New Delhi: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday exhorted the IAF to transform itself into an Aerospace Force keeping in mind India’s adversaries who are “taking steps towards the military usage of space.” “It is our duty as students of military affairs and geopolitics to keep on anticipating the nature of future wars. Our adversaries are taking steps towards the military usage of space. Of course, it is likely to have a negative impact on our interests,” he said. He was delivering the keynote address at the 37th Air Chief Marshal PC Lal Memorial Lecture here. The minister asked the forces to be prepared to protect the country from the challenges of the future. “Therefore, you have to up your game. In such a situation, Indian Air Force, moving forward from Air Force, should move towards becoming Aerospace Force,” said the minister calling it need of the hour. “Can we think of technology evolution to protect our space assets from space guided attacks, develop expertise and human resource management,” asked the minister. The Defence Minister added that the nature of future wars can be assessed through a closer look at the situation in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan and the recent Ukrainian conflict. “Although these trends are suggestive, but we can gain a deeper understanding by correlating them with our local threats,” he said. The minister voiced the government’s resolve to provide specialised skills training to the armed forces personnel, especially the IAF, in latest technology to make them future ready. Highlighting the importance of technology in wars, Rajnath Singh said that the use of technology has seen an unprecedented increase in recent times. He, however, stated that expensive platforms and weapon systems do not alone ensure victory and it is their employment which gives an edge in wars. “Be it precision guided munition, unmanned aerial vehicles or manpack anti-tank weapons, their deployment in any future war will be as critical as it had been in the past. Technology is a force multiplier, but without innovative deployment, state-of-the-art equipment will be a mere display,” he added. He said that the ongoing process of integration of the three Services is aimed at not only increasing the combined capability, but also efficiency. There have been deliberations in the Armed Forces regarding the envisaged changes. This consultative process will continue till the implementation of the reforms, he said. “I have full faith that in future more unity will be established not just ideologically, but also in action,” he said. Sharing his views on the need to achieve self-reliance in defence, the minister described it as essential for not only building the domestic capacity, but also for safeguarding the sovereignty of the country. “Our past experiences have taught us that India cannot depend on imports for its security and security. Recent conflicts, especially the situation in Ukraine, have told us that not just defence supplies, but commercial contracts are also prone to be affected when it comes to national interests,” he added. He stressed that achieving self-reliance in defence will have middle and long-term benefits as it will help in building the foundation of a robust industrial base not only in the defence sector, but in every sphere of the industry. The 37th Air Chief Marshal PC Lal Memorial Lecture was organised by the Air Force Association.