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Volume 12 No. 2
AN SP GUIDE
`100.00 (India-Based Buyer Only)
The ONLY magazine in Asia-Pacific dedicated to Land Forces
>> Lead story photograph: PiB
“Government is committed to ‘Make in India’, but for critical projects and immediate requirements, we will import. Government needs to sense the strategic requirements and is very clear that ‘Make in India’ is a long-term initiative. The technical parameters and a scientific approach with necessary R&D base need to be duly taken care of. I see a time frame of 5 years to establish the ‘Make in India’. — Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State, Defence, speaking to Jayant Baranwal, Editor-in-Chief, SP’s, at 2-day Naval Aviation Seminar 2015. Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiling the plaque and operationalisation of Radar for the CSRS India-Seychelles Cooperation Project in Mahe, Seychelles on March 11, 2015
In This Issue
Page 6 Employment of Tanks in Indirect Firing Role Major General Vikram Dev Dogra
Small Islands – Strategically Important
Page 8 Analysis of Defence Budget 2015-16 Army Focus Laxman Behara
Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka was to deepen India’s focus on the IOR
Page 4 Af-Pak Beyond 2014 Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd) Page 5 Nation Needs a Chief of Defence Staff Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)
Page 13 A Friend Indeed
LT General P.C. Katoch (Retd)
Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd) Plus Indian Army’s Contribution in WW I Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)
SP’s Exclusives / News in Brief
s far back as 1897, Alfred Thayer Mahan had said, “Whoever controls the Indian Ocean, will dominate Asia. This ocean will be the key to the seven seas in the 21st century. The destiny of the world will be decided on its waters. It is only in recent years that then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked about the Indo-Pacific, implying that the competition from Asia Pacific will be extending to the Indian Ocean region (IOR) in time to come. He could not have been more right. Today, the Indian Ocean accounts for transportation of the highest tonnages of goods in the world through its waters carried by twothirds of the world’s shipment, one third of bulk cargo traffic and half the world’s container shipments. Almost 60,000 ships
transit this ocean annually and the sea lanes that pass through the Indian Ocean are the most heavily trafficked and important to the well-being of billions of people throughout the world since interdependence of nations continues to grow. Prolonged interruptions of the vast amount of trade through these waters would seriously damage the economics of all nations across the globe. In such a scenario, it is not only the ports of the nations ringing the IOR that are strategically important but islands within the Indian Ocean however small also are of immense strategic value considering the challenges in that the region is confronted with: possibility of conflict – both psychological and physical; safety of sea lanes of communication (SLOCs); piracy and terrorism; arms, narcotics and human trafficking; natural and ecological disasters, and;
possibility of nuclear accidents at sea with countries like Pakistan deploying tactical nuclear weapons aboard naval vessels and submarines. Hence, small islands in the IOR are increasingly coming into sharp focus in the unfolding global great power politics – the new Great Game in the Indian Ocean.
Indian Ocean Islands It is natural that the Indian Ocean being the third largest ocean in the world, covering about 20 per cent of global water surface and with an area of 736 million square kilometres would have a large number of islands. The Eastern half of the Indian Ocean has some 32 island countries, some with their own smaller islands as well. Prominent in this eastern half of the Indian Ocean are: Sri Lanka including its islands of Jaffna and Mannar; Andaman and Nicobar Group of Islands, and Lakshadweep
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E D I T O R I A L
>> lead Story
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision for a government-to-government deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France has been welcomed by all military and strategic analysts. It is a boost for national security and cuts through bureaucratic red tape for the procurement of the fighter aircraft, a deal which has been in the offing since 2007 when the global tender was issued. Modi’s decision apart from ensuring continuity of good diplomatic relations with France also ensures that in the process, India is able to get better terms for the fighters, which has been hanging fire for the past few years mainly because of Dassault-HAL mistrust. The Prime Minister certainly deserves kudos for this decisive move. However, mere procurement of a few multi-role fighter aircraft will not solve India’s defence
preparedness due to the willful neglect of UPA-II regime. The condition of the equipment of the armed forces in general and Army in particular is pathetic and Modi’s decisiveness is also required to pull the Army out of the mire of obsolescence because most of the equipment held in the Army is required to be replaced. General V.K. Singh (Retd), the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), had written a letter regarding the status of equipment in the Army to the Prime Minister on March 12, 2012. It highlighted that the mission reliability of mechanised vehicles was poor, the artillery was obsolete and inadequate, air defence was antiquated, armour was unreliable due to regular barrel accidents caused by mismatch between indigenous barrels and ammunition, night-fighting devices were insufficient, Aviation Corps helicopters needed urgent replacements, and holdings of all types of missiles, anti-tank and specialised ammunition was critically low. These deficiencies, except for some types of munitions, remain. Currently the Army lacks even modern small arms and the status of our infantry in this respect is poor. The Defence Acquisition
island of India, Coco Island that India gifted to Myanmar, and; Cocos (Keeling) islands of Australia. Similarly, the Western half of the Indian Ocean too has some 31 islands, important ones being Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Diego Garcia, last one being a prominent US military base. Sri Lanka. The physical location of Sri Lanka far south into the Indian Ocean beyond peninsular India is of great geostrategic importance since it lies astride global SLOCs and its ports are used as transit points. Coco Islands. Though geographically part of the Andaman group of islands, Great Coco Island and Little Coco Island were gifted away by India to Myanmar as mentioned. Located north of Andaman, there have been reports of Chinese using these as listening posts to dominate the Bay of Bengal and observe missile testing off the eastern coast of India. Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Part of India, these territories are of great strategic importance because of their proximity to the Strait of Malacca. The southern tip of Nicobar is just 100 km away from Indonesia. Maldives. Located about 600 km off the south-west coast of India and 750 km south-west of Sri Lanka, Maldives consists of a double chain of 26 atolls spread over 90,000 sq km of territory. It has over 1,000 islands that are uninhabited and the country appears getting radicalized at fast pace. Its geostrategic value lies in its location astride three of the most important SLOCs through which most of India’s trade and oil requirements pass, apart from its close proximity to India and Sri Lanka. Mauritius. Located about 2,000 km off the southeast coast of the African Continent, Mauritius became an important base on the trade routes from Europe to the East before the opening of the Suez Canal. It claims sovereignty over the Chagos Archipelago and Tromelin Islands that were taken over by Britain and France respectively. Britain reportedly depopulated indigenous population of the Chagos Archipelago and leased it to the United States where latter established the major military base at Diego Garcia.
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
Council (DAC) had approved of a new assault rifle, and a new generation carbine to replace the 9mm carbine which had been weeded out of the Army without getting a replacement. The Army’s immediate requirement is for around 1,60,080 close quarter battle (CQB) carbines and over 2,20,000 assault rifles. The Army also needs light machine guns, more modern sniper rifles and a heavier variety of weapons for penetrating bunkers and hardened defences. The woes of its Special Forces are even greater. There is a large variety of equipment that Army’s Special Forces lack. These include laser designators and night vision devices, modern assault rifles and sniper rifles. Ammunition of various categories is in short supply thus curtailing training of the soldiery which is the mainstay of Special Forces. Another tragic story is regarding the modernisation and transformation plans of the Army Aviation Corps which have virtually hit a roadblock, with the project for acquiring 197 light observation helicopters (to replace the existing obsolete Chetak/Cheetah fleet) being put in cold storage by the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The matter is so serious that young la-
Seychelles. Seychelles lays some 1,500 km east of mainland southeast Africa, closest to Kenya. It is a the least populated African country with a population of just over 90,000. Consisting of some 155 small islands, its strategic importance lies in its location on the western seaboard of the Indian Ocean and its proximity to mainland Africa and neighbouring island countries of Madagascar, Zanzibar, Mauritius and Comoros. Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia).
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands consist of two atolls with an area of 14.2 sq kms lie between Christmas Island and about midway between Australia and Sri Lanka. North Keeling Island is a single C-shaped island while South Keeling Islands consist of 24 individual islets. Its geostrategic importance comes from its location and more importantly that a new US military base may get established her in conjunction Australia.
Chinese Grand Design in Indo-Pacific The term Indo-Pacific was coined by Hillary Clinton in recent years but its strategic significance was grasped by China decades back taking into account the choke points connecting the Pacific and India Oceans; the Straits of Malacca, Sunda and Lombok. Access to and control of islands (through military and commercial initiatives) seems was initiated as part of Chinese strategy to establish itself as a maritime power long back while she extended her EEZ arbitrarily and claimed territories as per the nine-dot line in Asia-Pacific and went full steam to establish itself in ports ringing and within the IOR through economic-cummilitary ventures as strategic objectives. Was it a coincidence that when the Fiji President (who had attended the Defence Services Staff College in India) ousted 3,500 Indian business families from his country, an equivalent number of Chinese business families slipped quietly into Fiji. More than a decade and-ahalf back, China had established the biggest mission in far away Seychelles and had signed an MoU with them to establish ‘refueling facilities’ (read establishing a base) in outlying islands of Seychelles for use by ‘China, Seychelles and Friendly Countries’.
dies married to Army officers who fly and service the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters, want these archaic flying machines—which they call ‘flying coffins’—to be put out of commission in view of the innumerable crashes in the past two decades. As a protest group it was reported in the media that they have met the Defence Minister to protest against the inaction by the Ministry to replace the obsolete Chetak/Cheetah fleet. Last but not the least of the problems faced by the armed forces is the inadequacy of the defence budgets. The eight per cent increase in the defence budget in 2015-16 is disappointing for the armed forces who had expected a double digit hike due to the growing voids in the equipment and munitions of the three services. This disappointment is mainly due to the ever widening gap between the resource requirement projected by the Ministry of Defence and what it is finally allotted in successive budgets. Suffice to mention that the gap, which was eight per cent (`12,453 crore) in 2009-10 increased to a mammoth 26 per cent (`79,363 crore) in 2014-15. It can be assumed with a reasonable degree of certainty that the gap, both in percentage and absolute terms,
Over the past decade, not only has China engaged in ports development projects in Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Chinese economic ties with Africa, and the concomitant rise in its naval profile across the IOR have been conspicuous. The magnitude of investments like in Sri Lanka (Colombo and Hambantota) knowing full well the economy of the country, pay back is aimed to be retrieved in strategic terms. When a Chinese nuclear submarine and warship docked at Colombo in recent months, the nuclear submarine did not dock at the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) berths in Colombo mandated to accommodate military vessels but instead at the Colombo South Container Terminal (CSCT), a deep-water facility built, controlled and run by a Chinese company through an aid project costing $500 million, the China Merchants Holdings (International). The CSCT may be better suited for submarine dockings, but it is also a ‘Chinese enclave’ within a Sri Lankan administered harbor, the berthing itself being a violation of protocol. Similarly, in Maldives, China’s Integrated Development Project rides on huge concessional loans and aid financing from China. The loans are on such high rate of interest that Male will default unless given a waiver. So the waiver will come with a strategic price - in exchange to ‘control’ over maritime projects as done in Sri Lanka. Last year, a Sri Lankan media report was reproduced in China Daily stating that China plans to build 18 bases in the IOR. China denied such plans but it is pertinent is that the original article not only outlined a blueprint for the establishment of 18 Chinese “Overseas Strategic Support Bases” in the IOR, but also recommended three specific categories of such facilities: fueling and material supply bases for peacetime use (Djibouti, Aden and Salalah); relatively fixed supply bases for warship berthing, fixed-wing reconnaissance aircraft and the naval staff ashore rest (Seychelles); and fully functional centres for replenishment, rest and large warship weapons maintenance (Gwadar in Pakistan). Gwadar in Pakistan, gives China immense strategic advantage because of its proximity
would have further increased in 2015-16. A case in point is the for the Mountain Strike Corps. The UPA-II Government had sanctioned the raising of the new Mountain Strike Corps with 90,274 soldiers at the cost of `64,678 crore over seven years but there has been no special allocation or hike in the Army’s budget. Army is milking the existing formations and the war wastage reserves to equip this force. With the existing voids and lack of budgetary support this new raising is a non-starter. The new government should rethink its role, tasks, configuration and equipping pattern for the terrain that it is intended for where the current manpower orientation of the force will have to give way to firepower, mobility, vertical envelopment capability, mountaineering skills, good communications and special operations capability. In this way we could reduce the manpower and give them the capabilities desired in the mountains as an offensive/ counteroffensive force.
Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor
to the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. The US has been refocusing through shifting 60 per cent of its naval assets to Asia-Pacific, China not only is developing its naval strength at a terrific pace and has multiple nuclear submarines already prowling the India Ocean, it is quietly but consistently building land-based assets as discussed including increasing economic and military and maritime ties with littoral states like Maldives, Seychelles, and Mauritius. What was talked of as Chinese ‘String of Pearls’ with respect to India is actually aimed at entire IOR by fusing the economic and military muscle. Under the shadow of “China’s Peaceful Rise”, China has always pursued a policy of deceit, deception and ambiguity. The fact is that behind overt economic rationale, China is discretely pushing through her discreet military agenda since all these land based-assets will be invaluable to Chinese submarines and Carrier Battle Groups (CBGs) deployed in the IOR even as the priority deployment for the first Chinese CBG remains Hainan Islands, given the situation in Asia Pacific. Of course, no discretion is needed in case of a country like Pakistan that is permitting deployment of Chinese missiles in Gilgit-Baltistan area and will have no problems if Gwadar comes up as full-fledged naval base of PLAN, even as China will choose to transit from the economic to military in subtle manner at Gwadar.
Indian Concerns Nearly 97 per cent of India’s trade is dependent on the sea. So naturally India the safety of SLOCs is prime concern. Offshore oil production on the west-coast of india which commenced in mid-1970s is rapidly expanding. The offshore infrastructure over the years has developed to include over 30 processing platforms and more than 125 well platforms producing more than 32.7 million tonnes of crude annually. In addition, more than 3,000 km of pipeline on the seabed transport oil and gas from the processing platforms to onshore terminals. The existing offshore regions where production is currently taking place, cover a total area in excess of 17,000 square nautical miles (NM), extending more
lead story >> than 100 NM into our EEZ. Over the last 25 years, huge investments have been made on offshore oil infrastructure which today has a replacement value of over $50 billion at current prices. Piracy, terrorism; arms, narcotics, human trafficking; natural, ecological disasters are common concerns. However, the fashion in which militarisation of the IOR is taking place, specifically through China’s economic investments with military aims, the possibility of conflict are rising, which would endanger India’s SLOCs with adverse affects on our economy. It is in the above context that Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently visited Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, correcting the neglect in our foreign policy over past several years. It may be noted that he had invited all the SAARC heads to the swearing-in of his government. Acknowledging the strategic significance of the Indian Ocean and its primacy for India’s security and for maintaining peace and stability in the region, he then visited Australia and Fiji. The visit to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka was to deepen India’s focus on the IOR. Prime Minister Modi was also to visit Maldives during this tour as per original plans but this had to be shelved because of the instability in that country because of the arrest of former President Mohamed Nasheed purportedly on dubious charges, with the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) contemplating to place Maldives on the formal agenda over the arrest. Maldives has been going down the road of radicalization over the past decade with youth going to LeT training camps in Pakistan. The present Maldivian Government has enthusiastically endorsed China’s proposal for the Maritime Silk Road and has offered Chinese companies land on lease. India has plans to set up ten specialised Coastal Surveillance Radar Stations in the Maldives also but this will perhaps have to wait till Prime Minister Modi can visit Maldives or Maldivian President Yameen visits India. Indian naval ship Gomati participated in a joint surveillance patrol in conjunction Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Coast Guard vessels in second week March 2015. As a consequence of the Prime Minister’s visit, India has bagged ‘infrastructure development rights’ for two islands in the region; ‘Agalega’ from Mauritius and ‘Assumption’ from Seychelles. The understanding to allow India to develop these islands is of immense strategic significance for India with China having taken initiatives years back to engage with the littoral states in pursuance of her strategic aims of dominating the IOR. India has offered to set up joint working groups with the two blue economies in the region to harness potential for economic cooperation. Prime Minister Modi was the first India Prime Minister to visit Seychelles in 34 years. India signed four agreements with Seychelles to boost security and maritime partnership in the following categories: one, Cooperation in Hydrography; two, Cooperation in Renewable Energy; three, Cooperation in Infrastructure Development, and; four, Cooperation in Sale of Navigation Charts and electronic navigational charts.In Seychelles, Modi also inaugurated a Coastal Surveillance Radar Station (CSRS) that will serve as a fresh pair of eyes in the IOR. India is setting up a total of eight such stations, spread out across various islands of the Seychelles. When the entire network is up, it would be possible to observe live happenings as far as the Cape of Good Hope. Signing of agreements with Mauritius included: MoU in the field of Ocean Economy; Programme for Cultural Cooperation between for the period 2015 and 2018; Protocol for the import of fresh mangoes from India; MoU for the Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius, and MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy. These agreements would enable setting up and upgrading infrastruc-
ture for improving sea and air connectivity at the outer island of Mauritius to ameliorate condition of inhabitants and enhance capabilities of the Mauritian defence forces, and; extensive framework for cooperation in the field of ocean economy for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities. During the Prime Minister’s visit Mauritius, the India built offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Barracuda was commissioned into the National Coast Guard of Mauritius. In his speech PM Modi said, “Today, the world speaks of 21st century driven by the dynamism and the energy of Asia and the Pacific. But, its course will be determined by the tides of the Indian Ocean. This is why Indian Ocean is at the centre of global attention more than ever before ….Our vision for Indian Ocean region is rooted in advancing cooperation in our region; and, to use our capabilities for the benefit of all in our common maritime home.” He also talked of the terrorism, sea
piracy, tsunamis, cyclones, illegal fishing and oil spills, all requiring close cooperation to share responsibilities and shape the future for ensuring a safe, secure and stable IOR that delivers us all to the shores of prosperity. Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Sri Lanka in 28 years – an irony of our foreign policy deficit. Six CSRSs are presently functioning in Sri Lanka, allowing it to identify vessels sailing past the island adding up to collective monitoring capabilities in conjunction the Indian Radar Network in southern parts of India. Modi addressed the Sri Lanka Parliament urging cooperation in all fields including in countering terrorism and India’s help to Sri Lanka in developing Trincomalee as a petroleum hub. At Jaffna, Modi handed over 27,000 houses built with Indian assistance to displaced Tamils. Tradewise, Sri Lanka is India’s largest trading partner country in the SAARC region. The bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka has grown four times in the last nine years increasing from US $ 658 million in 2000 to $2,719 million in 2009. Sri Lanka looks to investments from China as well and should
be able to balance friendly relations with both India and China, which should be fine as long as Chinese actions do not amount to strategic muscle flexing.
Conclusion The manner in which militarisation of the IOR is taking place raises the possibilities of conflict. The aggressive stance of China despite her peace homilies raises troubling questions about the motive behind China’s Maritime Silk Route, an umbrella term referring to maritime infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region. What is causing concerns is that China’s militarisation of the IOR is proceeding both by land and sea. The littoral states and islands are increasingly becoming strategically important as discussed above, examples being Chinese port and other development project aimed for eventual military use when required and Cocos (Keeling) Islands possibly being developed as US military base in conjunction Australia. India cannot lose focus on such developments and must act to guard its own national interests. SP
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Af-Pak Beyond 2014 An important element in the future of Afghanistan is the capacity of the Afghan National Army (ANA) or rather the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to defend the country after the departure of NATO and US forces photograph: USAF
Lt General P.C. Katoch (Retd)
uch has been written about the future of Afghanistan beyond 2014 but let us first look at what Pakistan is today, its major pointers being: namesake democracy with the military holding all aces including foreign policy; military sheltered by US, China, Saudi Arabia despite spawning terrorism for decades; downslide in economy; political turmoil, and; major fault lines in Baluchistan, NWFP, GilgitBaltistan, Sindh and Shia-Sunni divide in addition to backlash of decades of dabbling in terrorism, as witnessed in the December 16, 2014, massacre of innocent schoolchildren of Army Public School, Peshawar. Afghanistan stands at the crossroads of another transition with continuing ethnic strife and political stability compounded by the Taliban, poor economy despite $3 trillion minerals, oil, gas reserves, 50 per cent economy tied to drugs, country dependent on foreign aid to the tune of 97 per cent, 36 per cent unemployment, 35 per cent population below the poverty line and $1.28 billion external debt. An important element in the future of Afghanistan is the capacity of the Afghan National Army (ANA) or rather the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to defend the country even as the two year West supported Operation ‘Resolute Support’ kicks off on January 1, 2015; some 12,000-strong NATO force staying in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist Afghan forces under ‘Resolute Support’ as part compensation of 1,30,000 NATO-led ISAF leaving by end 2014. ISAF has already shut shop. It is significant to note that while mandate of residual US troops has been increased to continue providing air support to ANA when required, this is small consolation considering in 2013, the Taliban were, for the first time, able to inflict almost as many casualties on the ANSF as they suffered themselves; 9,500 Taliban killed versus 8,200 ANSF. The ANSF have showed few patchy successes but all said and done Taliban successes have gone beyond the usual strongholds – bolder attacks and control many districts especially in difficult terrain. President Ashraf Ghani has ordered topto-bottom review of ANA and resumption of night raids that had been stopped but the ANA is short of artillery, air, logistics, transportation and even medical. As per media large-scale desertions continue in the ANSF. Another July 2014 report states of the 4,74,823 weapons (primarily small arms) that US provided to the ANA since 2004, 43 per cent (2,03,888 weapons) could not be accounted for. A CNA study authorised by US Government under the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 1215 had concluded in January 2014 that “reduction in US and NATO CI-CT operations combined with the continued existence of insurgent sanctuaries in Pakistan will make the insurgency a greater threat in the 2015-18 timeframe than it is now” and “the ANSF will continue to have significant gaps in capability that will limit their effectiveness after 2014.” AQ resurgent Taliban supported by Pakistan, therefore, is likely to create greater instability. External aid to fund the ANSF has been promised till 2017 at present, balance being a question mark. The political scene is fluid albeit the present hierarchical dispensation is the best
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
Newly trained ANA soldiers recite the oath ceremony of the first term bridmals at the Ghazi Military Training Center in Kabul province
homogeneous mix that Afghanistan has had; President (Pashtun), First Vice President (Uzbek), Second President (Hazara) and Chief Executive Officer (Tajik). The vital problem is the Taliban and the hope of any possible reconciliation. Though both the USWest and Afghanistan have been trying to get the Taliban into the Afghan Government as part of the transition process, all have followed their own agenda without bothering about the consequences, which is still being pursued. This is dividing Afghanistan more along ethnic and ideological lines with suspicions running high. The possibility of the Unity Government successfully completing the transition beyond the parliamentary elections scheduled in 2015 is under debate. Precious little has happened to elevate the economy of Afghanistan over the past 13 years of US-NATO presence. The CBMs agreed to at the Kabul Ministerial Meeting of June 2012 have not moved much. Similarly, the Tokyo Accountability Conference on Afghanistan has not amounted much beyond financial aids and grants. A recent development has been the London Conference on Afghanistan co-hosted by UK and Afghanistan on December 4, 2014, wherein 59 countries have pledged support to Afghanistan. China recently pledged $327 million to Afghanistan by 2017, while simultaneously announcing $45.6 billion investment in Pakistan, latter for her economic and transportation corridors going through Gilgit-Baltistan all the way south to the Persian Gulf and firming her launch pad for operations to the west.
