Volume 9 No. 4
AN SP GUIDE
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T h e ONL Y j o u r n a l i n A s i a d e d i c a t e d t o L a n d F o r c e s
In This Issue Page 2 Employment of Armour in Urban Terrain It is high time that corrective action is taken so as to train a few formations, say one infantry division with an armoured brigade.
Interview Photograph: Anoop Kamath / SP Guide Pubns
Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Page 12 For Logistics and Tactical Requirements of Armed Forces
Logistics is not only about the supply of materiel to an army in times of war. Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Page 13 Nanotechnology in Air Defence Air Threat Domain Amidst the plethora of tall claims, which seem to get taller by the day, this article, focuses on how nanotechnology is impacting the air threat-air defence domain, encompassing the entire spectrum of sensors, shooters and BMC2 systems. Lt General V.K. Saxena Page 14 ‘Raytheon has many solutions to meet the need of Indian services’ Tim R. Glaeser, Vice President and Business Development Executive for IAMD, Business Development and Strategy, IDS, in an interview with SP’s Land Forces, spoke in detail about Raytheon’s missile defence systems. Page 15 Indian Army’s Battle Management System The understanding of BMS in militaries of foreign armies covers the entire military structure from apex to foot soldier. Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch Plus Kargil – Viewpoint General (Retd) V.P. Malik Brigadier (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch
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Armed Attack Helicopters – Viewpoint Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia
Show Report: Eurosatory 2012
News in Brief
Lt General (Retd) B.S. Pawar
‘The concept of functioning as an All Arms Team is the cornerstone of mechanised operations’ SP’s Land Forces Editor Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor interviewed Lt General D.S. Siddhu, Director General, Mechanised Forces. In a free and frank atmosphere, the highly experienced General of the Indian Army who has wide experience in commanding armoured units and formations in all types of terrain in our border areas, spoke about the roles and modernisation status of the mechanised forces which comprise both armour and mechanised infantry. He elaborated on their professional and institutional ethos, which makes both these arms so potent for the strike formations of the Indian Army. SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): What is the role of your Directorate with regard to the designing of future tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (ICVs) for the Armoured Corps and Mechanised Infantry? Director General Mechanised Forces (DGMF): The DGMF is the nodal agency for propagating the General Services Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) for designing tanks and ICVs. We endeavour to tailor the mechanised force and the equipment to remain current with the ever changing futuristic battlefield scenario and achieve the desired operational capabilities. Prior to finalising the design, wide consultations and discussions are held with all the stake-
holders, i.e. intra-service, and with the designers, producers and the quality assurance agencies. In addition, efforts are made to be current with the latest technologies available globally by organising international seminars and presentations by relevant vendors. This is then discussed with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other agencies and finds expression as a Preliminary Staff Qualitative Requirement (PSQR). After further deliberations, this gets converted to a GSQR prior to development of the prototype. Conceptualising and monitoring of the new tank/ICV in all stages of its development, right from the PSQR stage to its
regular production, is done by the Mechanised Forces Directorate. SP’s: In the context of the changed nature/ character of war, have any new roles been defined for the Mechanised Forces? DGMF: To remain operationally relevant in the changing scenario, there is a need to constantly develop, evolve and adapt to the changing threat spectrum. With this as the focus, Mechanised Forces are developing capabilities to fight and decisively influence outcome of operations across the entire spectrum of conflict. In addition to our Continued on page 4
4/2012 SP’s Land Forces
>> Armaments E D I T O R I A L
On July 14, 2012, it was reported in a leading newspaper that the Army Chief had “demanded” that the Army be allowed to have its own attack helicopters. Our so-called defence journalists became rather noisy and pointed to the lack of integration between the three services in the Army’s demand for its own attack helicopters. It can only happen in India that ignorance is allowed to pass off as “expert comments”. Is there any country, with a large defence establishment, in the world where attack helicopters are not owned and operated by the Army? In this issue, we have given two opposing points of view, one by a former Army General and another by a former Air Marshal. Both are loud in their respective proclamations and therefore I will leave it to the readers to assess the wisdom of their arguments and derive conclusions out of the deductive logic put forward. Another major subject tackled in this issue of SP’s Land Forces concerns the lessons learnt in the Kargil War of 1999 and the consequent recommendations of the Group of Ministers. Unfortunately, the NDA Government of the day lost its nerve and only partially implement-
ed the recommendations, leaving out some of the most crucial ones. We have included three articles which give us different perspectives of our strengths and weaknesses, mostly the latter. When you read these articles and compare them to General V.K. Singh’s recent letter to the Prime Minister, leaked to the press, you will understand what we are getting at. Capacity and capability building in the defence sector is a systematic and gradual process in which our political leaders along with the officials in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) have to show decisiveness and resilience. We cannot allow voids in weapons, equipment and munitions to accumulate year after year. If this happens, as it is happening in the case of the Indian Army, it will seriously erode and impact the combat capability of the force, which will in the ultimate analysis impact adversely on the morale of the officers and the men because they would feel that the government is not serious about national security. India’s Directorate General of Mechanised Forces is responsible for conceiving the vision, formulating and instituting the required policies to realise the goals set in coordination with various
other directorates and is responsible for all issues with respect to Armoured Corps, Mechanised Infantry and the Brigade of the Guards. The Directorate has been vested with the responsibility to ensure that the Mechanised Forces are fit in all respects, at all times, to fulfil their envisaged operational role across the full spectrum of conflict. There have been a number of media reports on the deficiency of armour piercing fin stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS) ammunition and lack of night fighting capability in armoured units. However, it seems that corrective action has been taken and long-term measures to preclude such deficiencies are being seriously addressed. This issue of our magazine also carries the interview of Director General Mechanised Forces (DGMF) along with a related article on employment of armour in urban terrain.
Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor
Employment of Armour in Urban Terrain It is high time that corrective action is taken so as to train a few formations, say one infantry division with an armoured brigade. Thus a Strike RAPID from one of our strike corps could be specially trained for urban combat in the metro cities and towns. Photograph: IDF
Lt General (retd) V.K. Kapoor
aving spent nearly seven years as an instructor in the Army War College, I am aware of the strong mental conditionings of most of the Indian Army officers regarding the employment armour in urban areas. These conditionings arise not out of any operational experience but out of a misplaced belief that armour is unnecessary or ineffective in built up areas and that fighting in an urban jungle is basically an infantry battle. I beg to differ in this regard, and now seeing the lack of development in various parts of the country, mostly due to poor governance and maladministration, and its adverse impact manifesting itself in the form of home grown insurgencies like Maoist insurgency which has spread to more than 14 states of the Indian Union, and the relentless efforts by our adversaries to resurrect extinguished insurgencies in some of our states, it is not too far-fetched to imagine that one day, in not too distant a future either we may have to militarily confront some welltrained and equipped militant groups or even the Maoist insurgents in built-up areas of our urban centres. If we are not even mentally prepared for this scenario and if we do not train our forces for such sub-conventional conflicts, it will be difficult to implement offensive missions in urban environment at short notice, without suffering heavy casualties, or causing collateral damage. Destruction and eviction of militants/ insurgents/terrorists from built-up areas like our metro cities or even large townships pose innumerable problems and would invariably pose a great danger to public utilities, under and over ground infrastructure as well as innocent people due to the resultant collateral damage caused by military action. It is for this reason as well as the perceived vulnerability of the tank that military professionals
SP’s Land Forces 4/2012
as mobility (carriage of infantry) and firepower are concerned, they are vulnerable to fire of heavy weapons like heavy machine guns/cannons, rocket launchers and antitank guided missiles. In this environment, tanks provide the necessary protection and firepower. Modern tanks with add-on explosive reactive armour (ERA) panels are immune to the fire of heavy weapons, rocket launchers and anti-tank missiles from the front and to some extent from the flanks.
Complexities of Urban Combat
The Desert Reconnaissance Battalion conducts drill in the Urban Warfare Centre
do not advocate the use of heavy weapons. However, in the urban environment of our metro cities, if the Army is called to take action, we are going to invariably deal with highly trained and motivated militia, terrorist groups or well-trained and well-equipped Maoist cadres. In such circumstances, direct firing weapons with pinpoint accuracy, having an adequate stand-off range with an ability to accurately engage the chosen target(s) without much collateral damage would become vital elements of a force detailed for undertaking the operation. It is in this context that an armoured fighting vehicle, a tank, with its excellent communications, sophisticated fire control system, its mobility, its relative invulnerability, due to its armour protection, becomes a necessary instrument of urban warfare. Its capability to fire both high velocity kinetic energy and chemical energy ammunition and anti-tank guided missiles makes it an ideal component of an
all arms team for urban counter-insurgency or counter-terrorist operation.
US and Israeli Lessons A basic lesson learnt by the US and coalition troops engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Iraq as well as the Israelis in their low-intensity conflict with the Palestinians, is that a fully integrated combat team is crucial in any urban war fighting environment. Urban warfare involves mutually supporting actions by a combined arms teams comprising armour, infantry, combat engineers, with attack helicopters “on call”. It could be based on a squadron or company group. Such a combined arms team can achieve success while keeping casualties as well as collateral damage to a minimum. The current mechanised infantry combat vehicle (ICV) is not suited for urban warfare because the BMP-2 is not adequately protected. Therefore, while they are good as far
Combat in urban areas is significantly different from combat in the open terrain. This is so at both the operational and tactical levels of warfare. Complicating factors in urban warfare include the presence of civilians, inability to distinguish between civilians and militants/armed militia/terrorists, detailed knowledge of locals of the built-up area, roads, metro/rail network, below and over ground infrastructure which enhance the overall complexity of the urban terrain. This type of terrain invariably favours the defender. Thus if the Army is required to operate in this type of terrain, they would require prior knowledge of the city through maps of the town planning department and other authorities. Tactics are complicated by limited fields of view and fire because of buildings, narrow alleys and roads, enhanced concealment and cover for defenders in buildings, below-ground infrastructure, and the ease of placement of booby traps, improvised explosive device (IED) and snipers.
