Reams have been written on the advantages of air power in speed, stealth, reach, precision and lethality.
Its core competencies remain reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition to enable precision and lethal attacks, and for rapid deployment or extraction of men and material. Technological developments over the years, especially in accuracy of air to ground attacks, reach of the aircraft, and precision of weapon systems, have further made it possible to hit enemy centres of gravity or provocation (such as the terror infrastructure that Pakistan supports and uses against India), without having to follow a sequential war of attrition or ground force assaults. Growing air power effectiveness presents itself as a precision tool particularly for deterrence by punishment and even coercive diplomacy.
Air Cmde Jasjit Singh was a serious student of air power and an ardent proponent of its role in national security. During three decades that he spent in think tanks, he wrote abundantly on the many characteristics and operational possibilities of air power. This book brings together some of his select writings on a subject which has gained in relevance worldwide; and in India, particularly since the IAF air strikes on terrorist camps at Balakot in Pakistan following the terrorist attack on an Indian CRPF convoy at Pulwama on February 14, 2019.
This compendium provides a thought-provoking view of the strategic potential of air power. It will whet the appetite of students of national security to look for more of his writings beyond these few and make their own assessments. Nothing would have satisfied Jasjit Singh more than to see the rise of an informed view on the subject of air power.
Edited by Manpreet Sethi | Shalini Chawla
Dr Manpreet Sethi is Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi where she heads the project on nuclear security. She is an expert on the entire range of nuclear issues from nuclear strategy and energy to non-proliferation and disarmament. She has published eight books and over 90 papers in reputed journals and edited volumes. She is a regular speaker at leading establishments of Indian Armed Forces, Police and Foreign Services. She was Member of Prime Minister’s Informal Group on Disarmament in 2012 and has participated in several Track II initiatives. She is Consultant with Nuclear Abolition Forum and Board Member of Asia Pacific Leadership Network. She is recipient of the prestigious K Subrahmanyam award, an honour conferred on a scholar for excellence in strategic and security studies.
Dr Shalini Chawla is Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS), New Delhi. She joined CAPS in 2006 and the focus of her studies is Pakistan and Afghanistan. She is the author of Pakistan’s Military and Its Strategy (2009), Nuclear Pakistan (2012) and ed. India’s Sentinal (2014). She has published articles on a wide range of defence and security issues in reputed national and international journals and she lectures regularly at various universities, think-tanks and leading institutions of Indian Armed Forces and Foreign Services. She is actively engaged in India's Track 1.5 dialogues.
Foreword by KK Nohwar
1. Some Reflections on the IAF
2. Strategic Reach-Strategic Depth and the Question of the IAF’s Strategic Posture
3. Winning the Next War – Jointly
4. Air Dominance and the Future of Air Power
5. Some Aspects of Our Wars in Future
6. Air Dominance Over the Oceans
7. Air Power in the Decades Ahead
8. The Challenge of Indigenisation: The Case of the Aircraft Industry
9. Pakistan Air Force: Modernisation Trends
10. Air Power at Balakot: Exploiting Flexibility for Strategic Effect