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Advancing the Indian Air Force training capabilities

A Weapon Systems School for the Indian Air Force (IAF) adds a new chapter to the advanced training and firepower

July 2, 2024 By Manish Kumar Jha Photo(s): By IAF
The Weapon System School of the IAF was inaugurated by Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff, at Hyderabad.

A new chapter has been introduced in the history of the Indian Air Force (IAF) with the inauguration of the Weapon Systems School (WSS) by Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), at Air Force Station Begumpet, Hyderabad on July 1, 2024.

This follows the approval of a new branch of officers in the IAF, the Weapon System (WS) branch in 2022. This specialised branch will train operators of various ground-based and specialist weapon systems. With greater operational efficiency the WSS aims to foster and adopt a more cohesive approach to offensive strategies. The WSS is aimed at recalibrating and transforming the Indian Air Force as a future-oriented force.

The Weapon Systems School (WSS) aims to enhance operational efficiency and foster a cohesive approach to offensive strategies, transforming the IAF into a future-oriented force.

According to the statement from the IAF, the formation of this new training establishment is a gigantic leap for the Armed Forces in general, and the IAF in particular. The addition of the WSS has been one of the key initiatives of Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari.

Air Vice Marshal Premkumar Krishnaswamy, Commandant, Weapon Systems School will spearhead the training with Air Marshal Nagesh Kapoor, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Training Command.

Advanced training programme

The WSS will impart contemporary effect-based training and prepare officers of the newly formed branch in line with the requirements of the IAF. The new special branch will have four streams; Flying stream to operate the weapons and systems in airborne platforms like the Sukhoi-30 MKI and C-130J; Remote stream to operate Remotely Piloted Aircraft; Mission Commanders and operators for Surface to Air and Surface-to-Surface weapon systems, and Intelligence stream for handling space-based intelligence and imagery. Flight Cadets of the WS Branch will undergo their second semester of training at this institute.

During the interaction, the CAS highlighted that with the creation of the WS Branch, operators of ground-based and specialist weapon systems will come under one umbrella, enhancing the warfighting capabilities of the IAF significantly.

The Weapon Systems School (WSS) offers an advanced training program designed to prepare officers for contemporary and future threats, integrating all assets across land, air, space, and cyber domains to achieve synergistic effects.

The objective and the purpose of the course are to train students to be tactical experts in their combat speciality while also learning the art of battle-space dominance and integration of joint assets. This integrated approach also aims to strengthen combat power in any domain of conflict. Using an integrated approach means that WSS graduates get extensively familiar with their respective mission design series, but are also trained in how all assets can be employed in concert to achieve synergistic effects.

The course aims to combine all assets in challenging scenarios, involving contemporary and future threats. According to a senior IAF official who commanded the multiple training programme for the fighter pilots explained that the WSS module demonstrates the ability to lead and instruct while effectively integrating multiple weapons systems across the land, air, space, and cyber domains.

The Air Chief also lauded the instructors for being pioneers in a newly formed branch. They were the pillars on which the entire edifice of the envisioned training regime would stand firmly and deliver decisive air power. The CAS urged all personnel to establish the school as a nodal centre for weapon systems training in the country.

The creation of the WS branch was announced by the CAS during the Air Force Day Parade celebrations on October 8, 2022.


Manish Kumar Jha is a Consulting & Contributing Defence Editor for SP's Aviation, SP's Land Forces and SP's Naval Forces and a security expert. He writes on national security, military technology, strategic affairs & policies.