Nature of Fighting in Urban Environment The nature of fighting in urban environments is such that it rapidly decentralises and is extremely difficult to control even at the lowest tactical level which in turn demands very well-trained junior leaders (young officers, JCOs and NCOs). At lower tactical levels of a platoon or even a section, infantry
Armaments >> troops without armour will face serious disadvantages. While moving exposed in an urban environment, dismounted infantry troops may be subjected to intense hostile fire, sources of which are difficult to locate. Normal small unit weapons lack adequate firepower for subduing well protected enemy bunkers, and especially carefully camouflaged positions in buildings. Tactical movements of small units of infantry through built-up areas, is extremely vulnerable to fire by wellentrenched opponents. This can be overcome by using an all arms force of tanks, infantry and combat engineers. This type of situation also poses the danger of fratricide casualties. Hence the troops have to be well-trained and well-rehearsed in the task at hand. Armour is also vulnerable to fire from flanks, from top and from below. Hence the tanks have to have add-on armour or other protective suites capable of withstanding rocket propelled grenades (RPG) and heavy IED attacks. Even though tanks and mechanised infantry units also face dangers in confined urban areas due to limited all-round observation and manoeuvre restrictions, this disadvantage can be overcome by operating as an all arms team where armour and infantry complement and supplement each other and both are supported by combat engineers. During urban encounters in Iraq by US armoured elements, troops reported several effective tactics used by insurgents, including sniping and dropping grenades from rooftops or upper floor windows, in an attempt to attack vehicle crews and commanders through open hatches. Other tactics included simultaneous attacks on both flanks from alleys, allowing the insurgents to fire RPGs from close range at the relatively weak areas of the tank’s armour. Thus it may be noted that tanks and other armoured vehicles are not invincible in urban terrain, where they are vulnerable to attacks from a close range by manportable anti-tank weapons such as RPGs. Since the urban scenario has no “frontline”, attacks can come not only from the front, where the tanks are heavily protected, but also from above and from the flanks or the rear, aiming at the vehicle’s weak spots. Attacks by IEDs and mines can also come from below the surface. Although urban warfare is not exactly the tank man’s dream, a significant number of future battles will inevitably take place in this environment. The value of tank support cannot be underestimated in this high-risk environment, in which a commander wishes to use all available combat elements in order to reduce casualties. Modifications to tanks for use in urban combat conditions will continue to make them indispensable partners of the future combined arms team.
Curative Action The Indian Army does carry out study of fighting in built-up area. However, this is done in the context of World War II settings and not the modern asymmetric wars where the scenarios are going to be quite different. It is such settings that we are likely to confront in the future. Indian Army does not have any formal training in fighting in urban environment. No exercise with troops is ever carried out to
Modern tanks with add-on explosive reactive armour panels are immune to the fire of heavy weapons, rocket launchers and antitank missiles from the front and to some extent from the flanks
familiarise our forces in fighting in such terrain. We should endeavour to hold exercises to practise the following in urban terrain: Operations of a combined arms team comprising armour, infantry and combat engineers with artillery firing precision munitions and attack helicopters “on call.”
Clearing a building by an infantry
assault/Special Forces. Use of night fighting aids in urban environment. Use of force multipliers like precision munitions, armed UAVs, electronic warfare equipment and robotics.
It is high time that corrective action is taken so as to train a few formations, say one infantry division with an armoured brigade. Thus a Strike Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Divisions (RAPID) from one of our strike corps could be specially trained for urban combat in the metro cities and towns. SP
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4/2012 SP’s Land Forces
>> Interview Continued from page 1 PhotographS: SPSC
T-90s, Arjun MBTs and BMP-II Saraths in action during Exercise Sudarshan Shakti
As the mainstay of the armoured fleet, the T-90 tank is slated to receive state-of-the-art upgrades to maintain its dominance on any future battlefield vintage and need to be modernised to enhance their mission reliability. With this in view, we are in the process of replacing the existing engine with a more powerful engine, incorporating an auxiliary power unit, fitting a thermal imaging fire control system for the gunner with suitable night enablement for the driver and commander also. Other upgrades include the digital control harness and modernisation of the fire suppression system. To provide necessary realism to training; simulators for drivers, gunners and an integrated crew simulator for the crew are in various stages of introduction. SP’s: Survival of the tank on the future battlefield will depend on upgraded armour to withstand various types of attacks anticipated; function as an All Arms Team to cater to different types of weapon systems including aerial attacks; for up-to-date situational awareness at all times. What is being done to meet these requirements of the future battlefield? DGMF: We are planning to enhance protection in terms of improved passive armour, reactive armour and incorporation of an active protection system (APS) in our tank fleet. In addition, protection measures for tanks/ICVs while fighting in built-up areas are also being developed in the form of tank urban survival kit and BMP urban survival kit. The concept of functioning as an All Arms Team is the cornerstone of mechanised operations. Adequate emphasis in the form of training, having the correct mix of weaponry and integrated operations is being given. Situational awareness systems along with the battlefield management are being developed indigenously. However, the last two are areas where we need to make faster progress.
Armoured Assault using T-90
traditional role in conventional operations, we are concentrating on widening our employability to include operating in high altitude areas (HAA), counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, out of area contingency situations and the United Nations (UN) mandated operations.
