Future battlespace will be cluttered, congested, contested and complex, said Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari on Thursday, underscoring the need to reimagine, reform, redesign and rebuild the traditional war fighting machinery to adapt to this emerging paradigm. The Chief of Air Staff (CAS) was delivering the General BC Joshi Memorial Lecture on 'Transformation of IAF into a Contemporary and Future Ready Aerospace Force' here at the Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Chaudhari articulated the vision of the Indian Air Force as laid down in its latest edition of IAF's doctrine (2023) - "to be an agile and adaptive air force that provides decisive aerospace power in the furtherance of the country's national interest".

To be able to achieve the vision, the IAF needs to "see first and see the farthest, reach first and reach the fastest, and hit first and hit the hardest", he said.

The CAS highlighted the importance of acquiring state-of-the-art equipment and platforms to ensure air superiority in the region including airborne and unmanned platforms, sensors, communication and electronic warfare systems.

Chaudhari spoke about the significance of well-trained personnel and the complexities of a technology-driven battlespace.

He said investment in innovation and "disruptive" training programmes with a focus on technology infusion for skill development will prove to be decisive in future multi-domain operations.

The IAF chief also touched upon the steps taken by the force towards automating its operational, maintenance and administrative processes by employing Al (Artificial Intelligence) and big data analytics to improve efficiency.

The CAS spoke on IAF's commitment towards fostering strategic partnerships with friendly nations through joint exercises, information sharing mechanisms and collaboration to imbibe best practices and enhance operational effectiveness.

Chaudhari said that the future battlespace would be "cluttered, congested, contested and complex" and that there was a definite imperative to "reimagine, reform, redesign and rebuild our traditional war fighting machinery to adapt to this emerging paradigm".

He also brought out IAF's contribution to nation-building highlighting the "sterling" role played by the force towards humanitarian assistance and disaster relief during natural calamities and evacuation of Indian diaspora from conflict zones.