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 The biennial Aero India Show is here again in Bengaluru. The current issue is focused on Air Power. With Prime Minister raising the upper limit of FDI in the Defence Industry sector and bringing forth a policy of “Make in India” the international weapon systems and equipment manufacturers are realigning their format to meet the requirement in these changed circumstances. The major players in the aviation industry are already on the starting blocks and fine tuning their nuanced approach. Dr Nikolai Novichkov has presented a view of the Russian aviation industry; Steven Gillard has outlined Rolls Royce’s committed support in positioning India as a global manufacturing hub. Boeing has elaborated on the maintenance support and services being set up for the two major aircraft deployed by the IAF – C17 and P8I as also making India as a hub for support and services in the region. Rafael Industries and IAI Israel too have outlined the format for possible TOT in an impressive array of technologies in the future.

A fair number of our articles are devoted to analysing India’s Air Power.  Air Marshal Dhiraj Kukreja has comprehensively dwelt on India’s present and future combat fleet. Drones as game changers are presented lucidly by S Gopal. Space is considered an adjunct to air power; Gp Capt AK Sachdev has analysed this aspect in relation to India’s space endeavours.  IAF phased out its fleet of Canberra medium bombers in 1990. Was that a well considered decision taking into account India’s future growth as a regional and global power? The role of bombers in the air force is pithily argued by Sqn Ldr Vijainder Thakur. As aircraft exploit the air medium, air defence weapons aim to deny this freedom to aircraft and missiles. Air Marshal Anil Chopra brings forth the success of the ‘Iron Dome’ deployed by the Israelis and its role in protecting surface targets.

This issue also covers India’s ‘sub-conventional deficit’ by our special correspondent and the present state of insurgency in India’s North East region by Brig R Borthakur. Gen Vijay Oberoi has highlighted the need for a structural change in India’s higher defence management. Brig Deepak Sinha has raised the issue of India’s security strategy and doctrine being on divergent paths. Maj Gen AK Chadha has emphatically put forth the need for the military in the digitalised battle field to carve out its own ‘slice of space’ for operating successfully in such a future war scenario. Air Marshal Anil Chopra and Dr SN Misra have presented the efficacy of TOT and off sets and challenges before the defence industry. Mr Kanwal Sibal has critically assessed the evolving dynamics of Indo-US relations. Gen JS Lidder with his UN experience has looked at the need for enhancing the role of women in conflict zones. Claude Arpi has been a keen China watcher. He presents the current situation in the PLA consequent to the crackdown by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on the wide spread corruption in the Chinese PLA.

The IDR has endeavoured through the range of articles to hold the interest of the serious reader of military affairs.
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