China views Afghanistan part of the Sino-US game to influence Eurasia and wants US/NATO out while building energy based Eurasian Security Architecture connecting Turkey and China
There are 12 major terrorist groups operating in Af-Pak region, all interrelated and connected with ISI of Pakistan. The Al Qaeda/Haqqanis, Taliban, ETIM safe havens in Pakistan. Pakistani national Asim Umar has been appointed Al Qaeda’s South Asia head. Both the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban are linked and in turn linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS. Ayman Zawahari (Al Qaeda) has declared full support to Mullah Omar of Afghan Taliban while bulk Pakistan Taliban have declared allegiance to the ISIS. In recent past ISIS pamphlets have been distributed in Peshawar and border provinces of Afghanistan. Number of Wahabi-Salafi groups in Af-Pak are reportedly backed by Saudi Arabia including in Nuristan & Kunar Provinces of Afghanistan have pledged support to ISIS. In addition groups like Ahraul Islam (another TTP splinter) and ETIM also think on lines of ISIS. If all this terrorism was not enough, Pakistan has trained 20 Mujahid battalions to operate as / in conjunction Taliban, some of which would perhaps already be in Afghanistan considering reports that some 1.5 million Pakistanis fled from North Waziristan because of military operations, of which at least 2,50,000 have crossed the border into Afghanistan. That Pakistan will like to achieve her cherished strategic depth in Afghanistan using the Taliban and her own forces through sub-conventional war can be anticipated. Pakistan’s strategic aims would be: limit and lessen India’s sphere of influence in Afghanistan, particularly Kabul; promote and finance Haqqanis and Taliban to attack Indian interests in Afghanistan; achieve strategic depth to the extent possible; major share in reconstruction of Afghanistan in conjunction China; ensure Pakistan’s centrality in post-2014 negotiations with Taliban; strengthen economic relations with oil rich CAR nations and finance Afghan Government that favours Pakistani interests, and prevent possibility of calls for independent Pashtunistan. China views Afghanistan part of the Sino-US game to influence Eurasia and wants US/NATO out while building energy based Eurasian Security Architecture connecting Turkey and China. Chinese scholars have been writing about a China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Alliance (Pamir
Group) with Chinese investments integrating Af-Pak with China and an Asian Collective Defence Alliance based on SCO members and CSTO since SCO already has cooperative relations with CSTO. China also has an active plan for a quadrilateral freight railroad from Xinjiang through Tajikistan, Afghanistan to Pakistan, and is building a 75-km-long road extending 10 km beyond China-Afghanistan border, through the Wakhan Corridor. China has major economic interests in Afghanistan and had already started drilling oil commercially in 2012. Iran has invested $340 million in developing Chahbahar port coupled with Indian development of Afghan Ring Road Highway (Helmand Sector) fitting the Russian concept of North-South Corridors. Iran is eager to develop its own eastern region and expand trade with Afghanistan and CAR, and developing rail link from Mashshad (Iran) to Herat in Afghanistan. The Chahbahar-Kabul link for trade and commerce will enable Afghanistan and CAR to reach South Asia and Southeast Asian markets besides also suiting western nations. As for Russia and CAR nations, both don’t want Taliban-Al Qaeda influence in CAR especially since Russia understands adverse effects of possible radical dispensation in Kabul. There appear better chances for Afghanistan-CAR integration. Russia wants security of the North-South Corridor and China cannot provide security for its investments in Afghanistan and CAR even though she is engineering her underhand links with the Taliban. To this end, possibility exists of more CSTO-NATO cooperation. Major flaw in reconciliation and reconstruction of Afghanistan has been that the US-West never bothered about integrating regional players into the strategy. Besides the reconciliation primarily aimed at bringing the Taliban into the political process despite knowing both Taliban do not believe in democracy and constitutions of Af-Pak would not lay down arms, and want rule of Sharia under an Islamic Emirate / Caliphate. More importantly, while all this was happening, Pakistan continued to arm and strengthen the Taliban right under the noses of US and China. Hamid Karzai had said that peace coming to Afghanistan would depend on the US and Pakistan. Pakistani attentions are quite obvious but the strategic intent of the US remains as ambiguous as ever albeit it may be conjectured as: to counter influence of China and Russia in Af-Pak; maintain pressure on Iran, and; hinder China embedding on to Persian Gulf through land. If the region becomes more unstable in the process, so be it. India’s strategic interests hinge on: keeping Afghanistan from being used as a base for Pakistan to train and coordinate terror attacks against Indian cities and Indian interests at home and abroad; strong democratic Afghanistan – assist in reconstruction and stability; security of economic / transportation corridor with Iran-Afghanistan-CAR; enable South-South corridor linking Eurasia-Afghanistan-Pakistan-IndiaSoutheast Asia, and; oil pipelines with CAR, Russia, Iran for energy security. But for this, India needs to focus on its strategic partnerships. Although India is dialoguing Afghanistan with all important countries, it is also important that China comes on board rather than throwing her lot with Pakistan to consolidate the anti-India nexus. SP
integrated defence/technology >>
Nation Needs a Chief of Defence Staff Recently the Defence Minister, Manohar Parrikar, said that there was an urgent need to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a proposal that has been hanging fire since 2001 photograph: PiB
Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)
peaking at the India Today Conclave 2015 in New Delhi recently, the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, while touching upon the larger issues plaguing the armed forces, said that there was an urgent need to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a proposal that has been hanging fire since 2001. We may recollect that in 1999 the Kargil Review Committee headed by the late K. Subrahmanyam had been asked to “review the events leading up to the Pakistani aggression in the Kargil District of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir; and, to recommend such measures as are considered necessary to safeguard national security against such armed intrusions.” Though it had been given a very narrow and limited charter, the committee looked holistically at the threats and challenges and examined the loopholes in the management of national security. The committee was of the view that the “political, bureaucratic, military and intelligence establishments appear to have developed a vested interest in the status quo”. It made far reaching recommendations on the development of India’s nuclear deterrence, higher defence organisation, intelligence reforms, border man-
each on Intelligence Apparatus, Internal Security, Border Management and Management of Defence. These Task Forces were multidisciplinary in character and were made up of acknowledged experts.
Arun Singh Committee on Defence Expenditure
T-90S battle tank passes through the Rajpath during the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day
agement, the defence budget, the use of air power, counter-insurgency operations, integrated manpower policy, defence research and development, and media relations. The committee’s report was tabled in Parliament on February 23, 2000. The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) appointed a Group of Ministers (GoM) to study the Kargil Review Committee report and recommend measures for implementation. A comprehensive systemic overhaul
of the country’s security and intelligence apparatus in keeping with the technological revolution and the need for integrated management structures was unfolded by the GOM in a report submitted by them to PM on February 26, 2001. The GoM under the chairmanship of L.K. Advani also included the Defence Minister, External Affairs Minister and Finance Minister. The GOM held 27 meetings in all. In order to facilitate its work, it had set up four Task Forces one
The Arun Singh Committee on Defence Expenditure recommended the creation of the Chief of Defence Staff post since the existing system of Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC) had not been able to deliver on important issues. The committee recommended that the CDS should be created for carrying out four main functions: Providing single-point military advice. Administer strategic forces. Ensuring jointness in the armed forces. Enhance planning process through interservice coordination and prioritising. The Cabinet Committee on Security considered the GoM report on May 11, 2001, and accepted all recommendations contained in the GoM report except that of the creation of a CDS. It seems that there was opposition to creation of the CDS both from within the armed forces as well as by the politico-bureaucratic combine. While some in the military felt their identity might get Continued on page 10...
Trijicon TA31 RMR One of the most trusted and dependable battle hardened optics
rijicon’s TA31 has served the needs of the battlefield soldier for years, becoming one of the most trusted and dependable battle hardened optics in the world. Legendary for trusted operation in the harshest conditions the planet can dish out, the TA31 provides a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensating) reticle specifically tuned to your service ammunition. Coupled with the 3.25 MOA Ruggedized Miniature Reflex (RMR) Red Dot Sight, engagements ranging from across the room to the limits of the 5.56mm rounds are covered. These two optics when combined provided an unmatched capability for the modern soldier in the form of the TA31/RMR combo. A forged aluminum housing provides rugged protection during any weather condition under treatment even the battlefield can dish out. Land, sea, air, no matter the environment the TA31 can handle it. Designed to take a beating and always be there when you need it the ACOG is a proven optic surviving the most brutal treatment a combat soldier can hand out. This rugged and reliable housing contains a calibrated BDC reticle that is illuminated with fiber optic when light is present, and tritium for low or failing light conditions. It provides for fast targeting, easy ranging and solid aiming. Using the vertical markers allows for fast hits out to 600 meters. Each hash mark allows the soldier to quickly establish the proper range, hold that
line on target, and engage the enemy. Amber, red, or green reticle colors are available to suit your preference. Designed for use with the BAC (Bindon Aiming Concept) allows for both eyes open shooting increasing survival on a 360 degree battlefield. Measuring a mere 198mm it fits easily on carbines using the TA51 mount. Four power magnification and a 32mm Objective provide excellent light gathering and clear sight pictures out to the limits of the 5.56mm. Attached to the top of the TA31 is the RMR red dot sight. Using a 3.25 MOA dot provides for fast and accurate aiming during close quarters battle. The patented housing shape provides a less obstructed view free of parallax. Sight adjustments on the hardened aluminum housing are simple, easy, and can be completed using readily available tools. Waterproof to 20 meters it matches the strength and durability of the ACOG it is attached to resulting in the perfect combination for the modern warrior and the weapons of today. The TA31/RMR has been used on numerous weapons including the venerable AR and M4 carbine encompassing several designs utilizing the 5.56mm / .223 cartridge. It sits ready to meet the needs of the modern day warrior and the rifles they currently field. If you are looking for what may be the most proven combat optic available today, look no further than the TA31/ RMR combo. SP
2/2015 SP’s Land Forces
>> land operations
Employment of Tanks in Indirect Firing Role In indirect fire weapons, the gunners do not see the target and use an artificial aiming reference to engage and carry out corrections Major General Vikram Dev Dogra
here are two types of weapon systems on the battlefield: direct and indirect firing. Tanks are in the former, artillery and mortars are in the latter. Direct fire weapons are those where the gunner can see the target, engage it and carry out corrections. In indirect fire weapons, the gunners do not see the target and use an artificial aiming reference to engage and carry out corrections. The reason both are needed is that when a unit gets engaged with the enemy, it’s freedom of maneuver is limited because of enemy fire. At that point, indirect fire weapons, not in direct view of the enemy, are brought to bear on enemy positions providing lethal fire support. Every operational situation requires an overwhelming quantum of fire support so that the enemy can be neutralised, canalised, destroyed or his vision obscured thereby limiting his ability to acquire and attack own targets. Artillery, therefore has a number of tasks chalked out, like providing close support to attacking/maneuver forces, counter bombardment, and interdiction of the battle field. To accomplish one or all of these a variety of field and medium guns as well numerous rockets and missiles systems are being employed. However, there is always a paucity of the number of artillery fire units available and it is but desirable to utilize all available weapon systems to carry out the many tasks that have been enumerated.
