The government will decide between F/A-18 Super Hornet, Rafale M: Indian Navy chief.

The government will choose between Boeing’s F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale M fighters, Navy head Admiral R. Hari Kumar said on Friday, adding that the Rafale M shares support and replacement parts with the Air Force.

“The government will make the decision… Each aircraft is good. They have proven their worth. Undoubtedly there will be additional concerns, such as the fact that the Air Force already has Rafales. There will be a commonality of support and replacement parts, etc. “Each has its own strengths and shortcomings,” Adm. Kumar stated at the Raisina Dialogue. Friday marked the conversation’s conclusion, jointly organised by the Observer Research Foundation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Aeronautical Development Agency under the DRDO is developing an indigenous Twin Engine Deck-Based Fighter (TEDBF) to operate from the Navy’s aircraft carriers. While the existing MiG-29Ks may not last until then, the 26 planes slated for importation will fill the void in the interim. Adm. Kumar says the Navy may get the TEDBF by 2034 or thereabouts.

Adm. Kumar spoke at a discussion on the “future of warfare” in which various chiefs of the Navy from other nations participated. He noted that maritime domain challenges were conventional and non-conventional, and international. As part of issue-based convergence, he stated that while all nations may not agree on some topics, the majority do so on others.

Speaking to regional groupings in the Indo-Pacific, Adm. Kumar stated, “When we work in small groups, it serves several functions, produces a great deal of confidence among partner nations, develops capacities, enhances interoperability, and improves domain awareness.”

Gen. Koji Yamazaki, Chief of Staff, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force; Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command; Adm. Sir Ben Key, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, United Kingdom; and Vice Adm. Angus Topshee, Commander, Royal Canadian Navy, also participated in the panel.

Adm. Aquilino stated that the immediate benefit of Artificial Intelligence is real-time decision-making. “But, as the world progresses towards AI and machine learning, it is essential to keep in mind that the military has a human dimension and interaction,” he cautioned.

Similarly, Adm. Key stated that artificial intelligence might process data faster than a human. Yet, he pointed out that it lacked human instinct, intuition, and risk perception.

General Yamazaki cited Cyberspace and outer space as two crucial future domains. “Japan is constructing comprehensive defense capabilities in an effort to become secure and resilient in this area,” he said.

Noting that naval operations remained fundamentally unchanged, Vice Adm. Topshee stated that Canada was collaborating with its allies on a variety of topics. “The ability to communicate with other Navies gives us access to many viewpoints in order to build a complete plan of action,” he continued.