Thief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat has said that India is “looking at creating a rocket force” as part of efforts to step up on enhancing its military capabilities. Alluding to hostile moves by India’s northern neighbour, he said “whether it happens in the form of direct aggression or through use of technology, we have to be prepared”. While the CDS did not go into any details vis-a-vis the proposed rocket force, here’s why the creation of one assumes importance.
WHAT IS A ROCKET FORCE?
Think war, or military action, and the image that comes to mind is of soldiers, tanks and fighter planes engaging in combat with enemy assets and entering into hard-fought battles marked by a high toll in lives and destruction of military capabilites. But this approach to war is becoming obsolete.
Future wars are likely to be focussed on swiftly and decisively dealing a crippling blow to the enemy’s strategic and essential infrastructure without committing legions of troops on the ground. And the way to do it will be through missiles.
Missiles, long-range, lethal, have long been valued more for the deterrence factor they present and not so much for their utility in intimidating the enemy.
“The future battlefield is likely to be largely contactless where unmanned warfare, stand-off weapons and cyber and clandestine operations will take precedence over tank vs tank or hand-to-hand combat,” says a paper by Brigadier Bimal Monga in the CLAWS Journal.
To that extent, Monga points out, “all major countries are creating assets and organisations to consolidate their