Concept of Employment The existing Indian battle tanks are equipped with a 120 or a 125 mm main gun that is capable of firing a variety of ammunition. The primary aim of a battle tank in war is to destroy another tank. This is accomplished by employing the main armament of the tank in a direct firing role, using kinetic energy ammunitions like the ‘armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot’. In addition to the kinetic energy ammunition, tanks use a secondary ammunition, mainly high explosive, to engage softer targets like vehicles, buildings and personnel. This secondary ammunition can be fired both in a direct or indirect firing mode. The article does not advocate changing the primary role of tanks from that of killing another tank by employing its main armament in indirect firing mode. It emphasises the need to employ every available weapon platform to engage the enemy, thereby ensuring overwhelming volume of fire support to facilitate victory. Every military operation, be it offensive or defensive has a fair proportion of tanks which are not in direct contact with the enemy or are located in areas where contact with the enemy is not immediately imminent. Selected units/ sub-units from these troops can therefore be employed to augment the close fire support being provided by the artillery. Such indirect
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
fire support by tanks can be provided from ranges as far away as 10 km. This additional firepower would vastly enhance the quantum of fire and consequent lethality produced at the target which in turn would result in lowering the number of casualties to own troops as well reducing the time taken for capture of the objective.
Technical Feasibility All tanks can, using high explosive ammunition, bring down accurate fire to engage soft targets up to 10 km. This engagement which is undertaken at ranges beyond visual range, is directed by an observer who views the target in the same fashion as is done when bringing down in direct artillery fire. Necessary corrections required to be carried out in terms of elevation and azimuth are communicated to the tanks by the observer. The tanks apply these corrections to ensure the fire is accurate and effective. Requisite equipment required to carry out such an indirect shoot including that required for corrections is an integral part of the tank fire control system.
Number of Tanks to be Employed The number of tank platforms to be committed for this role though being a command decision, will depend on a number of factors: l Residual life of the gun barrel. It would be prudent to use only those tanks whose gun barrels are in the first or second quarter of life. l Out of a squadron of 14 tanks, a maximum of 12 tanks may be used leaving the squadron commander and the second-in-command to exercise command and control. l All tanks employed for the purpose must be utilized for providing only close fire support to attacking troops thereby limiting the duration of their employment to a maximum of 45 minutes to an hour. l Vintage tanks such which may have been allotted for defensive purposes may also be employed for this purpose.
Training A number of personnel in all armoured regiments are trained to direct artillery fire. In addition, tank crews should get enough practice in the engagement of targets in indirect firing role during annual field firing tests. A suitable FMR for practicing the crews in this mode can also be created.
Correction of Fire Correction of fire may be carried out either by OP Officers from artillery or by members of the recce troop of the armoured regiment who are trained to call artillery fire.
Communications Orders for call of this fire may either be directed through the artillery fire direction centre (FDC) or passed directly to the tanks through the command channel. Necessary
coordination and training for communicating with the FDC also needs to be imparted.
Suitability to Provide Indirect Fire Support By virtue of their mobility, armoured protection, flexibility and high rate of fire, tanks apart from being the primary choice for an offensive, are also ideally suited to provide fire support by both direct as well as indirect means. Some of the factors that favour their employment in providing indirect fire support are as follows: l Communications: Availability of communications with each platform facilitates good command and control and excellent intelligence, surveillance and recce information which equip the tank crew to effectively engage the target. l Armour Protection: This provides survivability to the crew from the envisaged threat of counter bombardment that artillery units fear in combat. l Mobility: Enables the tanks to rapidly deploy and redeploy and change positions and roles depending upon the battle situation, thereby giving it all the advantages that tracked self-propelled artillery enjoys. l High Rate of Fire: At approximately six rounds per minute, tanks can bring down a high volume of firepower and cause substantial damage of the enemy in a short duration. l Flexibility: The flexibility which results from a combination of the above mentioned features, equips the tank to be employed in offensive or defensive operations and in the assault as well as the fire support (including indirect firing) role.
l Tanks must be selectively employed for
short durations to provide indirect fire support to augment the existing degradation resources in the battlefield. Such employment can be done in support of all offensive and defensive operations. The long ranges of engagement of up to 10 km and the heavy weight of attack that can be brought to bear on the enemy must be exploited. l Suitable training of tank crews to fire in the indirect role as well as to direct such fire must be carried out by all armoured regiments during the field firings. Crews must attain proficiency in directing artillery fire. l Problems of high ammunition expenditure must be catered for by grouping suitable wagon line vehicles to carry additional ammunition much in the way it is done for self propelled artillery. When employed in a defensive role in pivot corps formations, suitable dumping of ammunition can be resorted to. l Spare crews must be utilised for carriage and handling of the additional ammunition. Accordingly the first and second line authorisation of high explosive ammunition to armoured regiments must be revised. l Additional vehicles for carriage of ammunition should be authorised to armoured regiments. l This mode of employment of tanks in indirect firing be an exception rather than the rule and be undertaken only in crucial stages of the operation where overwhelming fire support is essential to ensure victory.
Ever since tanks became part of the modern battlefield, they have been employed for a variety of tasks.Tanks have been used to break through defences, reconnoiter defences, execute battlefield liaison, conduct reconnaissance missions as well as transport essential supplies. Tanks have been used as the main force in attack, as well as defence, and even for roles as diverse as establishing a road block and providing fire support. The idea of providing indirect fire support by tanks is not a new one. In November, 1937, three Japanese tanks formed a stationary battery while infantry were crossing the Suchow Canal. In February, 1938, 40 tanks were similarly employed at the crossing of the River Hwai. The longest ranges at which tanks have been recorded to have provided fire support is 11 km in 1966 by Israeli M51 Sherman and Centurion tanks with other tank crews on foot providing corrections. The tank is a versatile weapon platform and it is only in the order of things that we utilise its great potential in all fields so as to enable us to win the next war. SP
Having analyzed the employment of tanks in indirect firing mode the following is recommended:
Major General Vikram Dev Dogra is the Provost Marshal of the Indian Army.
Despite the many features that make a tank suitable to provide indirect fire support, the following points merit consideration: l Availability of Ammunition: Most tanks carry approximately 44 rounds on weapon. Considering that a squadron is employed to provide indirect fire support for one engagement of four minutes, each tank would consume approximately 24 high explosive rounds. Hence, in order to employ tanks in this role, adequate quantities of ammunition must be ensured. This can be done by carrying additional ammunition on wheels much the same way as is done in the artillery. l Wear and Tear: In order to ensure there is uniform wear and tear of gun barrels, it will have to be ensured that the same tanks are not repeatedly employed for this task. This can be resolved by employing guns in the first or second quarter of life and by careful planning.
>> defence budget
Analysis of Defence Budget 2015-16 - Army Focus The latest defence allocation comes in the wake of the Modi Government’s all-out push for the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the ‘heart’ of which, as noted by the Prime Minister himself at the Aero India 2015, is the defence industry photograph: US Army
percentage and absolute terms, would have further increased in 2015-16.
he first full budget of the Modi Government presented to Parliament on February 28, 2015, set aside `2,46,727 crore ($40.4 billion) for defence, which amounts to a 7.7 per cent increase over the previous year’s allocation. The defence allocation is, however, exclusive of another `62,852.6 crore provided to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under the heads of Defence Pensions (`54,500 crore) and Civil Expenditure of MoD (`8,852.6 crore), both of which do not form part of India’s official defence budget. The latest defence allocation comes in the wake of the Modi Government’s allout push for the ‘Make in India’ initiative, the ‘heart’ of which, as noted by the Prime Minister himself at the Aero India 2015, is the defence industry. The budget also comes in the wake of the government’s acceptance and implementation of the report of the 14th Finance Commission, which has made a number of recommendations that have a bearing on the Central Government’s budget, a significant portion of which is spent on defence. This issue briefly examines the 2015-16 defence budget keeping in view these two developments in particular. But it begins with a macro survey of the Indian economy and the Central Government’s fiscal situation, both of which have a direct bearing on defence.
State of the Economy The 2015-16 defence budget comes in the backdrop of some visible improvements in key indicators of the Indian economy. As the Economy Survey 2014-15 brings out, the real gross domestic product (GDP), as expressed through the recently revised methodology for estimating national income by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), is expected to grow by between 8.1 and 8.5 per cent in 2015-16, as against 7.4 per cent in the preceding year. The improvement in the GDP figure also coincides with a sharp decline in international commodity prices (particularly of crude oil). This has had a helpful impact on inflation and the fiscal deficit, the latter being projected to decline to 3.9 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 from 4.1 per cent in the previous year. On India’s external front, there has also been several impressive improvements as witnessed in the surge in the country’s foreign exchange reserves, stability in the rupee-dollar exchange rate, and a sharp narrowing of the Current Account Deficit (CAD) which had deteriorated to a ‘worryingly high’ level not so long ago, causing panic among investors and an outflow of foreign exchange. Notwithstanding the improvement in the aforementioned indicators, the revenue collection of the government still remains subdued, reflecting the painful recovery process that the economy is still going through. According to estimates, the Central Government’s gross tax revenue collection is projected to grow by only six per cent to `14,49,490 crore in 2015-16. More importantly, unlike in 2014-15, a greater part of the Centre’s gross tax revenue in 2015-16
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
Defence Budget: Estimates, Major Elements and Growth Drivers
M777 Howitzer weapons system
would be devolved to states as part of the implementation of 14th Finance Commission report, which had recommended that the states’ share in the divisible pool of Union taxes be increased by 10 percentage points to 42 per cent. Consequently, the Central Government is left with proportionately lesser resources. In fact, the Central Government’s total net tax revenue (after deducting the states’ share) has gone down by six per cent to `9,19,842 crore, causing a further cascading effect on total Central Government expenditure (CGE), which has been reduced by nearly one per cent to `17,77,477 crore in 2015-16.
The eight per cent growth in the defence budget has to be seen in the light of this development, although there would be plenty of disappointment for the armed forces which would have expected a double digit growth. This disappointment is mainly due to the ever widening gap between the resource requirement projected by the Ministry of Defence and what it is finally allotted in successive budgets. Suffice to mention that the gap, which was eight per cent (`12,453 crore) in 2009-10 increased to a mammoth 26 per cent (`79,363 crore) in 2014-15. It can be assumed with a reasonable degree of certainty that the gap, both in
Table I: Budget and Revised Estimates for 2014-15 and 2015-16 Revenue Expenditure Capital Expenditure (` in crore) (` in crore)
Total (` in crore)
Table II: Comparative Statistics of Defence Budget: 2014-15 and 2015-16 2014-15
Defence Budget (` in crore)
Growth of Defence Budget (%)
Revenue Expenditure (` in crore)
Growth of Revenue Expenditure (%)
Share of Revenue Expenditure in Defence Budget (%)
Capital Expenditure (` in crore)
Growth of Capital Expenditure (%)
Share of Capital Expenditure in Defence Budget (%)
Capital Acquisition (` in crore)
Growth of Capital Acquisition (%)
Share of Defence Budget in GDP (%)
Share of Defence Budget in Central Government Expenditure (%)
Note: *: approximate figure. ` 1.0 crore = ` 10 million = US$ 163,880 (as per the average exchange rate for the first 11 months of 2014-15)
It is to be noted that though the defence budget for 2015-16 has grown by eight per cent over the preceding year’s budget allocation, the growth rate amounts to 11 per cent over the revised allocation for 201415. This means that the original budget allocation of 2014-15 has been revised downward, to the extent of `6,630 crore, or three per cent of the total. The downward revision was on account of the reduction in capital expenditure by `12,623 crore (13 per cent). More significantly, nearly 72 per cent (`9,123 crore) of the total cut in capital expenditure was affected on the capital acquisition budget. On the other hand, the revenue expenditure was revised upward by `5,993 crore (four per cent) (see Table I). Table II summarises the key elements of the defence budgets of 2014-15 and 201516. Of note here is the decline in the share of capital expenditure in the total defence budget to below 40 per cent. The last time the share of capital expenditure went below 40 per cent was in 2009-10 when the hike in pay and allowances due to the implementation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission recommendations increased the share of revenue expenditure to over 60 per cent. In 2015-16 also, it is the same pay and allowances that have resulted in a similar situation. It is to be noted that of the total increase of `17,727 crore in the defence budget of 2015-16, `8,855 crore (50 per cent) is on account of increase in pay and allowances of the three armed services. Compared to this, the ‘Stores’ budget, which is key to maintenance and hence preparedness, has contributed only 17 per cent to the growth of the defence budget. Capital expenditure, which is key to acquiring new capability, has not contributed anything to this growth as the allocation remains virtually the same as last year. An interesting feature of Table II is the movement in different directions of the share of defence in GDP and CGE. While the share of defence in GDP has decreased marginally, that of CGE has increased by more than one percentage point. The decrease in the share of GDP is primarily due to relatively subdued growth in defence expenditure vis-à-vis the growth rate of GDP, which is projected to increase by 11.5 per cent in nominal terms. On the other hand, the increase in the share of CGE is due to the shrinking of the total government expenditure due to the greater devolution of tax revenue to the states.
