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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

India: Sea lanes


An opinion piece praising India's growing sea power focus and cooperation with friendly nations here:
The threat to sea lanes and lines of communication, commerce and crude oil is more real than ever before. What the Royal Navy alone could have done in the 20th century can no longer be resorted to by even the American navy. Today’s navies need to pool their expertise and resources to deal with the common threat from terrorists and fundamentalists. The Indian navy is on the right track, politically motivated protests notwithstanding. A land-fixated elephant can never understand the depth and the dangers of the sheet of water that constitutes two-thirds of the earth’s surface.
UPDATE: Not to be out done by the Navy, the Indian Air Force is thinking big:
he IAF is formulating a new war doctrine in tune with its objective to transform the force into a true aerospace power with "potent strategic reach" spreading from the Persian Gulf right up to Malacca Strait.

A "select" team of officers, led by IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Fali Homi Major, had already prepared a "first draft" of this new airpower doctrine. "It will undergo a few revisions before it is finalised," said a source. "The SOPs (standard operating procedures) and 'flying orders' for the entire IAF will follow from the new doctrine, which will also dwell upon the application of military power," he added.

The doctrine will revolve around the primacy of airpower in "shaping" or "customising" the battlefield in such a way that the Army, as also the Navy, can carry out its designated tasks. The world's fourth largest air force after US, Russia and China, the IAF visualises itself as "a global player" in the years ahead. Eventually, it hopes to become "an expeditionary force" on the lines of US air force, with the capability to rapidly deploy and operate across the globe.

The doctrine will also incorporate the lessons learnt in recent wars like the US-led attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq, which saw "smart bombs" like high-accuracy JDAMs (joint direct attack munitions) being used in all-weather conditions.
"Potent strategic reach".....hmmm.

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