IAF commanders assess force levelsOctober 12th, 2011 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) Top commanders of the Indian Air Force (IAF) Wednesday began a three-day conference here to discuss the force’s transformation in terms of its planes and weapons assets and on-ground infrastructure, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh bordering China and Pakistan.
In his opening remarks at the conference, the IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, said the air force was witnessing an unprecedented phase of modernisation and capability enhancement and can effectively respond to any attempts at undermining India’s national security.
“The transformational change can be witnessed in all facets of capability building that include not only combat platforms, but also induction of force multipliers and air mobility platforms to provide strategic reach and operational flexibility,” he said.
The conference is being attended by the heads of the five operational commands, as well as the training and the maintenance commands of the IAF, apart from the principal staff officers of the air chief.
The commanders would discuss key issues relating to operations, maintenance, infrastructure development and human resources, particularly about the training of personnel, both men and women.
“The key focus is likely to be on strategising various aspects related to training and development of air warriors with special emphasis on consolidating flying training and development of air warriors to cope with the depletion in trainer aircraft resources,” an IAF release said.
Recent air crashes involving rookie pilots had led to the IAF deciding to stop training recruits on the supersonic and “unforgiving” Soviet-era MiG-21 combat plane from January 2013. Browne has also said that two of the three recent MiG-21 air crashes were due to errors by their young pilots.
“An emphasis would be seen to be laid on the infrastructural development in the North and North Eastern areas to improve response time through forward basing of armed forces’ assets and supporting the Indian Army in challenging conditions,” the release added.
The army, which is simultaneously holding its own commanders conference, had a couple of days ago sought night-landing facilities in the airfields and advanced landing grounds in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states to enhance the load carrying capacities of the IAF aircraft and helicopters.
Other issues to be discussed at the IAF commanders conference include the pace of progress in platform and weapon inductions and various processes in the effective integration of modern air defence radars and weapon systems.
Various maintenance issues such as the life-cycle philosophies and modernisation of maintenance practices to enable a more inclusive role for the Base Repair Depots in maintaining legacy systems would also be deliberated upon.
Based on the insights gained during the induction of the Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, the commanders would also review the processes of the US government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme to ensure smooth induction of the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavylift aircraft.
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