The newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in his very first meeting after taking over on 01 Jan 2020, has directed Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to prepare a proposal by 30 Jun 2020 for the creation of Air Defence Command (ADC).
What is Air Defence Command (ADC)?
- Air defence Command is responsible for the air defence of the India.
- The above responsivity is executed with the cumulative air defence capability of the nation.
- This capability is the sum total of the capability of the three Services which is integrated along the trio of Sensors, Shooters and BMC2 systems belonging to the three Services and operating in their respective core competency domains as one Integrated Air Defence System ( IADCS) of the country
- The first gain from the ADC will be that it will give one common identity to the air defence resources of the nation which in itself will represent the cumulative capability of the country to take on the air threat from our adversaries.
- Also, ADC will become a single point of reference and contact for all matters air defence at the national level.
Why a separate air defence command?
- Presently, the overall responsibility of the air defence of the national air space is that of the Indian Air Force. It is the Air Force that provides the national level Integrated Air Command and Control System (IACCS) for the conduct of air defence battle at the national level
- While the overall responsibility as stated above remains unambiguous, the execution of the air defence function is a tri-service responsibility. This is driven by the fact that the prosecutor of the air threat sees no Service boundaries and can inflict crippling damage with equal devastation, be it on land, sea or air.
- To counter this threat in respective domains, each Service has its own air defence weapons which are suited to its peculiar battle space and are dedicated to provide air defence to its service specific assets. For instance Army has got its air defence weapons which are particularly suited to provide air defence to its assets in the Tactical Battle Area (TBA).
What should be the role of Air Defence Command (ADC)?
- The current voids and shortcomings in the handshake (implying seamless integration) between the IACCS (of the Indian Air Force) and the ADCRS systems of the Army and the Navy are addressed on top priority as a matter of operational expediency.
- The ADC will also have to ensure multi-agency co-ordination including civil aviation players for smooth execution of ADCRS functions plus a host of the functions related to the insertion of the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in the National Air Space (NAS).
- ADC must take stock of all the air defence training assets of the three Services as national assets.
- Review the training courses at various training establishments to cut out duplication and ensure optimal utilisation of finite resources. Organise tri-service air defence exercises at the national level.
- In case of procurement, the procurement must be awarded to the Service which in the wisdom of the ADC has the most core competency in handling a particular weapon system. It must be ensured by the ADC that no Service is allowed to pull a particular procurement is any one direction making the whole case skewed.
ADC is indeed the need of the hour. The points stated above will ensure that ADC does not become yet another stage/platform in the line of hurdles but a worthwhile organisation with a definitive purpose of revamping the air defence of the country and giving it a national identity.
Source – VIF India
QUESTION – What is ‘Air Defence Command’? Discuss its significance and suggest a way forward.