'China has capability of launching cyber attacks on India': CDS Rawat
China has a technological lead over India, with a capability of launching cyber attacks on India, said General Bipin Rawat, the chief of defence staff. India cyber agencies can create firewalls, but it is important to see how quickly they can react after such an attack, he said. One way of bridging the gap is closer cooperation and then, integration between the three armed forces. Wondering whether when India would "fully catch up," he said New Delhi's relationship with some Western countries could be helpful.
Speaking about new forms of warfare, he spoke about cyber attacks, and as they may not have "signatures," it will be more difficult to work out where the attack was coming from as there can be "deniability." Such attacks would not attack the border regions but targets in the "depth areas." Similarly, in the wake of the battle between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the importance of drones as a weapon and also, for surveillance will be looked at.
Speaking about the need for new technology, he made it very clear that if the armed forces did not embrace new technology, which would be as useful that "boots on the ground," for war fighting, intelligence gathering and logistical work, it could be too late. Asked about Artificial Intelligence and Quantum computing, he said that AI is being used for predictive maintenance and by the Navy for the "underwater domain," but clearly "we have lagged behind." When it comes to Quantum computing, the situation is the same, he said. "We have not made satisfactory progress, but a beginning has been made," he added. The CDS mentioned that women were proving to be good for these tasks.
Speaking about the need for closer cooperation between the three services and finally integration, the CDS mentioned that an integrated air defence command was necessary. Currently, he regretted, that the army, navy and air force all have air defence systems, but they do not speak to each other as they have different algorithms.
The CDS also highlighted another thorny point. The demands of all three services were increasing and currently, there were about 1.4 million persons in uniform if the Rashtriya Rifles and Border Roads Organisation were included. He felt it was imperative that there be a reduction in manpower and it be made up with better technology, in terms of surveillance and firepower.