Network-Centric warfare with strategic reach was the focus of Air Chief Marshal S P Tyagi’s speech this morning at the inauguration of the Air Force Commanders’ Conference here.
The IAF’s conceptual indoctrination of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, collectively called C4I in the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), is being dovetailed expeditiously in anticipation of assets that will allow the force to have far-reaching strategic capabilities.
The network-centric warfare broadly describes the combination of emerging tactics, techniques and procedures that can be combined through communication systems and computers to create a war-fighting advantage. The IAF is now waiting for assets that will propel it squarely into the next generation of strategic capabilities.
For example, the importance of the IAF’s Frontline Base Strike Units (FBSUs), traditionally armed with air defence and ground-strike jets, will diminish with the roll out of long-range multirole fighters like the Sukhoi-30, capable of refuelling in mid-air and engaging adversaries far beyond the country’s borders.
Also, the integration of three Phalcon Airborne Warning and Control (AWACS) aircraft will let the force look far and wide for air intruders during peacetime and engage enemy air assets during war.
With a continuous revamp of communications infrastructure to create a seamless superhighway for tactical and battlefield data between commander and the fighting forces, the conference will also discuss the training procedures for officers and airmen that such large-scale upgradations in technology will demand.