Need For Seamless Integration Of Air Force & Ground Operations

We with our northern adversary have only short windows of opportunity that will play up and disappear within hours. These need to be addressed, prepared for and focused on.

Need For Seamless Integration Of Air Force & Ground Operations

To presume others don’t know Air Force operations is the biggest problem to start with.

Airforce needs to have a seamless integration with ground operations atleast when facing a two and a half front enemy.

All that aerial bravado has to be brought into operational space as and when required by the ground forces in the right time and correct space.

Operational integrity from the word go and priorities of orchestration of campaigns need to be in perfect sync.

We with our northern adversary have only short windows of opportunity that will play up and disappear within hours. These need to be addressed, prepared for and focused on.

With the northern adversary all your air campaigns of interdiction, degradation will come to naught, 'cause India as a nation will never be the aggressor or the perpetrator of a preemptive strike. In this context the Air Force is a reactive force which is going to be targeted massively, air bases, aerial assets etc. The enemy AD technology is far superior and ours we all aware of. If our Air Force needs to be part of the success story they better be part of the operational plan and leave their strategic grandeur to fantasy.

Questions the Air Force needs to ask themselves:-

  • Can we preempt?
  • Can we strike Chinese airfields and depth targets successfully once battle is joined?
  • Can we even function from own forward bases?
  • Can we shape the battlefield in mountains, in a  heavy anti air environment like we do in the western front?
  • Is there an Air Force asymmetry? Sheer numbers?
  • Everyone knows the issues of high altitude and efficacy of arty and air in mountains, do we have an airborne capability that will manifest in operations across?
    When we start counting force onto force the asymmetry is not only glaring but a cause for major concern.

This kind of enemy can’t be fought in the conventional domain. Therefore compact, fully integrated teams with absolute precision towards calibrated success is the need. Here, airforce is not the war preventer or the pre-emptor, it’s the reactor. Please understand this.

Below is an extract from the Eurasian Times dated Oct 12 , 2021.

‘The total number of combat aircraft in IAF service is just over 600 while PLAAF has twice that number and most of them are modern jets while India still is straddled with museum pieces like the MiG-21 and Jaguar, which have been kept in museums or used as gate guardians in countries of their origin — Russia and the UK, respectively’.

I rest my case with the helplessness of never being able to convince our air warriors about the truth and pragmatism of employment and accepting the need of the hour.


Neil John  has hit the nail on the head ! Absolutely right.

Neil is right - there won’t be classic roles of Interdiction, Bombing, Dog Fights and Close support missions in the rapidly changing war dynamics of the future.

I have been asking my IAF friends to spell out the role of IAF in a future war. Instead of answering this, they are  accusing others of not knowing Air Force.

Those who support IAF’s fantasies of itself  expose themselves of their lack of understanding of future war . They should know whether in the wake of BVR weapons systems — what freedom and manoeuvrability manned fighters / bombers would have? I am surprised some senior veterans  were so blank on these developments. High rank is no visa  for futurology!

The author is a military analyst & commentator on national security issues

(Views expressed are the author's own and do not reflect the editorial stance of Mission Victory India)

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