cover image: Enhancing Aerospace Power Engagement Among the Quad Countries: A Roadmap


Enhancing Aerospace Power Engagement Among the Quad Countries: A Roadmap

13 May 2024

Introduction The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad)—comprising India, the United States (US), Japan, and Australia—has evolved from a senior-level security dialogue to a leaders-level summit, despite China (who views the grouping as an attempt to counter it) initially dismissing it as an idea that would “dissipate like sea foam”. [1] While the Quad’s stated goals do not mention containing China, the grouping’s frequent references to a rules-based international order, freedom of navigation, and a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP) reflect its security dimensions aimed at deterring China. China has repeatedly displayed its uneasiness about the Quad’s formation and activities. Still, for now, the Quad countries appear to be employing the viable strategy of cooperating on smaller and less controversial aspects to build better interoperability and communication before taking bigger steps in military cooperation and security issues. Cooperation in the maritime domain will be crucial for the Quad to effectively enhance security in the Indo-Pacific, especially given its geographic features. The grouping is already cooperating in the maritime domain, with the four navies participating in the Malabar Exercises since 2020. However, given the vastness of the Indo-Pacific, air power coupled with space capabilities—together referred to as aerospace power—will be critical in projecting combat power and countering an adversary. Air power, with its inherent characteristics of flexibility, mobility, speed, and precision, can compress the factors of space and time for the application of effective force over large distances. Space utilities are critical for intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR), position navigation and timing (PNT), and targeting. As such, aerospace power is vital for multidomain operations in the Indo-Pacific. Therefore, to enhance cooperation in the security domain, the Quad nations must enhance collaboration in aerospace alongside naval exercises. Indeed, the grouping’s militaries are already vying for Quad exercises to include an air force component to improve interoperability. [2]
india china air power interoperability international affairs russia and eurasia indo-pacific defence and security usa and canada the pacific, east and southeast asia maritime cooperation quad joint exercises aerospace collaboration


Deepak Pant

Deepak Pant, “Enhancing Aerospace Power Engagement Among the Quad Countries: A Roadmap,” ORF Issue Brief No. 709 , May 2024, Observer Research Foundation.
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