Share of the Three Services Like in the past, the Army continues to be biggest stakeholder in the defence budget. With an approximate allocation of `1,30,874 crore, it accounts for 53 per cent of the total defence budget in 2015-16. The Air Force comes a distant second with an allocation of `56,658 crore, followed by the Navy (`40,529 crore), Defence Research and Development Organisation (`14,358 crore)
photograph: SP Guide Pubns
5.56 x 30mm JVPC and INSAS Rifle with 40mm UBGL
and Ordnance Factories (`3,644 crore) (see Figure I). It is to be noted, however, that the Army is the most revenue-intensive service. In 2015-16, 80 per cent of its budget has been earmarked for revenue expenditure. The corresponding figures for the Navy and Air Force are 38 and 41 per cent, respectively.
Impact on Capital Acquisition of the Army One area where the 2015-16 defence budget is likely to hurt the most is in capital acquisition, which has already been under acute pressure in recent years due to the overwhelming share of the ‘committed liabilities’ arising out of contracts already signed. Given the already downward revision of the 2014-15 capital acquisition budget, its moderate increase in the 2015-16 budget is unlikely to generate the required money to sign any major new contracts. Table III summarises the capital acquisition budget of the Army. Its inadequacy may be examined in light of the major deficiencies of the Army which were amply covered by General V.K. Singh (Retd), the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), who wrote a letter regarding the status of equipment in the Army to the Prime Minister on March 12, 2012. It highlighted that the mission reliability of mechanised vehicles was poor, the artillery was obsolete and inadequate, air
To boost indigenous arms manufacturing, particularly by the private sector, there is a need for huge investment in plant and machinery, technology and skill development. At the same time, tax and duties structure also need to be made attractive for in-house manufacturing.
defence was antiquated, armour was unreliable due to regular barrel accidents caused by mismatch between indigenous barrels and ammunition, night-fighting devices were insufficient, aviation corps helicopters needed urgent replacements, and holdings of all types of missiles, anti-tank and specialised ammunition was critically low. The situation currently is that apart from the above drawbacks which continue to plague the Army, even the infantry who are employed constantly for counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northeast lacks modern weaponry. It needs modern assault rifles, carbines, bullet proof vests, and bullet proof helmets to name just a few items required
urgently. Considering that no progress has been made in recent times, the current inadequate capital budget is proof of the fact the even the present BJP-led Government is not serious about national security at a time when the services are anticipating a two-front threat in the future.
Make in India’ for Defence Rising up to the huge expectation generated since the launch of ‘Make in India’ initiative in September 2014, the Union Budget has made a number of provisions to incentivise Indian industry, particularly the manufacturing sector. Among others, the budget has proposed to reduce the corporate tax from 30 to 25 per cent over a period of four
Figure I: Share of Defence Services in Defence Budget 2015-16 OFs 2%
Air Force 23% Army 53%
Table III: Army’s Acquisition Budget 2014-15 (BE) (` in Cr)
2014-15 (RE) (` in Cr)
2015-16 (BE) (` in Cr)
Aircraft & Aero Engine
% Increase in 2015-16 (BE) over 2014-15 (BE)
Total Acquisition Budget
years in a move to bring parity with the tax structure of other manufacturing nations; enhance the access of technology to small businesses by reducing the rate of income tax on royalty and fees for technical services from 25 to 10 per cent; and explore the possibility of replacing the system of multiple prior permissions required for setting up a business with a pre-existing regulatory mechanism so as to further improve the ‘ease of doing business’. It is to be noted, however, that while the aforementioned measures are likely to help defence manufacturing in some way, they may not prove sufficient. To boost indigenous arms manufacturing, particularly by the private sector, there is a need for huge investment in plant and machinery, technology and skill development. At the same time, tax and duties structure also need to be made attractive for in-house manufacturing. The budget does not, however, shed any light on these aspects, although the Prime Minister had talked of several measures at the recently concluded Aero India show. The only concrete defence-specific measure visible in the budget is allocation for ‘Make’ projects for which `144.21 crore has been allocated. Although the budget is opaque in detail, the allocation, by far the biggest under the ‘Make’ head, would mostly be provided to two industry consortiums – one of Tata Power SED and L&T and the other of Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Rolta India Ltd – each of which recently won a contract from the MoD to develop a prototype under the Indian Army’s Battlefield Management System (BMS) programme.
Conclusion The eight per cent growth in the defence budget for 2015-16 is disappointing on several accounts. First, the modest increase would most likely enlarge the already huge gap existing between the MoD’s resource requirement and the allocation made in successive budgets. Second, the stagnation of capital expenditure, which is crucial for building new capability, would further delay the ongoing modernisation process. Having said that, the latest defence allocation has to be seen in the light of the new Centre-state fiscal relations in which the fiscal space of the Central Government has shrunk due to the implementation of the report of the 14th Finance Commission. From both the short- and longterm perspectives, this is a major cause of concern for sectors like defence, which are completely dependent on the Central Government for their resource requirement. What is more significant is that if the fiscal space does not widen rapidly in the future due to subdued growth in revenue collection (as has been the case in 201516), defence will have very little for augmenting its capital assets. As evident, the entire increase of `17,727 crore in the 2015-16 defence budget would be consumed by revenue expenditure, with manpower costs accounting for nearly half of it. Given the new fiscal reality, the government has to ponder seriously if such a situation – wherein extra funds allocated in the budget do not go towards capital expenditure – can be allowed to persist. Third, the 2015-16 defence budget is also disappointing on account of the lack of a defence-specific ‘Make in India’ initiative. In particular, the budget does not speak of measures promised by the Prime Minister at the Aero India exhibition. Considering that defence manufacturing, particularly by the private sector, needs substantial investment on plant and machinery, technology and skill development, it is high time the Government begins to incentivise industry and implement the measures promised by the Prime Minister himself. SP The author is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and is a prolifie writer on defence matters.
2/2015 SP’s Land Forces
>> integrated defence Nation Needs ...continued from page 5 swamped, bureaucratic resistance stemmed from the feeling that the CDS may become more powerful than the Cabinet Secretary. The political hierarchy, meanwhile, felt apprehensive about too much power vested in one person. As a result, while a majority of the recommendations were implemented, including the creation of a full-fledged office of the integrated defence staff comprising almost 200 officers, its head, the CDS, has not been put in place till date. Lack of political consensus on the issue has been cited as the reason for non-implementation.
Naresh Chandra Committee Naresh Chandra Committee, a 14-member Task Force on national security was set up by the UPA Government on June 21, 2012, to suggest ways to revamp of defence management in the country. The reasons can be attributed to the large number of legal complaints in the various courts against the MoD on pay and allowances discrepancies, defence procurement scams and the threat perception from our adversaries China and Pakistan. The main objective behind the constitution of the committee was to contemporise the Kargil Review Committee’s Report, which was tabled in the Parliament on February 23, 2000. Besides, the Task Force was also asked to examine the state of country’s border management. The Committee submitted its report to the government on August 8, 2013. The 14-member Naresh Chandra Task Force on national security, in its report recommended a permanent Chairman of COSC to exercise ‘administrative control’ over the nuclear arsenal, head a separate joint special forces command, prioritise modernisation of the armed forces and prepare annual defence operational status reports.
only be an Inter-Service professional coordinator, with individual Service Chiefs. But MoD’s reservations may well have pushed the proposals into the cold storage.