SP’s: Has any thought been given to the indigenous development of the future main battle tank (FMBT)? Who are the stakeholders involved and what would be their role? Has the PSQR been finalised? DGMF: The FMBT will be an indigenous tank. The development model would be based on the guidelines of the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) and indigenous industry would be involved to the extent possible. All stakeholders would be brought on board as the project progresses. SP’s: Has a final view emerged on the requirement of a light tank for the Eastern Theatre as also for some sectors of our mountainous regions? What is the current status in this regard? DGMF: The operational requirement of light tanks exists in our country in the Eastern Theatre, certain high-altitude areas as well as for amphibious operations. Can one armoured vehicle perform both roles is the challenge. However, for it to be
SP’s Land Forces 4/2012
viable, there need to be adequate numbers. This is being currently debated. SP’s: It seems that the T-90 will be our MBT for the next decade or so. Have any major modifications been planned in view of the changing battlefield environment? How are we catering for the digitisation of the battlefield in the future? DGMF: As the mainstay of the armoured fleet, the T-90 tank is slated to receive state-of-the-art upgrades to maintain its dominance on any future battlefield. These modernisation schemes include an active protection system, improved Commander’s thermal imaging sights providing true ‘hunter-killer’ capability, an advanced muzzle reference system for retention of zeroing both by day and night and necessary software upgrades to optimise the capabilities of the fire control system. In addition to a modernised digital fire detection and suppression system, the tank will also be fitted with an environmental control system to ensure longevity of sensitive opto-electronic sub-systems. A project for fitment of an auxiliary power unit to enhance ‘silent watch’ capability and conserve engine life is also under way. As regards digitisation of the future battlefield, we plan to fit the digital control harness. In addition, the Army is considering introduction of a software
defined radio (SDR) which will ensure real time data, voice and image transfer. The SDR hierarchy will also support the battlefield management system (BMS) being developed indigenously. SP’s: Have we identified the light armoured vehicles (LAVs) for the reconnaissance troops and platoons in armour and mechanised units? What type of LAVs are we looking at? DGMF: The light armoured multi-purpose (LAM) vehicles for the reconnaissance elements of the mechanised forces should be agile, adequately protected and have adequate firepower. Major requirements specified for the LAM vehicle are that it should have a maximum weight of eight tonnes, with a minimum payload of 1.5 tonnes. The LAM is a ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ project. The request for information (RFI) for the LAM has been issued and responses received. A project Appraisal Committee has been appointed by the MoD which is in the process of finalising the list of vendors to whom the request for proposal (RFP) will be issued. SP’s: What is the status of the T-72 upgrade and modernisation programme? What is the focus currently and where have we reached? DGMF: Tank T-72 comprises the majority of our tank fleet today. These are of 1972
SP’s: With the introduction of arm wise vacancy based selections policy for promotion a few years ago, it has deprived deserving officers of arms like the armoured corps from merit based selections. Has any review been carried out of this policy? The concept of general cadre contradicts this policy. Are deserving officers being left behind due to lack of vacancies? DGMF: The Army is committed to a constant review of its human resources (HR) policies. With this in view, a study has been ordered under GOC-in-C Northern Command to review these aspects. We may await the outcome of the study. SP’s: Technology threshold of officers and the soldiers needs to be upgraded due to induction of new military technologies at a rapid rate. How is this issue being tackled in the Armoured Corps which is required to field higher technology weapons on the battlefield? DGMF: A number of concrete steps have been taken to improve the technical threshold of all ranks in tune with the increased sophistication of our weapon platforms. Our officers, junior commissioned officers (JCOs) and other ranks (ORs) undergo technology courses on information technology (IT), geographical info system (GIS), electronic warfare, cyber security and nuclear biological and chemical (NBC) at various schools of instructions. Our recruits also undergo basic level training on IT and NBC. There is
Interview >> a periodic revision of our courses in order to keep the technical content abreast with current technology. In addition, we are introducing a new course for our junior leaders with the aim of enhancing their technical threshold and making them capable of handling additional responsibilities in the unit and at staff level. We are also now inducting officers from the Academies from the technical stream. While these measures are being put into place, we are examining the future requirement so that the technical threshold of the Mechanised Forces remains current with emerging military technologies.
out equipment maintenance as tank crew. Routine formal and informal interactions are conducted on a regular basis to know personal problems as well as professional aspirations of the men under command. Men are encouraged to approach the officers without hesitation to discuss matters of personal, professional and organisational nature.
SP’s: How is the Corps contributing to the counter-insurgency efforts in the Valley and in the Northeast? DGMF: The Mechanised Forces are contributing significantly towards counter-insurgency efforts in the country. Currently, approximately 95 officers and 4,500 personnel of the Corps are serving with distinction with the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and
Assam Rifles (AR) units as well as on staff in various capacities. Our contribution as a share of our total strength is the highest amongst all arms and services. Mechanised Forces personnel have performed very creditably by winning 63 gallantry awards over the past six years. Our contribution to this cause has been appreciated by one and all. SP
SP’s: What is the standard of sports in the Corps? Have you identified any niche areas which the Corps would like to adopt for competing at the national level? DGMF: As a Corps, we have an enviable track record in equestrian, sports and polo. This continues. Armoured Corps Centre and School (ACC&S) has been made the node for the Army teams for cycling and rugby. Both these teams have done very well in the recent tournaments including nationals, where our cycling team bagged five gold, four silver and one bronze medal. Our rugby team recently won the prestigious All India and South Asia Rugby tournament for the fifth consecutive time. In the last four years, the Armoured Corps team has excelled in various car rallies including the Raid de Himalaya and Desert Storm. We have recently taken up cycle polo and have done well at the national level. We hope to better our standing this year. SP’s: Grant of honorary ranks is a great motivating factor for JCOs and OR. Is the current policy of honorary ranks for the JCOs and NCOs fair to AC whose troops have less opportunity of serving in the operational and high altitude areas? DGMF: A mixed system is being followed for grant of Honorary Commission to JCOs in which 70 per cent of our authorisation is allotted to the Corps and the balance 30 per cent goes into a common pool. We have taken up a case to alleviate this discrepancy and increase the satisfaction level to meet the aspirations of our JCOs and OR. As per the latest policy, the service rendered by JCOs/ORs in modified field area has now been reintroduced for grant of Honorary Commission. SP’s: Officers in the AC have always considered it a matter of pride to know their men better than other arms and services. Have any steps been taken to concretise this great heritage? DGMF: In Armoured Corps, the basic building block is the tank crew. The cohesiveness of the crew is the foundation for success in mechanised operations. The officers being an integral part of the crew carry out all duties of the crew and stay together during training and exercises. It is this interaction which has led to an informal atmosphere in the relations between officers and the men. This works well with the on and off parade ethos being well defined. In addition, the tradition of maintaining records of the men by young officers continues to be followed. Officers and men rub their shoulders whether it is the playfield or while carrying
