The Indian Air Force is redefining its existing doctrine to incorporate contemporary circumstances, including its increasing role in disaster relief and UN peacekeeping, and acquisition of assets conferring a strategic reach capability.
''The IAF was the first service to formulate its doctrine, way back in the mid-1990s. Now, we are engaged in refining that doctrine to incorporate new challenges and roles such as UN peacekeeping, in which earlier the Army only figured. A study has been commissioned in this connection,'' Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Ajit Bhavnani told mediapesons here.
With increasing participation in disaster relief operations, the IAF has also drawn up standard proceedures for reacting to calamities and ensuring a faster response, he said, citing the examples of the devastating tsunami -- where the personnel at Car Nicobar ignored their own losses to instantly mount rescue missions, the floods in Mumbai, Himachal and other parts of the country, and most recently, the killer quake in Jammu and Kashmir.
''We also have to provide for an 'Out of Area' contingencies, where the IAF goes as an expeditionary force, not to fight but render assistance in the wake of calamities,'' he said.
On the IAF's Strategic Vision-2015, he said that it was only limited to the middle of the next decade because that was considered an optimum limit at the time the plan was drawn up, in respect of technology and assets.
''We will have to carry out a rethink in the next three to four years to incorporate newly-acquired assets such as the mid-air refuellers as well as the buddy-refuelling pods on the fighter aircraft that confer greater strategic reach as well as items in the pipeline like the three 'Phalcon' AWACS,'' Air Marshal Bhavnani said.
The Vice Chief noted that in a few years when all these assets are operationalised, the force would have to draft a new vision plan covering the period upto 2025 or 2030.
On a question whether the considerations of strategic reach capabilities could play a role in deciding which aircraft to acquire out of the five contenders for the 126 MRCAs, Air Marshal Bhavnani said these had already been factored in when the contenders were chosen.