Restrained and Strategically Effective—The 2011 Aerial Campaign over Libya: An Indian Perspective

Air Cmde Arjun Subramaniam is a serving officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF). The views offered are his own and do not reflect the views of the IAF.
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  • May 2014
    Strategic Essay

    The winter of 2011 was a dramatic period for air power in Mediterranean Europe and India. Operation Unified Protector (OUP), the successful North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) offensive aerial campaign that paved the way for a regime change in Libya, involved two platforms that had been shortlisted for the largest fighter aircraft deal of recent times. In the race for the 126 Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) for the Indian Air Force (IAF), both the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale—platforms that were well exploited during the Libyan campaign—had been shortlisted over the much fancied US fighters, the F-18 and the F-16.