The light armoured multipurpose vehicles for the reconnaissance elements of the mechanised forces should be agile, adequately protected and have adequate firepower
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>> KARGIL – Viewpoint
Meeting Future Security Challenges The Kargil War was not the first time when Pakistan initiated a war, and we must not assume that it would be the last time. India will remain vulnerable to such threats along its disputed borders unless it builds a credible will and capability to deter and dissuade likely adversaries. Indian civil and military leadership needs to keep this in mind. General (Retd) V.P. Malik
strategically conscious nation commemorates its historical national security events for three reasons: to remember and pay homage to those who sacrificed their lives for the nation’s future, to recall lessons that emerged from that event and to pledge for a safer and better future. When the nation celebrates the 13th anniversary of the Kargil War, it is an appropriate occasion to recall its important lessons and our capability to meet future security challenges. The Kargil War can be remembered for its strategic and tactical surprise, the selfimposed national strategy of restraint keeping the war limited to the Kargil-Siachen sector, military strategy and planning, in keeping with the political mandate, and the dedication, determination and courage of our soldiers and junior leaders despite several deficiencies in weapons and equipment. In fiercely fought combat actions, on difficult terrain that gave immense advantage to the enemy holding mountain-tops, we were able to evict Pakistani troops from most of their surreptitiously occupied positions. Pakistani leadership was forced to sue for ceasefire and seek withdrawal of its troops from the remaining areas. Operation Vijay (code name for the war) was a blend of determined political, military and diplomatic actions, which enabled us to transform an adverse situation into a politicomilitary victory. Several lessons emerged from the war, which required a holistic national security review as well as rethinking on the nature of conflict in the new strategic environment and conduct of wars. Some important lessons were: There may be remote chances of a fullscale conventional war between two nuclear weapon states but as long as there are territory-related disputes (currently we have them with China and Pakistan), the adversary can indulge in a proxy war, a limited border war, or both. Political reluctance in India to adopt a proactive strategy invariably leads us to a reactive military situation. Besides, no loss of territory is acceptable to the public and the political authority. It is, therefore, essential to have credible strategic and tactical intelligence and assessments, effective surveillance, and close defence of the border. Successful outcome of a border war depends upon our ability to react rapidly. The new strategic environment calls for faster decision-making, versatile combat organisations, rapid deployment and synergy amongst all elements involved in the war effort, particularly the three services. A conventional war may remain limited because of credible deterrence and escalation dominance. Such deterrence may prevent a war; it will also give more room for manoeuvre in diplomacy and conflict. A war in the new strategic environment requires close political oversight
SP’s Land Forces 4/2012
General (Retd) V.P. Malik paying tribute to Kargil martyrs at Major Sandeep Shankla War Memorial at Panchkula
security framework is not in sync with the needs of new security challenges or healthy civil-military relations. This realisation has made the government order yet another review under the Naresh Chandra Committee. If the recommendations of this Committee—now under study in the government—are processed and implemented in the same old manner, India would lose yet another opportunity to make its national security more effective.
Deficiencies in Weapons/Equipment and Modernisation
and politico-civil-military interaction. It is essential to keep the military leadership within the security and strategic decision-making loop. Information operations are important due to much greater transparency of the battlefield. The political requirement of a military operation and to retain moral high ground (and deny that to the adversary) needs a comprehensive media and information strategy. In the last 13 years, the armed forces have followed up on many of these lessons. The war had highlighted gross inadequacies in our surveillance capability. Some action has been taken to improve allweather surveillance and closer defence of border along the line of control (LoC). This capability along the line of actual control (LAC), however, has not improved to the desired level. Individual service and joint services doctrines have been revised. More Special Forces units have been added to the strength of each service.
implemented. Selective and cosmetic implementation of recommendations, without changing rules of business, has ensured a status quo in the higher defence control and its decision-making processes. In the new strategic environment of unpredictability, enhanced interactivity and much faster planning and decision-making, a face to face politico-military dialogue and its continuity is critical to success in strategic and operational issues. Only that can enable the required synergy and optimise defence and operational planning. Unfortunately, our political leaders remain inhibited in discussing security and defence policy issues with military leaders directly. They feel more secure behind a bureaucratic curtain and advice. As a result they are not adequately conversant with military purposes, capabilities, constraints and effects; and military leadership in peacetime, when we have to do defence planning and prepare for war contingencies, remains out of the strategic decision-making loop. The national
Higher Defence Management
Several lessons emerged from the war, which required a holistic national security review as well as rethinking on the nature of conflict in the new strategic environment and conduct of wars
After the war, the government had carried out a National Security Review in 2002. The Security Review had recommended creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to provide a single-point military advice to the government and to resolve substantive inter-service doctrinal, planning, policy and operational issues. This is necessary because in India, turf wars, inter-service rivalries, bureaucratic delays and political vacillation in decision-making become major hurdles in defence planning which is tardy, competitive and thus uneconomical. Due to lack of political will and inter-service differences, this important recommendation was not
When the Kargil War broke out, our holdings and reserves of weapons, ammunition and equipment were in a depleted state due to continuous lack of budgetary support, tedious procurement system, and raising of units without sanctions for weapons and equipment. To the media, I had to say, “We will fight with whatever we have.” It is evident from the letter written by the former Chief of Army Staff to the Prime Minister on March 12, 2012, that deficiencies in our war wastage reserves continue. He complained that the Army’s air defence weapon systems were obsolete, the infantry was deficient of crew served weapons and lacked night fighting capabilities, and its tank fleet was devoid of critical ammunition. He alleged that there was “hollowness in the procedures and processing time for procurements as well as legal impediments by vendors”. The government has failed to rectify this chronic problem which has dogged the nation for decades. Modernisation of Indian armed forces continues to lag behind due to inadequate self-reliance, fear of scams and reluctance to procure essential equipment from abroad. Despite a large network of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories, ordnance factories and defence public sector undertakings, we continue to import 70 per cent of our weapons and equipment. The government desires that private sector invests in defence industry and obtains higher technology from abroad. But due to vested interest of the defence public sector undertakings and its bureaucratic control, it has failed to provide a level playing field to Indian and foreign private companies. The newly established Defence Acquisition Council and Procurement Board have been unable to speed up processes for development, acquisition and procurement.
