Defence minister Rajnath Singh today hailed the IAF for ensuring a “timely and befitting” response during the military stand-off with China in Eastern Ladakh and asked the force to draw up long-term plans for capability enhancement to counter future threats.

He was inaugurating the two-day biannual IAF commanders’ conference which is attended by Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, IAF chief, Air Chief Marshal R K Bhadauria and senior IAF officials.

Referring to changing international geopolitics, Singh observed that the perceptible shift of focus from Trans- Atlantic to Trans-Pacific has become more obvious in the recent past. “Changing dimensions of war would now include advanced technologies, asymmetric capabilities and infodominance, and it is very important that the IAF’s preparations for the future must include these aspects,” he said. The minister appreciated the critical focus of IAF towards reorienting for the future. Speaking about the ongoing pandemic, he appreciated the role played by the IAF in assisting other government agencies in their task.Reiterating Prime Minister’s vision of ‘self-reliance’, Singh stressed the need to promote ”Atmanirbharta” (self-reliance) in defence infrastructure.

He urged the IAF commanders to continue their efforts towards achieving even greater results in the field of indigenous defence production and aircraft maintenance. He added that national security and economic development were complementary aspects of the national policy. The IAF’s support for the indigenous industry would result in the development of MSMEs in this field which would simultaneously serve the cause of self-reliance and socio-economic development of the country. He stressed the need to continue to work proactively towards the process of integration of forces currently under way, implement joint logistics plan and enhance synergy in areas of joint planning and operations. Singh assured the IAF commanders of the government’s wholehearted support in achieving the goal of being a potent strategic aerospace force.