Doctrinal evolution in the Indian Air Force

Towards a strategic future

Authored by: Arjun Subramaniam

Handbook of Indian Defence Policy

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138939608
eBook ISBN: 9781315674742
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380092


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The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the fourth largest in the world with 150,000 personnel and some 1,500 aircraft. With India emerging economically as a great power, the IAF is now engaged in a large-scale modernisation programme. As part of this, the IAF has recently published its latest air power doctrine, a document that reflects both the air force’s current capabilities and its future aspirations. It holds that Indian air power is the product of both its doctrine and its capability; equipment does not in itself produce air power; rather, it is how it is used that is important (Layton 2013: 20–22).

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