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Arjun Subramaniam

Visiting Professor

Arjun Subramaniam

Visiting Professor
Placeholder Profile
  • Ph.D., Madras University
  • M.Sc., Madras University
  • B.A., National Defense Academy

Commissioned as fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force in Dec 1981, Arjun has over 3,000 flying hours on varied fighter aircraft including all variants of the Mig-21 and Mirage-2000. After commanding a Mig-21 squadron from 1999-2001, he was the chief operations officer of a large fighter base and the air officer commanding a large base as a one-star officer. He is a graduate of the Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College. His assignments as a two-star officer include stints as assistant chief of air staff at Air HQ looking after space, concepts and doctrine where he led a team that brought out the IAF Doctrine in 2012 and its core values. That assignment was followed by a joint assignment as a two star alongside the Indian Army and a two-year stint as senior faculty member at the National Defence College before he retired from the Indian Air Force in July 2017 to pursue a second career in academia.

His current and primary research and focus areas revolve around understanding, sharing and narrating perspectives on war and conflict in contemporary South Asia with a focus on India. His secondary areas of focus look at the complex security dimension of the India-China relationship and an examination of air power as a critical tool of statecraft, particularly in hybrid and sub-conventional warfare. Areas of interest include civil-military relations and professional military education.

Research Interests
  • Air Power as a Tool of Statecraft
  • Hybrid and Sub-Conventional Warfare
  • Presidential Award for Distinguished Service
  • Ati Vishisht Sewa Medal
  • K Subrahmanyam Award-Honourable Mention for Excellence in Strategic Studies


"A Critical Analysis of PAF Operations in the 1965 War," Journal of Defence Studies, 2015.

"Restrained and Strategically Effective–The 2011 Aerial Campaign over Libya: An Indian Perspective," Strategic Analysis, Vol 38, Issue No 3, May 2014.

"Understanding Global Thoughts on Air Power," Strategic Analysis, Volume 35, Issue March 2013.

"Challenges of Protecting India from Terrorism," Terrorism and Political Violence Vol 24, Issue 3, June 15, 2012.

"Role of Force in Statecraft"-Strategic Analysis, Vol 35, Issue 3, May 05, 2011

"Fourth Generation Warfare-An Aerial Perspective," Strategic Analysis, Vol 34, Issue 5, Aug 23, 2010.

"Strategic Role of Airpower: An Indian Perspective on How We Need to Think, Train and Fight in the Coming Years," Air and Space Power Journal, Fall, 2008. ISSN 1554-2405.


"Wider Horizons: Perspectives on National Security, Leadership, Air Power and More," New Delhi, KW Publishers, 2017.

"India's Wars: A Military History 1947-1971," Harper Collins (India), 2016, P-ISBN: 978-93-5177-749-6. Published in the US in 2017 with global rights by US Naval Institute Press.

"Reflections of an Air Warrior," KW Publishers, New Delhi, 2008. ISBN: 978-81-87966-72-2.