NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force on Monday said that there is a need to improve joint training with the army and navy and focus on joint operations as well.

The IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria while addressing his commanders emphasised on the need for enhanced joint training with the army and navy for ensuring better jointmanship. The biannual IAF Commanders Conference, which began on Monday and ends on Tuesday, will have discussions on joint operations, the IAF said.

There has been a push by all three defence services to focus on joint training and operations, following the announcement of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff, who will ensure jointmanship between the forces. The government has also created three triservices agencies for cyber, space and special forces.

Meanwhile the conference will also discuss anti-drone operations, countering asymmetric warfare and strengthening the IAF’s precision targeting, cyber and information warfare capability. Issues relating to indigenisation, streamlining procurement of equipment and training would also be discussed at the conference.

Bhadauria also said that there is a need to enhance operational capabilities to deter misadventures by India’s adversaries, in a clear reference to Pakistan. He highlighted the need for continuous enhancement of in-house maintenance capabilities and best utilisation of new inductions in order to make IAF a formidable combat force. The first set of Rafale fighter jets- termed as a game changer- for the IAF will come to India by May next year.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, while addressing the commanders said, there is a need to develop strategies for future challenges. “The IAF has earned the respect of foreign air forces, who are eager to cooperate as well as exercise with us. We are strengthening our defence capability through increased domestic production and reduced dependence on imports of military hardware. We have to seize new opportunities for indigenous design and development and I appreciate the IAF’s effort in this regard...The IAF is growing steadily towards becoming a truly strategic aerospace power,” he said.