June 14: The Future Role for the Indian Air Force in the Indian Ocean and Beyond

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June 14, 2012: The Future Role for the Indian Air Force in the Indian Ocean and Beyond
(Click to enlarge) Indian Air Marshal M. Matheswaran speaks at an off-the-record program as director of the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Satu Limaye, looks on.
(Click to enlarge)Indian Air Marshal M. Matheswaran speaks at an off-the-record program as director of the East-West Center in Washington, Dr. Satu Limaye, looks on.

The Future Role for the Indian Air Force in the Indian Ocean and Beyond

WASHINGTON, DC (June 14, 2012) – The rise of neighboring militaries and aerospace technologies within the Asia-Pacific pose complex questions and concerns for India’s defense and foreign policy within the Indian Ocean and beyond. The Indian Air Force continues to develop, update and modernize its capacity and capabilities to meet these evolving changes.

In a private round-table talk Air Marshal Matheswaran discussed the role of India’s Air Force in the region pertaining to traditional and non-traditional security threats, including Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief operations, protection of the Sea Lanes of Communication, combating piracy, and joint exercises with partners. As the traditional focus of India’s military shifts to new theaters, and India’s defense capabilities undergo a decade-long modernization process, the questions focus on how this power is to be projected, and how the region and India’s interests can be protected without any one regional or global power taking over.

Air Marshal M Matheswaran is currently the Deputy Chief of the Indian Integrated Defence Staff—Policy Planning and Force Development—based at the Ministry of Defence, New Delhi. Air Marshal Matheswaran graduated from the National Defense Academy in 1973, and has logged over 3,200 flying hours during his career as an Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter, transport, and helicopter pilot. Air Marshal Matheswaran graduated as an Experimental Test Pilot in 1985 from India’s premier flight test center, the Aircraft and Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) in Bangalore and has spent much of his career focusing upon developing air combat operations for the IAF. He was the Commandant of ASTE 2006-2008, a founding member of India’s Strategic (Nuclear) Forces Command, has held prominent command postings at Air HQ in New Delhi, along with serving as the Air Officer Commanding of HQ Maritime Air Operations in Mumbai, and the Assistant Chief of Air Staff for Operations (Space). He graduated with a Ph.D from the University of Madras in 2004, and is currently writing a book entitled “The Impact of Aerospace Power on the Nature of Warfare in the 21st Century.”

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