COAS’ right emphasis

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DURING a visit to the headquarters of Army Air Defence Command on Tuesday, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa very rightly underlined the importance of air defence in today’s warfare and the need for continuous training and up-gradation of modern air defence weapon systems in view of the evolving threats.

There is no denying that air power has always played a dominant role in the generation and successful enforcement of favourable asymmetry.

How some countries through their air dominance neutralized their opponents in recent decades is known to everybody.

An unambiguous lesson from the history of air power is the imperative to achieve air superiority over the adversary.

Aircraft can fly across national boundaries and geographical barriers to hit targets deep inside enemy territory. Highly calibrated escalation as well as disengagement control is feasible with air power and in a limited war this is a great asset to a defence planner.

It is a matter of great satisfaction that our military leadership while being fully abreast of modern warfare requirements is also doing the needful to equip our forces with the latest equipment so that nobody could cast an evil eye on our motherland.

The PAF earlier this year added Chinese built J-10Cs which can carry more advanced, fourth-generation air-to-air missiles including the short-range PL-10 and the beyond-visual-range PL-15.

The induction is significant in terms of boosting the combat capabilities of the PAF while simultaneously the process of further upgradation of our indigenously built JF-17 thunder fighter jet is also continuing.

This is really important given the hostile posture of our arch enemy India which in recent years has signed several big ticket defence deals including Rafale with France and the purchase of a long range S-400 air defence missile system from Russia.

This only necessitates that Pakistan also take the necessary steps to foil the nefarious and hegemonic designs of the enemy.

Whilst we have no doubt on the capabilities and professionalism of our forces, the manifestation of which was seen during a dogfight in February 2019 when our Shaheens shot down two Indian aircraft, we should continue investing more in the air defence.

A project titled Azm was launched back in 2017 which needs to be pursued more vigorously to develop the necessary state of the art defence capabilities.

 

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