Indian Armed Forces Gets Mega Operational Boost With New Weapons Systems Branch: Details

Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari addressing Indian Air Force Day celebrations in Chandigarh.

Photo: PTI

New Delhi: Following the authorization to establish a separate service – a Weapons Systems Branch (WSB) for IAF officers – the Indian Armed Forces are expected to see a significant increase in their operational capability.

It is for the first time since independence that a new functional branch has been created. The WSB will consolidate many weapon system operators under one organization. The operational employment of all specialized airborne and land-based weapon systems will be streamlined.

Essentially, the new branch “will handle specialized streams of surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft, and weapon systems operators in two- and multi-crew aircraft,” according to a statement from the company. ‘Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, reported The Economics Times.

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IAF so far and far from here

The Indian Air Force currently operates in three branches, namely Technical Branch, Flight Branch and Ground Service Branch. However, after independence, this is the first time that a new (4th) branch has been formed within the IAF.
It will also have three sub-streams namely Flying Stream, Remote Stream, Intelligence Stream, and Surface Stream. The first will include system operators in two-seater and multi-crew aircraft. The remote stream will be for drones and UAVs.

The Intelligence component is self-explanatory and involves information warfare specialists, analysts, signals intelligence operators, etc. The surface component will be used to appoint commanders and operators for targeted training on land and in the air.

A new age of war

The latest development coincides with a continued focus on strengthening the “jointness” between the three services, as no branch of the military is now able to win wars on its own.

Due to the multi-domain nature of modern warfare, a flexible and more efficient command and control center is required. Warfare has taken on a whole new dimension with the introduction of drones, swarm drones, hypersonic weapons and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) space systems.

In this regard, the BMS is expected to help forces establish dominance over a number of areas. Moreover, the new system is likely to put in place the circumstances for India to obtain advanced technology to meet its growing needs.

The new branch will represent a substantial change from the current structure of India’s military operations. The IAF deploys airborne and precision strike missiles, while the military has long used drones for observation.

cause of cost

Responsibility is placed in human resources with pilot training in both the military and the IAF for what experts say is fragmented and resource inefficient. However, no prior flight experience is required to operate the weapon systems.

Flight training involves significant costs. Essentially, the current system wastes a lot of resources since people with flight experience are put to work performing tasks that don’t really require flight expertise. According to current estimates, the new approach will likely contribute to savings of over Rs 3,400 crore due to lower costs associated with flight instruction.

Operational simplification

The WSB will consolidate the demands of the many branches of the forces under one roof. India’s strategic and defense systems will thus become more effective.

As instances of duplication decrease, forces will be better able to distribute information, improving defense results.

The introduction of autonomous weapon systems like drones and missiles has changed the nature of combat, and the new system is expected to fill a significant gap in defense preparedness.

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