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Indian Military Chief’s - Prelim Lessons from Ukraine War

As would be expected of professional forces, the Indian Armed Forces are studying the Ukraine war and drawing relevant lessons from the same at the highest level. This is evident from a number of talks in public forums by the Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Chiefs in the month of March.

CDS on Ukraine War

In an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue, Gen Ani Chauhan the Chief of Defence Staff said the government's initiative to ensure self-reliance in defence is providing the option to produce key platforms and weapons systems in large numbers in response to a question on lessons learnt from the Ukraine war.

"In case of India, actually we have to see what kind of challenge we may face in the future...We do not think that there is going to be a long drawn kind of a conflict, like what's happening in Europe," he said.

"We need to be self-reliant -- that is the biggest lesson for us (from the Ukraine war). We cannot be dependent on supplies of our weapons from outside. That's the one big lesson we take from the conflict," he said.

The Chief of Defence Staff also said there was a view that the modern day wars are going to be "short and swift". "But what we are seeing is a longish kind of a war," as reported by the Hindustan Times.

Indian Army Chief on Ukraine War

The Indian Army Chief General Manoj Pande in an event on 22 March outlined similar lessons learnt from the ongoing Russian-Ukraine. The chief said the “most critical conclusion” is that self-sufficiency in critical defence technologies and investments in R&D is an inescapable strategic imperative.

“In other words, the nation’s security can neither be outsourced, nor be dependent on the largesse of others,” he said as per the Times of India.

The war has also reaffirmed the “relevance of hard power” and the notion of victory still being “land-centric”. Similarly, India needs to be prepared for “a full-spectrum conflict” for long durations, instead of just short swift wars he said.

“Information operations have assumed a whole new dimension, being unfolded at multiple levels through numerous tools and different domains. Competencies and dedicated strategies need to be in place to win the war of narratives as well,” Gen Pande said as per the Times of India.

Separately the Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal Chaudhury stated that Russia- Ukraine conflict has shown that technological capability needs to be complemented with combat sustenance, and “our defence industries need to adopt the twin mantras of technical quality and production scalability to meet the requirements of armed forces in any future conflict,” he said as per the Hindustan Times.

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