Security environment in neighbourhood far from ideal, must prepare for hybrid warfare: IAF chief

The security environment in our neighborhood remains far from ideal, Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari said Tuesday, stressing the need to complement India’s economic progress with a mirroring of domestic military capabilities. Noting that the country faces a variety of threats, the Air Chief Marshal said the particular challenge lies in the convergence towards hybrid warfare and the country must prepare for such warfare.

“The effects of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are being felt around the world. The world faces an economic recession, with many smaller countries already facing the brunt of the political and economic instability caused by hyperinflation. In this environment, India continues to be an outlier as our economy has shown a robust recovery,” he said here at the Indian Defense Conclave.

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“The security environment in our neighborhood is still far from ideal. Therefore, our economic progress must be complemented by a reflection of our own military capabilities. Rapid economic growth has enabled countries to invest heavily in military technology and related research and development,” he added.

The Air Chief Marshal noted that there have been attempts by various power centers to increase their reach into vulnerable and abandoned spaces in the economic, technological and military spheres.

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“India, as a responsible power, is committed to enhancing cooperation and collaboration towards the goals of sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth and security,” he said.

Chaudhari emphasized that given the prevailing political scenario today, it is important for the Indian Air Force to improve its capabilities in the conventional, subconventional and non-conventional areas.

“As we speak, new technologies, platforms, weapons, systems and forms of warfare are being conceived that have the potential to make existing inventory less relevant or even obsolete. Our opponents have developed extensive capabilities in several areas, which can affect us in the event of an escalation or even in a non-war and non-peace situation.

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“Today we face a multitude of threats, but a particular challenge lies in the convergence towards hybrid warfare. To counter such threats, we must build and maintain a technological edge over our adversaries and prepare for hybrid warfare. Indigenous R&D and production await platforms, sensors, weapons or networks, which is very crucial for future capability building,” he said.

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