Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, expressed on Friday that the proposed re-designation of the Indian Air Force (IAF) as the Indian Air and Space Force would be a positive development even as he described the move as a "work in progress".
During the platinum jubilee celebrations of the IAF’s No. 5 Squadron at Ambala in Haryana, Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria engaged with the media.
He was answering a question about whether the force should be rebranded as a space force or if a distinct space force should be established, similar to the approach taken in the United States.
“It is a work in progress, I would say. But overall requirements of space and integration of space in air power is a natural integration. If you see the French they have an air and space force. The US has employed a different combination. Every country has its own approach,” said Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria.
He added that ideally an air and space force made a lot of sense.
“If you look from the point of synergy and core strength, then air and space force will be a step in the right direction. But like I said, it is a work in progress. It is something which is being discussed. It is an evolution which will take place as things move forward and the right decisions will be taken,” he said.
It is understood that the IAF has submitted a proposal to the government to formally designate it as an air and space force due to the growing need of combat integration of the two domains and the needs of future warfare.
Air Marshal Bhadauria also expressed his confidence in the capabilities of the IAF to tackle future challenges. He recounted his time as the commander of the No. 5 Squadron in Ambala, from May 1999 to July 2001, and expressed his hope that the squadron will continue its tradition of executing all its responsibilities flawlessly in the future.
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