Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande on Wednesday highlighted the lessons learnt by Indian forces from the Russia-Ukraine conflict including the incidents like the sinking of Russian warships by Ukrainian anti-ship missiles.
“The sinking of Moskva, with likely use of anti-ship cruise missiles, highlights that even in the maritime domain, weapon platforms are more vulnerable than ever to low-cost defensive systems,” said the Army Chief.
Speaking at Def-Tech India Conference in New Delhi, he discussed important aspects of ‘India’s Territorial Capabilities and Technology Requirements.’
“Information operations assumed a whole new dimension, being unfolded at multiple levels, through numerous tools and different domains. Competencies and dedicated strategies must also be in place to win the war of narratives,” said Gen Manoj Pande.
He said that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict provides valuable pointers and stressed hard power, duration of the war, precision fires, information operations and grey-zone aggression.
“Firstly, the relevance of ‘Hard Power’ stands reaffirmed with Land continuing to be the decisive domain of warfare and the ‘Notion of Victory’ still being land centric. Suppositions on the ‘duration of war’ need to be re-evaluated. ‘Short swift war’ may prove to be a flawed assumption and we need to be prepared for a full spectrum conflict, for even a prolonged duration. Long-range Precision Fires have proved that distance does not guarantee safety. Information operations assumed a whole new dimension, being unfolded at multiple levels, through numerous tools and different domains. Grey Zone aggression is increasingly becoming a preferred strategy of conflict prosecution with its scope enhanced by technological advancements. We need capabilities to not just negate or mitigate such attacks, but instead keep the adversary in a reactive mode perpetually,” said the Army Chief.
Gen Pande also said air power no longer remains the exclusive preserve of manned aircraft.
“Air no longer remains the exclusive preserve of manned aircraft. The proliferation of Drones, Loiter Munitions, advanced VSHORADS and Manned-Unmanned Systems have democratized the air littoral. Air Superiority and even a Favourable Air Situation, are extremely difficult to achieve,” he said.
Disruptive and dual-use technologies are reducing the asymmetry of conventional ratios. The advancements range from weaponization of commercial instruments, digital resilience, communications redundancy, expansion of conflict domains effectively into the Cyber, Space and Electromagnetic spectrum, making battlefield dangerously transparent and introducing niche systems & advanced kinetic weapons, have emerged as the new strategic arena of geo-political competition, with power plays focusing on technology denials.
“Our existing inventory has a fair mix, in terms of vintage and theatre-specific requirements. The pursuit to infuse technology into our warfighting systems remains an enduring one,” said Gen Pande.
Speaking about the profound lessons that India has learnt from the ongoing war he stressed the importance of self-reliance in the defence sector and called for the infusion of technology into warfighting systems.
“Our transformation has as its edifice, five pillars – one of which is Modernization & Technology Infusion. Under this endeavour, major initiatives are underway to transform ourselves into a modern, technology-driven, Atmanirbhar and battle-worthy force, so that we can execute our operational mandate, more effectively,” said the Army Chief.
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