Civil-Military Relations A reflection on the Kargil War can never be complete without a mention of the brilliant junior leadership and morale that we witnessed during battles. There were countless acts of extraordinary valour, courage and grit to achieve what would have appeared impossible under normal circumstances. Commanding officers of many infantry battalions displayed steely resilience and singleminded devotion to duty. These legendry tales deserve mention not only in our military history books but also in the textbooks Continued on page 10
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>> KARGIL – Viewpoint
Reforms in Managing National Security India’s national security continues to be sub-optimally managed. Strategic reviews need to be undertaken periodically to evolve a comprehensive national security strategy. Brigadier (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal
ndia at present faces complex external and internal security threats while new challenges are emerging on the horizon. Unresolved territorial disputes with China and Pakistan, insurgencies in Jammu and Kashmir and the North-eastern states, the rising tide of leftwing extremism (LWE) and the growing spectre of urban terrorism, have vitiated India’s security environment and slowed down socio-economic growth. Yet, as the recent serial blasts at Mumbai have once again indicated, India’s national security continues to be sub-optimally managed. Strategic reviews need to be undertaken periodically to evolve a comprehensive national security strategy. In 1999, the Kargil Review Committee, headed by late K. Subrahmanyam had been asked to “review the events leading to the Pakistani aggression in the Kargil District of Ladakh in Jammu & Kashmir; and to recommend 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 farreaching recommendations on the development of India’s nuclear deterrence, higher defence organisations, intelligence reforms, border management, 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 the 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. The GoM was headed by Home Minister L.K. Advani and four task forces were set up on intelligence reforms, internal security, border management and defence management to undertake in depth analysis of various facets of management of national security. The GoM recommended sweeping reforms to the existing national security management system. On May 11, 2001, the CCS accepted all its recommendations, including one for the establishment of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), which has still not been implemented. A tri-Service Andaman and Nicobar Command and a Strategic Forces Command were established. Other salient measures included the establishment of HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS); the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA); the establishment of a Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), headed by the Defence Minister with two wings— the Defence Procurement Board and the Defence Technology Board—and the setting up of the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). The CCS also issued a directive that India’s borders with different countries be managed by a single agency—
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“one border, one force”—and nominated the CRPF as India’s primary force for counter-insurgency operations. Ten years later, many lacunae still remain in the management of national security. The lack of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination on issues like border management and Centre-state disagreements over the handling of internal security are particularly alarming. In order to review the progress of implementation of the proposals approved by the CCS in 2001, the government appointed a Task Force on National Security led by former Cabinet Secretary Naresh Chandra. The task force has submitted its report. The first and foremost requirement for improving the management of national security is for the government to formulate a comprehensive National Security Strategy (NSS), including internal security. The NSS should be formulated after carrying out an inter-departmental, inter-agency, multidisciplinary strategic defence review. Such a review must take the public into confidence and not be conducted behind closed doors. Like in most other democracies, the NSS should be signed by the Prime Minister, who is the head of the government, and must be placed on the table of Parliament and released as a public document. Only then will various stakeholders be compelled to take ownership of the strategy and work unitedly to achieve its aims and objectives. It has clearly emerged that China poses the most potent military threat to India and given the nuclear, missile and military hardware nexus between China and Pakistan, future conventional conflict in South Asia will be a two-front war. Therefore, India’s military strategy of dissuasion against China must be gradually upgraded to deterrence. Genuine deterrence comes only from the capability to launch and sustain major offensive operations into the adversary’s territory. India needs to raise new divisions to carry the next war deep into Tibet. Since manoeuvre is not possible due to the restrictions imposed by the difficult mountainous terrain, firepower capabilities need to be enhanced by an order of magnitude, especially in terms of precision-guided munitions. This will involve substantial upgradation of ground-based (artillery guns, rockets and missiles) and aerially-delivered
(fighter-bomber aircraft and attack helicopter) firepower. Only then will it be possible to achieve future military objectives. Consequent to the leakage of the Chief ’s letter and the major uproar in Parliament that followed, the Defence Minister is reported to have approved the Twelfth Defence Plan 2012-17 and the long-term integrated perspective plan (LTIPP) 2012-27, in early April 2012. While this is undoubtedly commendable, it remains to be seen whether the Finance Ministry and subsequently the CCS, will also show the same alacrity in according the approvals necessary to give practical effect to these plans. Without these essential approvals, defence procurement is being undertaken through ad hoc annual procurement plans, rather than being based on carefully prioritised long-term plans that are designed to systematically enhance India’s combat potential. These are serious lacunae as effective defence planning cannot be undertaken in a policy void. The government must commit itself to supporting long-term defence plans or else defence modernisation will continue to lag and the present quantitative military gap with China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) will become a qualitative gap as well in 10 to 15 years. This can be done only by making the dormant National Security Council a proactive policy formulation body for long-term national security planning. It may be noted that CCS deals with current and near-term threats and challenges and reacts to emergent situations. The defence procurement decision-making process must be speeded up. The Army is still not having towed and self-propelled 155mm howitzers for the plains and the mountains and needs to acquire weapons and equipment for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations urgently. The Navy has been waiting for the INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) aircraft carrier for long and which is being refurbished in a Russian shipyard at exorbitant cost. Construction of the indigenous air defence ship is also lagging behind. The plans of the Air Force to acquire 126 multi-mission, medium-range combat aircraft in order to maintain its edge over the regional air forces are also stuck in the procurement quagmire. All the three Services need a large number of light helicop-
Defence Reforms: Priority Measures Formulate a comprehensive National Security Strategy (NSS) after undertaking a
strategic defence review.
