China’s demonstration of physically moving disabled satellite to another new threat in orbit: IAF chief
China’s latest demonstration of physically moving its deactivated satellite to another orbit poses a new threat in the space domain arms race, Indian Air Force chief VR Chaudhari said on Thursday.
Moreover, he stated that no single service – Air Force, Army or Navy – can win wars alone and that even goes for the future.
Last month, China’s Shijian-21 satellite physically moved a deactivated Chinese satellite, altering its geostationary orbit. This ability to physically alter a satellite’s orbits has previously only been demonstrated by the United States.
“China’s latest demonstration of physically moving one of its disabled satellites into graveyard orbit brings new threats to the arms race in the space domain, a domain hitherto considered relatively safe,” the official said. Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari.
“The spectrum we examine ranges from kinetic to non-kinetic, lethal to non-lethal and from small drones to hypersonic ballistic missiles. This broad, ever-changing continuum will pose significant challenges to the armed forces of the future,” he added.
He said the IAF’s training philosophy must be modern, flexible and adaptive, with a strong dose of “jointness”. A well-trained air warrior – who is technologically sound but able to adapt to disruption – would serve as a force multiplier, the IAF chief said. “The next step would be to use our doctrines and well-trained manpower to evolve philosophies of employment and CONOPS (concept of operations),” he noted. This would require joint planning and execution of plans, the Air Chief Marshal Chaudhari pointed out. ”No single service can win wars on its own and that even goes for the future. This brings me to the next challenge of command and control,” he said.
The primacy of who will do what cannot be determined by a pro rata system of who has a greater mass of forces or equipment, the IAF chief said. “The thought process needs to change and it would be important to appreciate each department’s capabilities to make two plus two equal five.” He stressed the need to develop joint command and control structures for an integrated and synergistic application of combat power. “The core strengths of individual services must come together to deter potential enemies or decisively win the nation’s wars. Tomorrow’s wars must be fought with pragmatism and not necessarily idealism,” Chaudhari noted.
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