The Way Ahead The new government should accord priority to creating a permanent Chairman of the COSC or a Chief of Defence Staff. Modern warfare demands true operational integration of the three services to win wars in the future and this is not going to come about through the type of ‘jointmanship’ being practised at present. It will require political will to compel the services to be truly joint in their planning and conduct of future wars. This will demand some radical changes at the higher operational levels and the Chairman with the powers vested in him by the government could
set the ball rolling. This will not only ensure operational efficiency but will also be cost effective. The permanent Chairman COSC or CDS by virtue of his appointment will have no allegiance to any service and must be given the status to implement the political directions in this regard. Therefore he will have to be the first among the ‘equals’. With finite capital budgets it is imperative that the capital budget be prioritised to acquire capabilities for the armed forces and not merely add new weapon systems to the inventory of each service. By a thorough professional audit we will avoid duplication in acquiring capabilities. Some of the roles that may be given to the permanent Chairman COSC are as under: l Exercise ‘administrative control’ over the nuclear arsenal,
l Head a separate joint Special Forces
Command. l Ensure jointness in the armed forces. l Exercise administrative control over
all joint services commands such as the Andaman and Nicobar Command; Strategic Forces Command; Cyber Command (when created); Aerospace Command (when created). l Prioritise allocation of capital budgets for acquiring vital capabilities for the armed forces. l Prepare annual defence operational status reports. l Will be an ‘invitee’ to the Cabinet Committee on Security and the National Security Council as well as advise the Defence Minister on all matters concerning two or more services. SP
Permanent Chairman of COSC
Currently the COSC is a forum for service chiefs to discuss matters having a bearing on the activities of services and to advise the ministry. Its members include Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff (CISC) who is a nonvoting member. The position of Chairman devolves on the longest serving Chief of Staff and rotates amongst the chiefs of the three services. However, it has no powers to take any strategic or administrative decision. The permanent Chairm a n
M U TH ST E BU M Y O ST FO C O SC , a four-star SO R T general like the Army, Navy and IAF U HE chiefs who currently G constitute the panel, was to H IN also be an ‘invitee’ to the Cabinet T Committee on Security (CCS) and the A DU National Security Council (NSC) as well FT S as advise the Defence Minister on all matters ER TR concerning two or more services. Just as the the politico-bureaucratic combine had scuttled the recommendation D YK ES E for a CDS after the 1999 Kargil conflict, the Defence Ministry has expressed major reserTI EN vations against the fresh proposal for a perN T manent COSC Chairman as recommended A O by the Committee. Sources said the MoD, in TI W its comments to the NSC Secretariat under O A the PMO, virtually rejected the creation of N R a permanent Chairman COSC post as well S D as some other ‘critical reforms’ desperately SU S needed to reform the country’s higher defence management that were suggested CHBU by the Naresh Chandra Task Force. The fear that a permanent Chairman A SIN COSC or a CDS will erode the supremacy of S E the civil over the military is unfounded. He IN SS will not be a Supreme Commander. He will D I IA N 10 SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
marketing feature >>
More Power for India
ilitary-technical cooperation between Russia and India dates back to the 1960s. Since then, as a result of mutually beneficial partnerships, the Indian Army has been more than 70 percent equipped with Soviet and Russian weapons, while the total domestic arms exports have exceeded $60 billion over the years of cooperation. For more than half a century (since April 1963), Soviet and then Russian military technology has been transferred to India. Five major aircraft and aircraft engine factories, 12 armored vehicle, arms and ammunition factories have been built in India with technical assistance from our country. No state in the world is ready to transfer modern technology, including the most sensitive defense manufacturing technology, to India to the extent that Russia does. The Heavy Vehicle Factory (HVF) located at Avadi, Chennai manufacturing T-90S tanks is one of the best examples of cooperation. The project was launched in 2001 when Rosoboronexport and the Indian Ministry of Defense’s Ordnance Factories Board signed a package of contracts. Soon, Russia delivered a large shipment of finished tanks and tank assembly sets to the friendly country. But before such large-scale procurement became possible, the Indian military had subjected the Russian tank to a series of the most severe survival tests in the harshest climatic conditions of the Thar Desert (Rajasthan State) and in the training situations as close to fighting as possible. After the tank had successfully passed the exams, Jaswant Singh, the then Minister of Defense and Foreign Affairs Minister of India, said that the T-90S was “second only deterrent for potential military threats after nuclear weapons.” The first T-90S tanks made under Russian license using Russian-supplied and Indian-manufactured components rolled off the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory as soon as August 2009. The current rate of T-90S production suggests that contract figures will be met. Having considerable growth potential, the Russian T-90S tanks can embody the latest achievements and remain India’s
powerful, reliable and capable main battle tank for many years to come. Rosoboronexport, Russia’s major arms exporter of the entire range of final military and dual-use goods and services, offers its Indian partners to upgrade the T-90S in several areas. The T-90S tank upgrade proposals are aimed first of all at enhancing the fire control system, improving search-and-observation capabilities and service characteristics. In particular, it is proposed to replace the commander’s PNK-4S-01 observation/ sighting system with a new commander’s TO1-KO4DT combined observation/sighting system, which increases the detection (recognition) range against a tank target at up to 3000 meters even at night (compared with the previous capability of 1200 m in passive mode). This is achieved through replacing the infrared channel with a thermal imaging one, which makes it possible to fire the gun, coaxial machine gun and AA machine gun reliably and more effectively from short halts and on the move, day or night. The tank commander receives the capability to independently measure the distance to a target in the range of 200-4000 meters with accuracy up to 5 meters through the integration of a laser rangefinder into the new commander’s combined observation/ sighting system. In real combat, the accuracy of engaging the target and the outcome of combat on the whole may depend precisely on that. Since the new TO1-KO4DT commander’s sight and the existing PNK-4S-01 share the similar dimensions and connection diagram, the new system can be installed quickly and easily without significant efforts. Complete automation of the shot preparation process, reduced calculation efforts and improved adjustment of the fire control system’s parameters are provided by the 1V528-2 digital ballistic computer. It is needed to fully automate the shot preparation process, including automatic allowance for of air and propellant charge temperatures, atmospheric pressure, bore wear figure and individual jump angles of projectiles, which significantly increases aiming consistency and accuracy.
The digital ballistic computer supports seven types of ammunition, including Indian-made ammunition, and there is a possibility to support five more types of projectiles, while maintaining a manual data entry capability. In addition, there is a possibility for the crew to adjust firing data and enter barreljump corrections for projectiles using the PNK-1 digital off-vehicle control panel. An automatic target tracker (ATT) is intended to provide reliable and fast target acquisition as well as automatic target tracking based on the image data obtained from the thermal imaging channel of the ESSA thermal viewer. The ATT is effective even in cases where a low-skilled gunner fires. In turn, to protect the tank against precision guided weapons with laser designators and artillery systems equipped with laser rangefinders, Rosoboronexport proposes to install an automatic smoke screening system on the T-90S. The system automatically fires a smoke aerosol grenade in the direction of the attacking enemy when its illuminating ATGM laser designators or rangefinders are detected. The resulting aerosol cloud curtains the tank against visual observation and reflects laser radiation, thus disrupting the approaching missiles’ seekers. The use of a gear shifting robot (GSR) improves the dynamic and service characteristics of the tank (acceleration capabilities, increased average speed). This significantly reduces the driver’s burden and also provides confident driving of the tank even by a lowskilled driver, including in a column. There is an instrument package installed at the driver station to inform the driver of the status of the engine compartment and other tank systems, as well as of a possible emergency. Its installation improves station ergonomics and reduces fatigue. The package comprises the information and signal units arranged symmetrically relative to the driver’s vision device and allow the driver to observe instrument readings, both in combat and travelling modes. The information unit indicates the number of the engaged gear (if the GSR system if installed), distance traveled, driv-
ing speed, engine shaft speed, the amount of fuel in the tanks, tank system voltage, current consumption, and the protrusion of the gun beyond the tank chassis outlines. The signal unit displays the coolant temperature, oil temperature and pressure in the engine and transmission lubrication system. Also, the unit indicates a possible fire in the front and rear compartments, tank turn, tow starting mode and other important information. Both units have a self-testing mode. The DGU-8 diesel-electric auxiliary power unit will supply DC electricity to the T-90S tank’s electric equipment when the main engine is turned off, thereby saving its life. It provides full-fledged operation of the T-90S fighting and driver’s compartments. This enables all of the crewmembers to observe the battlefield, day and night, in any weather and to fire on the detected targets without starting the main engine. A thermoelectric air conditioner provides a comfortable environment for crewmembers through local supply of cooled air. Its design envisages that a cooling unit is installed at each crew station: using it the crewmember can adjust the air flow and switch the air conditioner to air conditioner-fan mode. Finally, there is one last point. Rubber track shoes are designed to reduce the pressure on the ground exerted by the tank tracks and prevent damage to asphalt roads. They are made of high-strength steel reinforced polyurethane and can be installed (removed) on the tank by the crew in field. Their service life is about 1000 km when driving on asphalt roads. At the same time, the tank remains steerable even in high speed turns, both on asphalt and sandy and clay roads. Today, the Russian-made T-90S tank attracts attention of the military and specialists from many countries. The vehicle is operational with the Russian Army and, as is known, no one buys something of poor quality for oneself. The T-90S has been developed keeping in mind huge combat experience gained by Russian armored vehicles and will be the main battle tank of many armies in the world for many years to come. SP
2/2015 SP’s Land Forces
>> military history
Indian Army’s Contribution in World War I In August 1914, soon after the outbreak of war when the British Expeditionary Force had been almost wiped out, Britain called on the Indian Army to fill the vital gap left in its defences. The first 28,500 Indian Army troops arrived on the Western Front on September 26, 1914. photograph: PIB
Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)
ollowing the First War of Independence in 1857 (called the Indian Mutiny by the British Government), the British Queen issued a proclamation in 1858, taking over the Government of India from the East India Company. A Royal Commission appointed in July 1858 suggested that the Army in India be composed mainly of Indian troops with a proportion of Indian to British being 2:1. By 1863 the actual numbers were 3,15,500 Indian and 38,000 British troops. Step by step the three Presidency Armies were amalgamated which was completed by 1895. With the overall control of the Indian Empire being vested in the Crown, the imperial strategy for the defence of India envisaged a wide cordon sanitaire to give depth to this jewel in the crown. Afghanistan, Tibet and Burma were the immediate buffers while the global dominance of the British Navy of the time allowed them even further outposts like Hong Kong, Singapore, Aden and Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. Pax Britannica was at its Zenith and the core was centred on India.
The Era of the World War I The final shape and professional restructuring of the Indian Army was carried out prior to World War I under General Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief in India from 1902. During this period, due to a clash between him and Viceroy Curzon over the perceived organisational duality of control of the Military in India, Curzon resigned. This issue has had a significantly negative effect on the higher defence control mechanism that evolved after independence which leaves the service chiefs outside the governmental decision-making forums. To this day this aspect remains an Indian weakness. India raised the world’s largest volunteer army, 1.5 million in World War I. This war marked an important watershed. For the first time, Indian soldiers were fighting on European soil. They fought in all the major theatres of war on land, air and sea, alongside British troops. Their many awards for bravery, as well as their war graves and memorials on the battlefields, are testimony to their sacrifice in the service of Britain. Unrecognised for decades, their contributions are only now being fully acknowledged. From our own historical records, in World War I, more than one million Indian soldiers served overseas. The Army expanded from 2,39,511 in 1914 to 14,40,428 personnel by 1919. While there were no commissioned Indian officers in the Army, the Indian Army fought in all major theatres including France, Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Palestine. In August 1914, soon after the outbreak of war when the British Expeditionary Force had been almost wiped out, Britain called on the Indian Army to fill the vital gap left in its defences. The first 28,500 Indian Army troops arrived on the Western Front on September 26. They played a crucial role in holding the line and are said to have arrived
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being presented a memento by the COAS, General Dalbir Singh, at the commemorative exhibition on centenary of World War I in New Delhi
just ‘in the nick of time’. Indian soldiers were deployed widely and fought in the battles of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, the Somme and Passchendaele and in even greater number in Mesopotamia.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission has stated that by the time the war ended in November 1918, as many as 11,05,000 Indian personnel had been sent overseas as under: l 1,38,000 to France. l 6,57,000 to Mesopotamia (most of which is now contained within modernday Iraq) l 1,44,000 to Egypt and Palestine Smaller contingents to Aden, East Africa, Gallipolli and Salonika. India’s contribution was not confined to the army. The Royal Indian Marine was armed in 1914, some of its ships serving with the Royal Navy on escort duties and others as coastal minesweepers or river gunboats in the Mesopotamia campaign.
India raised the world’s largest volunteer army, 1.5 million in World War I. This war marked an important watershed. For the first time, Indian soldiers were fighting on European soil. They fought in all the major theatres of war on land, air and sea, alongside British troops.
The role of the Indian merchant services in transportation and supply was no less essential than that of their comrades in arms. Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service had its origins in the Indian Army. In 1914 there were around 300 nurses in the QAIMNS (Queen Alexandria’s Imperial Military Nursing Service). By the end of the war this had risen to 10,404. The Army nurses served in Flanders, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, the Middle East and on board hospital ships. Of the 200 plus Army nurses who died on active service, many were Indians.
Late Recognition It has often been asked as to what is the reason for the late recognition of this most significant contribution by the Indian soldiers in the British war effort in World War I ? Some scholars have argued that India’s military contribution to the British war effort in both world wars was forgotten because Churchill wrote it off. It was ironic, therefore, that 100 years after World War I, the Indian Army’s significant role was acknowledged and remembered in the House of Commons’ members-only Churchill Room, right under the bust of the man who had once said, “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” The event in Britain, held on the eve of Armistice Day (November 11, 2014) had an eclectic mix of British politicians, armed forces personnel, schoolchildren, NRIs and members of the Sikh community as well as descendants of both Indian and British WWI soldiers. The congregation also had a company of re-enactment soldiers dressed as troops of the 15th Ludhiana Sikh Regiment, one of the first Indian Army troops to set foot on European soil in 1914. They all came together to pay glowing tributes to the Sikhs and the wider Indian Army for their pivotal role in the British war effort in the Great War.
