Letter from the Editor | June 2019

In curating the articles for the June issue of FORCE, we looked in the three dimensions of immediate past, the present and the near future to build a seamless picture of the challenges and opportunities before the new government.

Hence, while the Balakot airstrike altered the dynamics of India’s response to Pakistan’s cross-border perfidies, it also exposed the limitations and vulnerabilities of the Indian Air Force.

While the Bharat Electronics Ltd’s forays in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics indicate a leap of faith for the organisation which has traditionally remained on the conservative side of the learning curve, it also prompts us to move faster on disruptive technologies.

While the assertion of greater indigenisation in defence manufacturing is a long-overdue move, poor policy making and half-hearted implementation continues to shackle the growth of Indian industry. Worse, it discourages investments in long-term research. Consequently, giving a long rope to the old saying — the more things change the more they remain the same.

The June issue of FORCE rests on these three pillars, though for its sheer novelty, AI is the cover story this month. Even though the world, led by the US, China and Russia, has moved far ahead in this area, in India this is a developing subject, the importance of which is still not fully understood by Indian policy-makers. FORCE will continue to focus on this subject in the months ahead keeping our readers abreast with the developments worldwide.

In other news, we bring updates on a range of subjects, from personnel protection, IAF’s fleet of airlift platforms and air ambulances to submarine technologies, regional transport aircraft and non-lethal crowd control equipment. In addition to this are our usual columns, news updates from the defence services and industry.

One section of FORCE magazine that has gradually become popular over the years is Books. Despite the perception that most people are no longer interested in reading, preferring to consume information through other means, the FORCE books section has managed to create its own niche, both among the readers as well as the publishers. While most of the time FORCE buys the books it features, increasingly publishers are sending their books to us to be featured in our pages.

One such publisher is Naval Institute Press of the US Naval Institute which publishes extremely technical, deeply researched and original books. Given the subjects that they cover, most of these books are prohibitively expensive. FORCE is fortunate to receive books from Naval Institute Press. We are carrying a brief extract from one of their recent publications, Cyberspace in Peace and War, in this issue. Hopefully, readers will find it useful. In the coming issues we will feature more such books. Enjoy the issue!


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