STRATEGIC ANALYSIS

The 1962 India-China War and Kargil 1999: Restrictions on the Use of Air Power

Wg Cdr R. Sukumaran was a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. He is an Air Force fighter pilot and has operated on both INS Vikrant and INS Viraat. His research interests include military history, technology and the use of air power.
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  • July 2003
    Volume: 
    27
    Issue: 
    3
    Articles

    The paper examines the utilisation of air power in the 1962 India-China war and in the 1999 Kargil conflict. The study reveals a certain continuity in the attitudes to the use of offensive air power in limited conflicts. Both in 1962 and in 1999, the use of air power was hedged about with various restrictions. Underlying these appears to be the belief that the use of offensive air power is fundamentally escalatory. Hence there is a hesitation to commit offensive air power assets.

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