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As India ramps up defense spending in the face of heightened tensions with China and Pakistan, the ongoing war in Ukraine is serving as a crucial case study. Indian military strategists are keenly dissecting the conflict for insights into the future of warfare and how to best counter potential threats from its neighbors.

The war has underscored the growing importance of several key areas:

  • Artillery: The devastating effectiveness of long-range artillery fire in Ukraine has highlighted the need for India to modernize its own arsenal. Plans are already underway to transition to the standard NATO caliber 155-mm howitzers and develop longer-range capabilities.
  • Drones: The extensive use of drones for reconnaissance, attack missions, and even psychological warfare in Ukraine has prompted India to focus on boosting its drone development and production. However, concerns regarding potential large-scale drone attacks on Indian soil necessitate the parallel development of robust counter-drone technology.
  • Cyberwarfare: The Ukrainian conflict has laid bare the growing importance of cyberwarfare, encompassing everything from infiltrating military systems and essential infrastructure to disseminating propaganda and manipulating media through deepfakes. India recognizes this evolving threat and is likely to prioritize bolstering its cyberwarfare capabilities.
  • Air Force Modernization: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is taking valuable lessons from the Ukraine war regarding gaining air superiority in swift, high-intensity conflicts and protracted engagements. The IAF is emphasizing the need for rapid air dominance in limited windows of opportunity and ensuring seamless coordination between air, ground, and naval forces. Furthermore, suppressing enemy air defenses, particularly against adversaries focused on airspace denial rather than control, is a crucial area of focus for the IAF.

By closely studying the ongoing conflict and strategically adapting its military strategy, India aims to deter potential threats from its neighbors and safeguard its national security.