech by the air chief is seen by experts as an explanation with reasoning of the same.


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