Earlier today, India’s first Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen Bipin Rawat, issued directives for the creation of an ‘Integrated Air Defence Command’ under the Headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), which he now heads. Gen. Rawat directed that the proposal to create the Air Defence Command be ready by June 30, 2020. The new Air Defence Command will bring the Indian Army’s (IA’s) Air Defence, the Indian Navy’s (IN’s) Coastal Air Defence and the Indian Air Force’s (IAF’s) Air Defence units under a single umbrella while creating an environment for close cooperation and conduct during operational exercises and in times of conflict.
India’s indigenous radar technology has been progressing rapidly in recent years and domestically developed systems are being adopted by all three services. This is expected to make it much easier to integrate air defence radars operated by the three services given that these systems are easily interoperable.
The CDS also set out priorities for execution of synergy between the three services by June 30 and December 31, 2020. As per an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) release, the areas identified for jointness and synergy among the Services include the creation of common logistics support structures in stations where two or more Armed Services have their presence. In such stations, the logistics and support arms of the three Services (such as the IA’s Army Service Corps, Ordnance, Electronics and Mechanical Engineers/EME and their counterparts in the IAF and the IN) will be integrated in a phased manner.
Gen. Rawat in his meeting also called upon a ‘collegiate system of functioning’, wherein all three services and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) must be consulted with their views collated in a time bound manner. MoD further stated, that decisions will however be taken to ensure the optimisation of resources and efforts will be made to reduce infructuous ceremonial activities, which are manpower intensive. Gen. Rawat, on his part, stressed that all must work towards accomplishing the desired results while offering healthy views and ideas
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