“No need to import attack helicopters…” IAF Chief highlights power of Made-in-India LCH Prachand

"No need to import attack helicopters..." IAF Chief highlights power of Made-in-India LCH Prachand

Indian Air Force transforms into Indian Air and Space Force, focuses on space capabilities

The Indian Air Force (IAF) is undergoing a major transformation as it aims to become the Indian Air and Space Force (IASF). With a new doctrine centered around the effective utilization of the “air and space continuum” and a “Space Vision 2047,” the IAF is pushing forward to become a credible aerospace power. This shift comes as the IAF collaborates with various organizations, including Isro, DRDO, and IN-Space, to develop niche space-related technologies. The IAF’s goal is to fully exploit the potential of space and establish India as a force to be reckoned with in the final frontier.

Expanding Space Capabilities:

The IAF’s efforts in space go beyond intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities. Collaborating with Isro, DRDO, IN-Space, and the private industry, the IAF is working on projects related to positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT), advanced ISR and communications, space weather prediction, and space situational awareness. The aim is to develop over 100 military satellites in the next few years, with the help of the private sector. The tri-Service Defence Space Agency, established in 2019, is also evolving into a full-fledged Space Command.

Transitioning from Air to Space:

Space has become an integral part of the IAF’s training, with exercises focused on space-related contingencies. The IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari, emphasizes the need for India to develop defensive and offensive capabilities in the space domain. The success of ‘Mission Shakti’ in 2019, where India tested an anti-satellite interceptor missile, serves as a foundation for further advancements. The IAF recognizes that near space (20 to 100 km altitude) and outer space will be crucial battlegrounds in future conflicts. To prepare for this, the IAF is developing advanced winged bodies capable of seamless operations between air and space.

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The Global Landscape:

China has been rapidly developing and deploying various anti-satellite weapons, including kinetic and non-kinetic options. The People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force focuses on space operations, while the United States established a dedicated Space Force in 2019. Other countries like the UK, Japan, France, and Russia also have space commands or wings within their air forces. In response, the IAF recognizes the need to transition from existing air-superiority missions to operations in both air and space domains.

Conclusion:

The Indian Air and Space Force’s transformation marks a significant milestone in India’s quest for aerospace power. With a focus on space capabilities and collaborations with key organizations, India aims to establish itself as a force to be reckoned with in the final frontier. As space becomes an integral part of future battlespaces, the IAF is taking proactive steps to ensure it is prepared for the challenges ahead. By harnessing the power of space, India is positioning itself as a key player in the global aerospace arena.

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