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Challenges of Air Power in preventing conflict

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New Delhi, INDIA- 11 November 2014: The Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) is organizing the 11th Subroto Mukerjee Seminar on the 11th and 12th November 2014. The two-day seminar is based on the theme, “The Challenge of Air Power.” The highlights of the first day include the need to transform from indigenisation to developing indigenous capability, the mammoth rescue work undertaken by IAF during the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) floods in Operation (Op) Megh Rahat and the significant role of air power in preventing the escalation of conflict and loss of life.

The welcome remarks were made by Air Marshal Vinod Patney SYSM PVSM AVSM VrC (Retd) Director General, CAPS. Air Mshl Patney (Retd) commended the IAF leadership for the sterling job done by air warriors during the calamity of the J&K floods. Reinforcing the views of PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ drive, Air Mshl Patney (Retd) underlined the need to attain self-sustenance in defence production.

The inaugural address was given by Air Mshl SB Deo AVSM, VM VSM, Director General (Operations), IAF who was speaking on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff. He remembered the immense contribution made by the first Indian Chief of Air Staff, Air Mshl Subroto Mukerjee in restructuring the IAF and the maiden steps undertaken in the direction of moderinsation during his time. Key points highlighted by Air Mshl Deo were the role of air power in preventing the escalation of conflict, ‘Make in India’ drive and the optimal utilization of the taxpayer’s money by the defence forces.

The theme of the first session was ‘The Centrality of Air Power.” The session was chaired by the Air Chief Marshal SP Tyagi PVSM AVSM VM (Former Chief of the Air Staff). The key panelists were: AVM Upkarjit Singh AVSM, AOC, J&K, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha AVSM NM (Retd) and Amb Sheel Kant Sharma, Former Secretary General SAARC.

AVM Upkarjit Singh elaborated on the IAF’s relentless service during Op Megh Rahat. In the operation conducted on a war footing, around 85 aircraft were pressed into service in the limited air space of Srinagar; approximately 2883 sorties were undertaken and. 4454 tonnes of relief material was air lifted. Over 40,000 flood victims were evacuated from the affected parts of J&K.

The theme of the second session was ‘Air Power as a Technology Driver.” It was chaired by Air Mshl Patney (Retd). The key panelists were: Col Brad McCoy (Retd), Strategic Studies Group, Lockheed Martin Ltd, Wg Cdr KK Nair Research Fellow, CAPS, Mr. Christophe De Pauw, Dassault-Aviation and Gp Capt Sudhir Varma (Retd) ,Vice President, Saab India Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

Col Brad McCoy (Retd) made a presentation titled, "Speed & Reach: Shape of things to Come." Wg Cdr KK Nair elaborated on the importance of exploitation of space. Mr. Christophe De Pauw spoke on the future manned aircraft. The last speaker of the session, Gp Capt Sudhir Varma (Retd) elaborated on the importance of operational capabilities and ways to enhance them.

Source: Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS)

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