India speeds up work on setting up Air Defence Command

India has accelerated work on setting up an Air Defence Command to enhance military synergy and optimally utilise the resources of the armed forces, and it is likely to come up in October, people familiar with the developments said on Thursday.

Air defence refers to protecting the military’s assets from aerial threats such as the enemy’s fighter planes and missiles and the new Command — likely to be headquartered in Allahabad — will control the air defence resources of all the three services. It will be headed by a three-star air marshal, the officials said.

After taking over as the country’s first chief of defence staff on December 31, 2019, General Bipin Rawat had asked top officials of Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) to prepare a proposal to create an Air Defence Command as part of the military’s theaterisation plans.

Theaterisation refers to placing specific units of the army, the navy and the air force under a theatre commander. Such commands come under the operational control of an officer from any of the three services, depending on the function assigned to that command.

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