Indian Army Commemorates the Centenary of World War I Indian Army Commemorated the Centenary
of World War I from March 10 to 14, 2015, in New Delhi in memory of the 1.5 million Indian soldiers who fought in the war and over 74,000 who made the supreme sacrifice. March 10 coincides with the Battle of Neuve Chapelle marking the British Offensive in Artois region of France in which the Garhwal Brigade & Meerut Division of the Indian Corps participated. The time period 2014 to 2018 is being commemorated as the Centenary of World War I. As part of the Commemorative Events, a wreath was laid at Amar Jawan Jyoti, India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 10, 2015. Raksha Mantri, Rajya Raksha Mantri, Service Chiefs, Defence Secretary and senior serving officers, representatives, of the Regiments that took part in the War, also graced the occasion. A Commemorative Exhibition was held at the Manekshaw Centre from March 10 to 14, 2015. A Veterans Run, flagged off by Vice Chief of Army Staff carried the inaugural Flame ‘Heritage Torch’ from Commonwealth War Cemetery, Brar Square to Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantonment. The last Veteran Runner Honorary Captain (Retd) Bana Singh, PVC, handed over the ‘Heritage Torch’ to the President of India for lighting the symbolic ‘Flame of Remembrance’ (Inaugural Flame) and inaugurating the Commemorative Exhibition on March 10, 2015. The Chief of the Army Staff addressed the dignitaries and highlighted the role and sacrifices of the Indian soldiers during World War I. The President thereafter released a Commemorative First Day Cover. The President also viewed the exhibition which included a ‘Gallantry Hall’, highlighting how the ‘Great War’ was fought and won, its impact on Indian soldiers lives on the frontline and at home. It showcased 13 campaigns, wartime weapons and equipment, memorabilia and various artifacts. The ‘Corner of Remembrance’ in the exhibition displayed old letters, an old home in neglect with belongings of soldiers and depicting a feeling of anxiousness of the families waiting for their dear ones to return home. The ‘Sacrifice Hall’ included replicas of Amar Jawan Jyoti, Indian memorials, busts and paintings of Victoria Cross Winners in India and abroad. The outdoor props of the exhibition gave a glimpse of the dress, equipment, bunkers and guns. A replica of miniature Brighton Hospital depicted the treatment and the trauma that the Indian soldiers went through. The live props highlighted the role played by various Arms/Corps in the War including Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers, Signals and ASC. A dynamic band display by the Indian Army brass & pipe bands was conducted as part of the mega event. The descendants of some of the Victoria Cross Awardees and the Param Vir Chakra Awardees of independent India were also be present for the function and interacted with the President of India. The Commemoration Exhibition of World War I at the Manekshaw Convention Centre at Delhi Cantonment was open to the public and schools and colleges from March 11 to 13, 2015. SP
relief operations >>
A Friend Indeed The Indian Military is an institution that responds fast and spontaneously and does not wait to receive any formal orders and instructions to a developing situation. The ongoing Operation Maitri showcases the humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) capabilities of the Indian armed forces. photographs: Indian Army
(From top left, clockwise) Operation Maitri in progress: Indian Army distributing relief in the quake-affected areas in Nepal; Indian Army doctors at work in Nepal; Relief materials being despached to Khatmandu and Indian Army clearing the wreckage after the earthquake.
Lt General V.K. Kapoor (Retd)
he alacrity of the national and military response to this massive human tragedy that has unfolded in Nepal and in parts of India, and Tibet has been phenomenal. Decision-making in the Government of India has undergone a sea-change. Gone are the days of committees and core groups staffed by bureaucrats for whom decision making is the most difficult phenomenon and they revel in forming committees to delay decision making. This time it was different, thanks to a decisive PM and the ever ready military. The Indian Military is an institution that responds fast and spontaneously and does not wait to receive any formal or informal orders and instructions. Even though last Saturday April 25, 2015, was the last day of the important Army Commanders Conference, it did not prove to be an inhibiting factor in quick and decisive responses. The well-oiled military machine, especially of the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), swung into action. Within a few hours Super Hercules and Globe Master transport aircraft of the IAF were hurtling down runways with trained personnel,
medical and nursing staff and a wide variety of equipment and stores needed immediately for the succor of the affected populace. As per the reports received from the Army headquarters on April 28, 2015, Indian Army has intensified its efforts and is operating in syngery with other agencies and stakeholders such as IAF and NDRF under guidance of the Government of India. It has been able to reach to far flung areas like Barpak, which is also the epicentre of the earthquake and is currently in the process of providing succor to the people in this area with an emphasis on saving precious lives. Following stores have been/are being inducted by the Army: l Induction of 4 advance light helicopters (ALH) and 2 Cheetah helicopters has been completed and are located close to the epicentre of earthquake, thereby assisting in the overall evacuation effort. l 3 field hospitals (18 medical teams) are operating in Kathmandu, Pokhara and areas around it. A 45-bed hospital has been established at Lagankhel. Medical resources of Nepalese authorities have been augmented by embedding own medical persons in civilian hopitals in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Medical sup-
port provided so far includes 65 surgeries, 540 trauma cases and over 2,000 first aid cases. l Engineer effort includes 12 Engineer Task Forces with JCBs and skid steers. Two have reached and 10 are to follow. An Electricity Damage Assessment Team, assisted the Nepalese authorities to restore power in various parts of Kathmandu. A landslide at Narainpur has also been cleared by Engineer Task Force today to open a road axis. l 10,000 blankets, 1,000 tents and an equal number of tarpaulins and plastic sheet are planned to be sent. So far approximately 3,000 blankets and 100 tents have been sent. l 12 INMARSAT (satellite communications) and 10 high frequency communication sets have been sent to facilitate communication. l So far, 41 tonnes of water, 22 tonnes of cooked food and dry ration have been sent. In light of its criticality, 25 food and water vehicles were diverted to Sindhupal Chowk. l Oxygen cylinders have also been sent to Kathmandu on request of Nepal. Indian Army’s Everest expedition team
has done yeoman service and as per last reports received, rescued 19 mountaineers of other nations. On April 25, 2015, when the avalanche struck, most of the Army Everest Team was at Khumbu ice fall and training and acclimatising for the expedition. The expedition leader Major R.S. Jamwal effectively coordinated the rescue efforts. Major Ritesh Goel, the Medical Officer with the expedition team, was able to provide immediate medical aid to eight head injury victims in location before they were evacuated. He also helped stabilise over 60-70 casualties prior to evacuation. The expedition will re-commence based on clearance given by Nepal Goverment and the Everest Park officials. Gorkha soldiers of the Indian Army have been sent to various parts of Nepal to ascertain the requirements in remote places. The Indian Army remains committed for relief to the Nepalese people and we will continue to provide necessary support. The IAF, till April 28 (1800 Hrs) has airlifted a total of 2,865 persons, flying a total of 36 fixed wing sorties by C-17 Globemaster III, IL-76, C-130J Super Hercules and AN-32 aircraft landing a total of 238.5 tonnes of relief material and equipment. SP
2/2015 SP’s Land Forces
>> Sp’s Exclusives / news in brief HAL Powers On LUH Ahead Of First Flight
The Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is powering on with the light utility helicopter (LUH) ahead of a potential first flight in July or August this year. HAL, which has responded to the Indian Army RFI for reconnaissance & surveillance helicopters has decided to play its hand aggressively in the ‘Make in India’ environment sweeping the country’s defence procurement. The LUH, displayed in complete form for the first time at Aero India this year, is all set to lift off shortly. HAL is currently in the process of identifying crucial on-board systems and equipment to speed up the process. For instance, HAL has called for information to supply an electrically operated rescue hoist system for lowering or raising personnel from an airborne helicopter using a rescue seat, rescue basket or a rescue stretcher. “The rescue hoist system will be an off the shelf fully qualified equipment with necessary minor adaptations incorporated to cater for installation interface of the helicopter and to meet the technical requirements of this specification,” says HAL.
Indian and US Army conduct joint IED clearing drills
Indian and US Army soldiers showcased their engineer operations and systems skills to each other recently at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, Washington. During the visit the Indian Army officials discussed and compared routeclearing procedures and received other engineer training classes. “We showed them tactical on the ground aid, combined arms breaching, just to show them what capabilities we bring to the fight, so they can learn from us and take it back to their country as well,” said 1st Lt. Aditya Iyer, with 555th Engineer Brigade, I Corps, US Army, liaison officer during the event. During conversations with the delegation, Iyer learned that the most complicated threat the Indian Army faces is improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted by terrorists and insurgent militants, a threat faced by both military and paramilitary forces.
GDLS and Thales partner for Australian Army’s Land 400 Phase 2 project General Dynamics Land Systems Australia (GDLS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thales Australia to submit a proposal for Australia’s Land 400 Phase 2-Mounted Combat Reconnaissance Capability programme. In February, the Australian Department of Defence issued a request for tender to replace the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) Australian light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) fleet. Under the terms of the agreement, the team aims to offer a cost-
SP’s Land Forces 2/2015
“They want to know how other countries who have encountered IEDs through Iraq and Afghanistan, are trying to fight it and what we’ve learned throughout our years of counter IED fights,” Iyer said. To show what US soldiers use to counter IED, the engineers used the mine clearing line charge (MICLIC) and hand-held mine detectors in a live fire range simulated minefield. “They noticed a lot of similarities, we have more mounted capabilities then they have,” Iyer said. “They conduct the same operations but mostly dismounted.” The soldiers performed all tasks as though it were a real-life scenario to give the delegation good mine-clearing procedures. “The Indian Army officials truly believe this was a fruitful event,” Iyer said. He said they are going to take back and send recommendations hopefully to continue these kinds of training exercises and implement the procedures learned.
Indian Army looking for UltraLight Recovery Vehicles The Indian Army is planning to procure ultra light recovery vehicles (ULRV) (short chassis) recovery vehicles to provide repair and recovery cover in mountains to all wheeled vehicles up to a gross vehicle weight of 6 tonnes. The Army has stipulated it requires vehicles with a minimum range of 700 km on road and 500 km in mountains with top speed of at least 80 km and 30 km respectively. The vehicles will need to be capable of unprepared fording up to 760mm with a ground clearance of 320mm. The ULRV will need to be road and rail transportable, and sport a lifespan of 2,50,000 km or 15 years whichever is earlier. Vendors need to field vehicles with turbocharged diesel engine with minimum power to weight ratio of 20:1, sporting a cold starting device fitted for ease of starting in extreme cold climate. The ULRVs need to be capable of performing their intended role at altitudes of up to 17,500 ft above sea level, and operating in all terrain and climatic conditions prevalent in the country. The Army has also stipulated that vendors need to specify if they are ready to transfer 100 per cent technology alongwith design blue prints for main equipment and its constituents (to include the outsourced components and spares if any), and if not, clearly specify the details of the restrictions.
New indigenous Optical Target Locater unveiled
The DRDO’s Laser Science and Technology Centre (LASTEC) has unveiled an indigenous optical target locater (OTL), a laser-based portable surveillance device, for detection of passive or active optical
effective solution, comprising the complete suite of Land 400 capabilities, as required by the Australian Army. GDLS Australia Managing Director Ian Cook said: “GDLS and Thales will leverage our strengths to deliver a low-risk, land combat vehicle system capability for Land 400”. The two companies have already collaborated on a range of vehicle programmes, including Canada’s LAV III upgrade, the UK’s Foxhound and Scout Specialist Vehicle programmes, Switzerland’s Piranha chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear project, and also the ASLAV
threats. The system, to be offered to the Indian Army and paramilitary forces, functions on the cat’s eye effect. According to the DRDO, “Any optical system when illuminated by a laser beam returns some back-scattered energy. This retro reflected energy helps in locating optical targets against a static background. The system is an important tool for detection of any active or passive surveillance device using the retro reflected signal from their front end optics.” Two variants of the OTL are being developed. The development of short-range version, OTL 300, for 300 m range has been completed. OTL 1500, the long-range version, is presently undergoing test and optimisation process. OTL 300 finds application in active scanning and monitoring of specific areas, VIP security and detection of pointed optics. The equipment has been demonstrated to potential users like Delhi Police, National Security Guards and Indian Army and was recently deployed for area sanitisation and security on several occasions.The Delhi Police has in fact ordered the OTL 300.
