Aerospace Power in Asia’s New Security Environment

Edited by: Air Marshal Anil Chopra PVSM AVSM VM VSM (Retd)

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Over the last decade, the world has undergone transformational changes with the centre of gravity shifting from the West to the East. The economic dynamism of the Asian continent has made it a robust engine for global growth and prosperity, giving credence to claims that we are now moving into the ‘Asian Century’. Yet, the changing nature of conflicts and the ever-evolving geopolitical landscape has made stability and security in Asia (and the Indo-Pacific region at large) precarious. China’s rise as an economic and geopolitical powerhouse has been accompanied by growing military strength and a willingness to employ aggressive (if not belligerent) strategies and tactics to achieve its interests. At the same time, instability in Pakistan, tensions over the Taiwan Strait, the war in Ukraine, and the militarisation in West Asia contribute to the delicate balance of security in the region. The acknowledgement of space as a warfighting domain, combined with the rapid growth in defence technologies, has further complicated the defence landscape in Asia and the Indo-Pacific today. Against this background, this year’s edition of the Asian Defence Review focuses on aerospace power in Asia’s changing security environment. It originates from CAPS’ research focus on India’s extended neighbourhood—the Indo-Pacific region—and aerospace power. It presents the perspectives of a cross-section of authors, who are experts in their respective domains, to paint a picture of the defence.

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.


Editor’s Note


Editors and Contributors

List of Tables, Figures and Maps


1. Asia’s New Security Environment and Great Power Competition
Anil Chopra

PART I: Strategic Environment Scan of Aerospace Capabilities

2. IAF Changing Dynamics
Swaim Prakash Singh

3. Indigenous Military Aviation: Production, Eco-systems and Expanding Potential
Savinder Pal Singh

4. PLA Air Force and Rocket Forces: Implications and Options for India
Joshy M Paul

5. Pakistan Air Force Advancements: Implications and Options for Indian Air Force
Dinesh Kumar Pandey

PART II: Air Power in India’s Extended Neighbourhood

6. Air Power in Japan’s Changing Security Posture
Mahima Duggal

7. The Evolving Defence of Taiwan
Mrittika Guha Sarkar

8. Air War in Ukraine: Lessons Learnt
Vijay Shankar Rana

9. Militarisation of the Arab World and India’s Options
Anu Sharma

PART III: New Dimensions and Domains of Modern Aerial Warfare

10. Key Issues Explained: Space Militarisation and Weaponisation
Arvind Pandey

11. Flying in the Cyber Storm: Challenges of Cyber Security for the Air Force
Divyanshu Jindal and Khyati Singh

12. A Historical and Technical Assessment of the Hyperbolic around the Hypersonic
Abhishek Saxena

SPECIAL CHAPTER: Capturing Veterans’ Stories

Special Heli Borne Operations in the 1971 ‘Liberation War’: A Personal Reflection
Pushp Vaid



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