India must prepare for hybrid warfare: IAF chief

| | New Delhi
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India must prepare for hybrid warfare: IAF chief

Wednesday, 13 April 2022 | Pioneer News Service | New Delhi

India has to prepare for future warfare which is likely to be hybrid in nature wherein weapons such as economic strangulation, information blackout, computer virus and hypersonic missiles would be used, IAF Chief Vivek Ram Chaudhari said here on Tuesday.

Sounding this note of caution, he also said in future war the enemy may not be a country or an organization adding "Cyber and information" have become the modern tools for shaping the battlefield.  The IAF chief made these observations at an event organised by All India Management Association (AIMA).

A well created narrative in the information domain to adversely affect the enemy, can have devastating effects, he mentioned. As humans become more and more interconnected, a cyber-attack on our networks can cripple command and control structures, Chaudhari noted.

India may never know the perpetrators of a "Distributed Denial of Services" attack and we will not know when and from where the attack will take place, he added.

In the future, India could be attacked on all fronts, ranging from economic strangulation to diplomatic isolation and military standoffs to information black outs in the form of attacks by "Distributed

Denial of Services," the chief said.  All this will happen well before the first bullet is fired or the first aircraft goes across the border, he noted.

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, he said. Chaudhari also said the weapons may range from a small computer virus to hypersonic missiles.

In this backdrop, he said India has to develop capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict and focus on multi-domain operations. Similarly, our doctrines, equipment, training and tactics will have to be flexible and able to adapt rapidly to these new challenges, he stressed.

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