The Colombo Air Symposium 2019 is themed on the Small Air Forces which have become the sole representatives of air power in comparatively small states. Small Air Forces often do not possess adequate resources to fight protracted and prolonged wars and therefore need to project non-lethal airpower to preserve peace. Even within a potential war context the strategic employment of airpower has proven its ability to diffuse ‘all-out’ war scenarios. A small Air Force must be ready to meet the challenges of the future and possess meaningful, credible defense forces for either unilateral self-defense or participation in joint and combined operations.
Air Forces provide flexible, rapid, and lethal response in highest precision during military contingencies. The move towards low intensity conflict and MOOTW provides new challenges in deploying air power. Contributing to peacetime operations such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and Peace Support Operations raises the international standing of States, while being open to establishing positive defence relations and cooperation with other countries.
Sri Lanka as a small island nation possesses a small but highly professional air force which has been tested through a fierce armed conflict as well many a natural disasters. The SLAF, as the key operative hand of the national Air Power seeks its continuous growth and expansion by means of resources, technology, knowledge and also strategic partnerships which would lead to establish international and regional collaborations in order to encompass the challenges infusing ahead.
The Colombo Air Symposium 2019 will explore the idea of enriching the timely concept of transforming Small Air Forces into more swift, smart and supportive representations of air power which also possess the capability of collaborative operations in national and international level. Researchers are invited to explore the future potential of Small Air Forces along the territories of Exploiting Own Internal Strengths, Smart Modernization, Small Air Forces and Combat Aircraft, International Collaboration through Suitable Defense Agreements, Contributing to Peace and Security beyond the Region and Making a Capable Air Force through Training.