Air Power and the Strategic Balance: The Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal

Edited by Air Marshal ANIL CHOPRA PVSM AVSM VM VSM (Retd)

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Over the past decade, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean at large have become critically linked to the future of the Indo-Pacific. They have emerged as centres of global power play with increased strategic significance. The objective of this book is to analyse the rapidly changing dynamics in this vital region, with a particular focus on regional multilateral and minilateral set-ups, including QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue), Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), AUKUS (Australia-UK-US), and others. Positioning India at the centre, this book examines the delicate strategic balance of power in the Indian Ocean region, especially looking at air power, capacity building, and air-sea battle operations. It seeks to understand how like-minded Indo-Pacific countries can work together to enhance collaboration in varied domains ranging from nuclear energy to air power and cyber security to economic and supply chain cooperation. Through such collaborations, India and its like-minded partners can work together to reduce the predominance of any single nation, and ensure that they can actively shape a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. In this sense, the legacy multilateral institutions and the new minilaterals emerging within and across the region are aimed at securing a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific. The book comprehensively covers geostrategic issues in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, with focus on air power being the fulcrum of strategic balance in the region. With a cross-section of contributions from experienced and emerging scholars, this book is a must-read for practitioners and research analysts in the aforementioned domains.

Edited by Air Marshal ANIL CHOPRA PVSM AVSM VM VSM (Retd)

Air Marshal Anil Chopra PVSM, AVSM, VM, VSM (Retd), is a fighter pilot, test pilot, and a pioneer of the Mirage-2000 fleet, who has commanded a Mirage 2000 Squadron and the Flight Test Centre, Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) of the Indian Air Force (IAF). He was the Team Leader of the MiG-21 Bison Upgrade project in Russia. He has commanded operational air bases in both the Western and Eastern Sectors. He was head of the IAF in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and head of Operational Inspections of the IAF. He retired as the Air Officer Personnel. He has been a member of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Lucknow Bench, and member of the Executive Council of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He has also been an advisor on a committee of the National Green Tribunal. In addition to the four Presidential awards, he is recipient of the Gandhi Family Peace Medal for his work in J&K. An avid writer, Air Marshal Chopra has more than 600 articles published in various magazines, newspapers and books. He has recently written a book titled China, The Rising Aerospace Power: Implications for India, and was also the co-editor of a book titled The 1971 Indo-Pak Air War: Reflections and Projections. Air Marshal Chopra is presently the Director General of the Centre for Air Power Studies (CAPS) and runs “Air Power Asia” (, a website that puts Asia’s aviation and military power into the correct perspective.


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About the Editors and Contributors

PART-I: Air Power in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal

1. Air Power Key to Multi-Domain Operations in the Indian Ocean Region
Anil Chopra

2. PLAAF in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal: Contest for Air Dominance
SP Singh

3. Strategic Importance of the Bay of Bengal in the Future of the Indo-Pacific
Sreoshi Sinha

4. Integrated Air Power in the Indian Ocean Region
Swaim Prakash Singh

5. Air-Sea Battle over the Indian Ocean: Force Ratio Balance
Joshy M. Paul

PART-II: Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean in the Indo-Pacific

6. Indian Ocean in the Indo-Pacific Strategy of the US
Vivek Mishra and Rushali Saha

7. Quad and the Trilaterals in the Indo-Pacific: Air Power an Effective Tool
Dinesh Kumar Pandey

8. Japanese and Korean Air Power: Counter-Balance to the PLAAF in the Indo-Pacific
Simran Walia

9. An Assessment of Power Projection Across the Taiwan Strait
Radhey Tambi

10. AUKUS and the Indo-Pacific Chessboard: Towards an (In)Stable Regional Security Architecture?
Mahima Duggal

PART-III: Military and Economic Inf?luencers of the Indo-Pacific

11. Impact of South China Sea Dispute on the Security of the Indo-Pacific: Analysis of Some Possible Scenarios
Pooja Bhatt

12. India-Japan Economic Relations in the Indo-Pacific Region
Anushree Dutta

13. Powering the Indo-Pacific: A Study of India’s Bilateral Nuclear Energy Engagements in the Region
Prachi Lokhande

14. Supply Chain Resilience in the Indo-Pacific
Neha Mishra

15. Placing Cyber in the Great-Game of the Indo-Pacific: Challenges and Solutions
Khyati Singh




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