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Kalam’s vision ’25: Tech-savvy IAF
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Visualising the IAF in 2025 as a force based on scientific and technological competence, President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said the winners of future wars would be warriors who can foresee the enemy strength on the basis of scientific and technological capabilities and develop suitable strategies for meeting any eventuality.

“By 2025 the IAF would be a model air force for the rest of the world to emulate. It would be having the very best of technology, alert and agile strategic planning capability and above all the most professional and dedicated air warriors,” he said while addressing air force personnel, members of their families and invited civilian dignitaries after reviewing the IAF fleet here today.

The IAF fleet was reviewed by the President, also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, after 31 years. The force, among other events, is commemorating its Platinum Jubilee which falls on October 8. This is the fourth presidential review in the IAF’s 75-year history.

Future wars would, the President said, have more intelligent, integrated and autonomous platforms, weapons and sensors for optimum utilisation of assets and enabling speedy precision strikes. “The war will integrate Army, Navy and Air Force assets together with force multipliers for inflicting maximum damage to the assets of the adversaries in minimum time through seamless integration of joint operations.”

Kalam said high power lasers and microwaves would dominate the war scenario.

Stating that the Air Force had started acquiring unique capabilities by including several technologically advanced state-of-the-art platforms, sensors and weapon systems, the President said the government was committed to modernising the IAF and induct force multipliers to enhance operational performance and improve flight safety.

He said up-to-date intelligence in the battlefield was an important input for strategic planning. The introduction of the AWACS would enhance the IAF surveillance capabilities manifold.

Mid-air refuelling capability and precision strike power with the IAF have added a new dimension to air warfare, he added.

Earlier, he reviewed the IAF fleet and took the salute from an impressive parade, where all 41 Standards and Colours awarded to IAF squadrons and establishments were trooped. An impressive flypast, starting with the Ensign, where three Mi-17 helicopters flew the Tricolour and the IAF flag, trailed by 17 Jaguars forming the figure of “75”, was organised.

Almost all types of aircraft and weapon systems in the IAF inventory, be it fighters, helicopters, transports, trainers, missiles and UAVs, were showcased. Special heli-borne operations by attack and utility helicopters as well as mid-air refuelling were also demonstrated.

The show was capped by a thrilling performance by the Sarang Helicopter and Surya Kiran aerobatic teams. A para-drop by 75 skydivers led by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, was the other highlight of the day.

Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta, governors of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, state ministers and a host of senior serving and retired armed forces officers were among those who witnessed the review. A First Day cover was also released.

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