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Drone usage in IAF operational scheme, involved in the development of weapons: ACM VR Chaudhari

New Delhi [India]: Citing the recent use of drones along with fighter aircraft in the Azerbaijan-Armenia and Saudi-Yemeni tussle, Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Tuesday said the Indian Air Force has doctrinally included drone usage in its scheme of operations to benefit from some of the exclusive attributes of these platforms.

Addressing a function in the national capital, the Air Force chief said the force is also pursuing unmanned combat systems and their integration with manned fighter platforms in what is known as the man-machine teaming concept.

"We have also doctrinally included drone usage in our scheme of operations to benefit from some of the exclusive attributes of these platforms.

At the same time, we are pursuing unmanned combat systems and their integration with manned fighter platforms in what is known as a man-machine teaming concept," he said.

The IAF chief stated that there were reports about the use of hypersonic weapons in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and the IAF was also planning to have them in its arsenal.

"Due to very high speeds, hypersonic missiles are difficult to intercept making existing air defence systems redundant. The Air Force is actively involved in research and development for such weapons and in developing countermeasures," the IAF chief stated.

Chaudhari said that future warfare is likely to be hybrid in nature and the spectrum of conflict will be spread across all domains spanning from conventional to sub-conventional, kinetic to non-kinetic and lethal to non-lethal, all under a nuclear overhang. "The weapons we are looking at would be ranging from a small computer virus to hypersonic missiles," he said.

Commenting on challenges faced by the IAF in the last two years, Chaudhari said during the peak of the pandemic, the situation in Eastern Ladakh also unfolded.

"The IAF was on high alert while simultaneously providing full support to the Nation's fight against COVID. Our transport aircraft fleet flew to 18 countries clocking 4800+ flying hours in around 2900 sorties distributing aid to our friends across the globe," he said. (ANI)

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