China periodically announces major shifts in its military strategy through ‘Military Strategic Guidelines’ (MSGs) which dictate the tactics, equipment, training and manpower requirements to achieve the stated strategy. For the PLA, the concept of MSGs most closely approximates a National Military Strategy. One of the most notable shifts in China’s Military Strategy over the past four decades, especially in the 21st century, has been its embrace of technology in waging warfare. The lead article by Vice Admiral A.K. Chawla (Retd) in this issue on ‘China’s Strategy of Informationised and Intelligent Warfare’ brings out the strides China is making in this aspect both at the strategic, operational & tactical level. Information in cyberspace has the highest importance in informationised warfare due to the increasing digitisation of national governance systems, considered by the Chinese as a country’s Achilles’ heel, and the ability to paralyse or destroy it through cyber warfare, though precision strike technologies are equally important. India has to find its own solutions to counter it.
In another article, Vice Admiral Chawla (Retd) makes a case for design & construction of indigenous submarine as currently the Indian Navy has a submarine fleet of four of Shishumar Class, eight of Sindhughosh & four of Kalvari (Scorpene) Class with two more joining shortly. The P-75(I) programme has yet to take off, so with such a bleak scenario the author stresses to take a ‘leap of faith’ in Indian submarine design and technical expertise with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) developed by DRDO, which would have far reaching direct & indirect benefits. Till the time this happens, Vice Admiral Chawla suggests that India should continue with another three Scorpene submarines, six of which have already been built in India by MDL under Project 75. In another related article on Submarines, Vice Admiral Shekhar Sinha (Retd) extols the benefits of the Scorpene submarines that India has built in collaboration with the Naval Group. All six submarines have been delivered to the Indian Navy which has commissioned four with the remaining two undergoing trials.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently launched two frontline warships namely ‘Surat’ and ‘Udaygiri’ at Mazagon Docks Limited (MDL), Mumbai. Both warships have been designed in house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at MDL. Rajnath Singh also undertook a sortie on the Indian Navy P-8I Long Range Maritime Reconnaissance Anti-Submarine Warfare aircraft where the capabilities of the aircraft were demonstrated to him. Both these events have been showcased in this issue of the magazine.
Wish you all discerning readers happy reading!