Approve LTIPP 2007-22, the long-term integrated perspective plan of the armed
forces, and the ongoing Defence Plan 2007-12, now in its fourth year.
The defence budget must be enhanced to three per cent of the GDP for meaningful
defence modernisation and for upgrading the present military strategy of dissuasion to deterrence against China. The long-pending defence procurement plans such as artillery modernisation, the acquisition of modern fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers and submarines must be hastened. Modernisation plans of the Central Paramilitary and Police Forces must also be given the attention that they deserve. The government must immediately appoint a Chief of Defence Staff to head the defence planning function and provide a single-point military advice to the Cabinet Committee on Security.
ters. India’s nuclear forces require the AgniIII missile and nuclear-powered submarines with suitable ballistic missiles to acquire genuine deterrent capability. The armed forces do not have a truly integrated command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, information, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4I2SR) system suitable for modern network-centric warfare, which will allow them to optimise their individual capabilities. All of these high-priority acquisitions will require extensive budgetary support. With the defence budget languishing at less than two per cent of India’s GDP—compared with China’s 3.5 per cent and Pakistan’s 4.5 per cent plus US military aid—it will not be possible for the armed forces to undertake any meaningful modernisation in the foreseeable future. Leave aside genuine military modernisation that will substantially enhance combat capabilities, the funds available on the capital account at present are inadequate to suffice even for the replacement of obsolete weapons systems and equipment that are still in service, well beyond their useful life cycles. The Central Police and Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs) also need to be modernised as these are facing increasingly more potent threats while still being equipped with obsolescent weapons. The government must also immediately appoint a Chief of Defence Staff or a permanent Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee, as recommended by the Naresh Chandra Committee on defence reforms, to provide single-point advice to the CCS on military matters. Any further delay in this key structural reform in higher defence management on the grounds of the lack of political consensus and the inability of the armed forces to agree on the issue, will be extremely detrimental to India’s interests in the light of the dangerous developments taking place in India’s neighbourhood. The logical next step would be to constitute tri-Service integrated theatre commands to synergise the capabilities and the combat potential of individual services. It is time to set up a Tri-Service Aerospace and Cyber Command to meet the emerging challenges in these fields. International experience shows that such reform has to be imposed from the top down and can never work if the government keeps waiting for it to come about from the bottom up. The defence budget has dipped below two per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) despite the fact that the services have repeatedly recommended that it should be raised to at least three per cent of the GDP, if India is to build the defence capabilities that it will need to face the emerging threats and challenges and discharge its growing responsibilities as a regional power in South Asia. The government will do well to appoint a National Security Commission to take stock of the lack of preparedness of the country’s armed forces and to make pragmatic recommendations to redress the visible inadequacies that might lead to yet another military debacle. SP The writer is a former Director, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi. The views expressed by the author are personal.
KARGIL – Viewpoint
Failing to Learn Going by the Kargil Review Committee recommendations, what will be the fate of the Naresh Chandra Committee recommendations—it will be implemented in what measure and in which era—is anybody’s guess lt general (Retd) P.C. Katoch
hirteen years after Kargil, where is India? Possibility of many more Kargils apart (as voiced by Musharraf) when the recent letter by General V.K. Singh, former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) to the Prime Minister got leaked, many non-military scholars voiced fears of a repeat of 1962. The government moved on with some reports planted in the media that finally the Defence Minister has cleared some major defence acquisitions. That was the end of the story! Of course there was the Naresh Chandra Committee (NCC) with no serving military officer as a member, not even a veteran COAS. Going by the Kargil Review Committee (KRC) recommendations, what will be the fate of the NCC recommendations —it will be implemented in what measure and in which era—is anybody’s guess.
Kargil Lessons Even if the lack of strategic culture in India is set aside, application of common sense would have led us to the following facts that stared us in the face, post-Kargil and continue to do so till date: India’s higher defence set up displayed gross inadequacy in undertaking strategic appreciations and in assessing the enemy’s intentions. Pitiable state of organisation of national level intelligence, including poor surveillance capabilities across the board. Technical intelligence (TECHINT) and communication intelligence (COMINT) are no substitute for human intelligence (HUMINT). While all forms of intelligence acquisition are important, HUMINT is a vital factor that cannot be ignored. Areas of our strategic interest need continued human surveillance. Sudden politico-bureaucratic peace illusions without military advice and substantiated by hard realities, is like living in a fool’s paradise. The military-Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) calls the shots in Pakistan. They are intimately linked to terrorist outfits and are breeding and accelerating radicalism. They should not be expected to give up their anti-India policies and proxy war. Deceit and backstabbing. The mere fact that their military (under Musharraf) refused to recognise the dead bodies of Northern Light Infantry, indicates how depraved their thinking can get. Discovery of gas masks with Pakistani RPG squads and the state of some of our deceased indicates that Pakistan will have no compunctions in using chemical ammunition in future as well. The nuclear bluff of Pakistan should have been ignored to punish it adequately, given our second strike capability. The dual China-Pakistan threat will first manifest in the mountains, concurrent to the ongoing asymmetric wars including terrorism and insurgencies being fanned in India by these two countries. There are no shortcuts to undertaking periodic strategic defence review, defining a national security strategy including outlining national security objectives, making defence acquisitions in line with the national security strategy and undertaking holistic reviews periodically.