MBDA pitches co-development of Fifth-gen ATGM
armed forces since 1974, and with the Indian Army as well.
Army For New Low Level Radars The Army is scouting an unspecified number of new low level light weight radars Mark-ll for deployment in non-mountainous sectors like desert and plains. The radar needs to be easily transportable and capable of detecting even small, low-RCS entities like UAVs. The Army would prefer sensors with a integrated target designation system capability, with means to supply targeting data to a weapon. The Army requires the new radars principally to build a sensory barrier against low-level air intrusions across the border from China and Pakistan, especially by helicopters, low-flying tactical aircraft and surveillance drones. It requires radars that are easily transportable and ready for operations within minutes of assembly. The radars will work to track complex target manoeuvres at very low altitudes and to provide targeting solutions on them when integrated with weapon systems. aircraft and ‘spy planes’ or unmanned aerial vehicles. With air intrusions continuing periodically especially in the North East, the Army is looking to ramp up the capability. The DRDO is also building low level radars, which the Army is now looking to augment with more numbers. Companies like Thales have supplied low-level surveillance radars to the Indian Air Force in the past.
Army VSHORADS contest nears end
European missile firm MBDA has pitched the Missile Moyenne Portée (medium range missile) fifth-generation anti-tank missile system for co-development and co-production in India. The company has opened preliminary discussions with the Indian Army and DRDO to pursue the pitch. The MMP is described by MBDA as a lightweight weapon system, easily man-portable high level of day and night, all-weather reconnaissance and identification capability, with a confined space firing capability, rapid reaction operation, firing sequence reversibility, lethality against a wide target set: hot and cold targets, including the latest MBTs, with collateral damage risk minimization qualities. The Indian Army recently selected the Israeli Spike ATGM to meet its immediate requirement. The PARS 3 air-launched anti-armour missile for the ALH Rudra armed helicopter is currently under progress, with no decision made yet. The MMP, MBDA believes, will allow India to be involved in the crucial testing and advanced development phase of the weapon system to meet future needs just of the Indian armed forces but foreign armies as well. In December 2011, the French defence procurement agency DGA had awarded MBDA a risk reduction contract for the MMP programme that will now replace the MILAN weapon system which has been in service with the French
programme for crew procedural trainer and electro-optics in Australia. The ASLAV, an Australian version of the light armoured vehicle LAV-25, has been used by the ADF in East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and is scheduled to reach the end of its life by 2021.
Germany orders vehicle protection jammers from Airbus Airbus Defence and Space has agreed a deal to supply electronic jamming systems to the German armed forces. The contract has been awarded by the Federal Office of Bundeswehr
With systems trials of sighting systems and sensors for the VSHORADS programme complete recently in Bengaluru and Dehradun, the path is presumably clear for the commercial phase of the massive acquisition programme. The $6-billion Indian Army very short range air defence system (VSHORADS) competition, which looks to contract nearly 1,000 launcher systems and over 6,000 missiles. The big-ticket bid is a three-way fight between the French MBDA Mistral, Sweden’s Saab RBS 70 NG and Russia’s KBM new generation Igla-S. Field evaluation trials of all three VSHORADS platforms were completed in Rajasthan (hot weather trials), Visakhapatnam (coastal environmental trials) and Ladakh (high altitude, cold weather trials) since 2012 and ending early last year. The Army is looking for a system that can be deployed in multiple configurations including manportable, fitted on a twin-launcher, based on a high-mobility vehicle, ship-based and submarine based. The weapon systems fielded have so far demonstrated several capabilities during trials, including multiple target detection and tracking by day and night, providing target acquisition to the munition, engagement of aerial targets, etc. The VSHORADS programme is seen as a crucial element of the tactical air defence upgrade effort by the Indian Army. SP —SP’s Special Correspondent For complete versions log on to: www.spslandforces.com
Equipment, Information Technology and InService Support. Airbus will supply 36 of its vehicle protection jammers-R6 (VPJ-R6) for integration on the German armed forces’ protected vehicles. The VPJ-R is a next-generation, vehicle protection jamming device that is designed to augment the protection of armoured vehicles against attacks by radiocontrolled improvised explosive devices, which remain one of the major threats in asymmetric warfare. Using the company’s new SMART Responsive jamming technology, the device detects and classifies radio
news in brief >>
The Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh at Headquarters Northern Command at Udhampur being received by the Army Commander Lt General D.S. Hooda.
signals intended to ignite a roadside bomb, and transmit the signals tailored to the hostile frequency band in less than a millisecond, interrupting the connection. Driven by a new digital receiver and signal processing technologies, the system can detect and jam up to 7,50,000 million threat signals a second in all common frequency bands. The quick reaction time prevents loss of output power inherent in legacy barrage jammers
>> Show Calendar 5–8 May IDEF 2015 — International Defense Industry Fair Tuyap Fair Convention and Congress, Istanbul, Turkey www.idef15.com/en 14–17 May SITDEF 2015 (V INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF TECHNOLOGY FOR DEFENSE AND PREVENTION OF NATURAL DISASTERS) Army HQ, San Borja, Lima Peru http://www.sitdef.com/?WebCode=SITDEF_ENG 19–21 May IDET 2015 Brno Exhibition Centre, Brno, Czech Republic www.bvv.cz/en/idet 9 June How to do Business with the Indian Armed Forces Holiday Inn Regents Park, London, England, UK www.smi-online.co.uk/defence/uk/masterclass/ doing-business-with-the-indian-armed-forces 22–23 June Future Armoured Vehicles Eastern Europe Dorint Hotel Don Giovanni, Prague, Czech Republic https://www.smi-online.co.uk/defence/ europe/Armoured-Vehicle-TechnologyAdvancement-Forum 22–24 June Special Operations Summit & Warfighter Expo Fort Bragg, North Carolina, USA www.specialoperationssummit.com 23–25 June Army Network Modernization 2015 Washington, DC, USA www.armynetworkmodernization.com 24–25 June Soldier Technology 2015 Hotel Russell, London, UK soldiertech.wbresearch.com 27–29 July Next Generation Integrated ISR Washington, D.C, USA www.integratedisr.com
and concentrates the jamming power on the detonation signal’s specific frequency, instead of being distributed over the whole frequency range. In addition, the VPJ-R reduces impact on friendly force radio communication, ensuring reliable command and control in the theatre. Airbus has not disclosed the delivery schedule and the type of vehicles to be outfitted with the jammer.
Pakistan test-launches Shaheen-III ballistic missile The Pakistan Army has successfully conducted the first test-launch of the ShaheenIII surface-to-surface ballistic missile from an undisclosed location. Overseen by senior officers from the Strategic Plans Division, strategic forces and scientists and engineers of strategic organisations, the test was designed to validate various design and technical parameters of the weapon system at maximum range. The missile, which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads up to a range of 2,750 km, successfully hit the pre-designated target in the Arabian Sea. Pakistan Strategic Plans Division Director General Lt General Zubair Mahmood Hayat said the launch represents a major step towards strengthening the country’s deterrence capability. Jointly developed by the National Engineering and Scientific Commission and the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission, Shaheen-III is a medium-range ballistic missile and is expected to replace the liquid-fuelled Ghauri-III intermediate-range ballistic missile that was cancelled during the development stage. Shaheen-III is part of the Pakistan Army’s solid-fuelled Shaheen missile family and reportedly has a range greater than that of any other Pakistani missile. Meanwhile, IB Times UK has reported the Pakistani scientists and engineers are currently working to enhance capabilities of the missile. The missile can currently be fired from mobile launchers.
Lockheed tests new 30kW ATHENA laser weapon system Lockheed Martin has demonstrated the ability of its new 30 kW fibre laser weapon system to safeguard military forces and critical infrastructure during a field trial at an undisclosed location. During the testing, the ground-based prototype system, dubbed advanced test high energy asset (ATHENA), successfully disabled the engine of a small truck within few seconds from more than a mile away. The truck was mounted on a test platform with its engine and drive train running to replicate an operationally-relevant test scenario. Lockheed Martin Chief Technology Officer Keoki Jackson said: “Fibreoptic lasers are revolutionising directed energy systems”. The demonstration represents the first field testing of an integrated
30 kW, single-mode fibre laser weapon system prototype, which combines multiple fibre laser modules through a technique called spectral beam combining to form a single, powerful, high-quality beam. This offers greater efficiency and lethality than the multiple individual 10 kW lasers used in other systems. ATHENA is based on Lockheed’s area defence anti-munitions (ADAM) laser weapon system. It incorporates the 30 kW accelerated laser demonstration initiative (ALADIN) fibre laser developed by the company in Bothell, Washington, US. ADAM is equipped with a 10 kW fibre laser. It is a portable, ground-based laser system designed to safeguard military high-value installations, including forward-operating bases against a wide range of close-in improvised rockets and unmanned aerial system threats. The laser is manufactured at Lockheed’s facility in Sunnyvale, California. It has already proven its efficacy in demonstrations against a range of small airborne and sea-based targets.
Norway receives first CV90 infantry fighting vehicle from BAE The Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (FLO) has taken delivery of the first CV90 infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) from BAE Systems Hägglunds. Delivered at BAE’s business partner CHSnor’s facilities in Moelv, Norway, the vehicle is one of three CV90s that were handed over to Norwegian industry for completion, as part of in-country partnerships agreed last year. In June 2012, BAE received a £500 million contract to supply 144 advanced CV90s in varying configurations, including 74 infantry fighting, 21 reconnaissance, 15 command, 16 engineering, and 16 multi-role and tow driver training vehicles, to the Norwegian Army from this year. Of the 144 CV90s, 41 will be new builds, while the remaining 103 will be upgraded variants of the Norwegian Army’s existing fleet of CV9030s. Norwegian Army CV90 Project Leader Colonel Ragnar Wennevik said: “BAE Systems Hägglunds is an impressive supplier, and with the new CV90, we are buying the world’s most advanced armoured combat vehicle family. Already proven in combat, we are now taking it to the next generation with state-of-the-art survivability, lethality, digitalisation and mobility.” Designed to fulfil different functions, including mortar carrier and logistics roles, the multi-role CV90 vehicles are expected to include enhanced capabilities for future battlefield and conflict scenarios, in areas such as protection, survivability, situational awareness, intelligence and interoperability.
India’s Defence Expenditure As per allocations proposed under BE 201516, defence budget constitutes 13.88 per cent of total Central Government expenditure. In the last 15 years, Defence expenditure has never been less than 12 per cent of total Central Government expenditure. The liability of the government for repayment of interest is a separate obligation that may not be linked to the outlay for defence. The government does not have authentic figures for the defence budget of China. However, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has estimated that in 2013, 8.3 per cent of China’s general government expenditure was devoted to military expenditure. The allocation of funds for defence is made to ensure full preparedness of the armed forces to meet all security challenges to the country. The government has revised the policy to allow FDI up to 49 per cent in defence sector through government route and above 49 per cent through approval of Cabinet Committee on Security, on case-to-case basis, wherever it is likely to result in access to modern and state-of-the-art technology in the country. This information was given by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in a written reply to Vishambhar Prasad Nishad, Member of Parliament, in Rajya Sabha recently. SP
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2/2015 SP’s Land Forces
Published on Apr 30, 2015
SP's Land Forces April-May 2015, Small Islands – Strategically Important, Af-Pak Beyond 2014, Nation Needs a Chief of Defence Staff, Employm...