Arming and equipping troops at the cut-
ting edge cannot be ignored in the backdrop of big ticket acquisitions. Ignoring the frontline troops will cost us many lives which can be avoided. The stupidity of Pakistani troops in engaging our patrols prematurely during the Kargil intrusions was actually a blessing in disguise. Had they held their fire until the passes were snowed out, the embarrassment of India would have grown manifold. Movement of troops, guns, equipment and ammunition into Ladakh would have been possible only by air, and dislodging the enemy at those heights during winters sans adequate equipment and clothing, much more difficult.
Organisation of Defence India’s lack of strategic culture cannot be rectified till the military is integrated into all matters security, in an institutionalised manner. Armed forces jointness simply has to become an imperative. Though it will cause unease in bureaucratic circles, the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister, the
have been half-hearted at best till now. Our areas of strategic interest continue to be devoid of HUMINT surveillance. We not only need an Integrated Special Forces Command (also recommended by the Naresh Chandra Committee) but also a national policy for employment of Special Forces. The potential of these special troops must be optimised through their covert deployment in areas of our strategic interest. Additionally, the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) must not be stopped from its mandated task of operating trans-border sources.
Military Modernisation Military modernisation must take into account envisaged threats and war making potential of our adversaries. Undertaking modernisation in isolation and without basing it on a national security strategy is dangerous. Considering the increased potential of irregular, non-traditional and asymmetric threats; upgrading, arming and equipping frontline troops must be given due priority. The Indian Military desperately requires a revolution in military affairs (RMA). The government and the military Photograph: Wikimedia
defence modernisation? While we should not emulate China and Pakistan in permitting the military run commercialised ventures, we could perhaps de-link pensions from the defence budget and bring it under respective state budgets, as in Pakistan.
Technology Development of technology must be focused, integrating national talent and resources to cater to five dimensional conflicts (aerospace, land, sea, cyber, electromagnetic), all operationalised forms warfare (information warfare, C4I2 warfare, electronic warfare, cyber warfare) and new forms of combat; space combat, cyber space combat, radiation combat, robotic combat, nano-technology combat, etc. Spacebased laser and plasma weapons overtaking nuclear weapons is not a utopian fantasy. Besides, robotic wars and mind controlled zombie wars are fast developing into realities while technologies for capturing satellites and high-tech drones are also being developed. Without focused national effort, our chances of winning future conflict may be little. We need fully-networked forces, better precision guided munitions (PGMs) including high energy lasers, plasma, electro-magnetic, ultrasonic, DEWs, long-range strategic aerospace platforms, improved intelligence surveillance reconnaissance (ISR) and communications systems, stealth and smart technologies, compact nukes, nano weapons-equipment, micro UAVs, ant robots, cyber warriors, worms, virus and cy-bugs anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), etc.
War Memorial of Operation Vijay at Dras
Defence Minister, the Home Minister and the National Security Advisor should all have individual Military Advisory Cells, comprising serving and veteran military officers. The NSA and Deputy NSA must alternate between a military veteran and the bureaucrat. A Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) (recommended as Permanent Chairman COSC by Naresh Chandra Committee) should be appointed without further loss of time. Similarly, the NSAB and NSCS must have both serving and veteran military representation. A holistic defence strategic review must be undertaken and reviewed periodically, with a national security strategy defined national security objectives outlined. HQ Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) must be fully integrated into the MoD, duly interfaced with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Organisation of the Intelligence Efforts to integrate all the nine major intelligence agencies and ushering accountability into them through Parliamentary oversight
would do well to appoint permanent bodies within the government and HQ IDS to specifically look at RMA holistically in all its manifestations. MoD should also outsource refining the Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) to a team of experts to include the military, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the private sector and think tanks instead of making annual cosmetic changes internally.
Defence Budget The debate between defence expenditure and finding money for other expenditures is endless, but considering the snowballing pension bill—every year some 60,00070,000 personnel proceed on pension, the fact remains that there is very little of the defence budget for modernisation. The KRC had recommended that after reduced colour service of seven years, military personnel be absorbed laterally into the Central Armed Police Forces but that is never going to make the political dispensation happy. So what should we do for generating more money for
India has been at distinct disadvantage in dealing with non-traditional threats. We have not created adequate deterrence to trans-border asymmetric threats and the security sector at home is not organised. The latter is evident from the manner in which the Maoist insurgency is being handled. The fact that the Home Minister himself recommends a separate Ministry of Homeland Security indicates the MHA is not adequately organised to meet current and future challenges. The National Counter terrorism centre (NCTC) appears getting diluted even before establishment and the required state level SCTCs are yet to be conceptualised. The national intelligence grid (NATGRID) is still some way off. The CAPF units need reorganisation on lines of the Rashtriya Rifles and Assam Rifles units.
Avoiding Kargil The KRC Report stated, “A Kargil-type situation could perhaps have been avoided had the Indian Army followed a policy of Siachenisation to plug un-held gaps along the 168-km stretch from Kaobal Gali to Chorbat La. Look at this irony and the recent clamour to demilitarise Siachen itself on the mere utterance of Kiyani and Nawaz Sharif.
The Need There is a crying need to grasp the above lessons of Kargil in their true perspective and initiate remedial measures speedily. The military and security interests need to be recognised and not treated as clashing with national interests, failing which there can be more Kargils. This is all the more important with the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) warning of emerging conflict situation vis-à-vis China. SP
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Attack Helicopters for Indian Army... The need is for dedicated air crew not only proficient in flying but also associated full time with Army manoeuvres, operational thinking and ground tactics, as well as time spent in the field. The present structure is not suited for the short, swift and limited wars. Photograph: Boeing
Lt General (Retd) B.S. Pawar
ll major armies of the world, including those of our adversaries China and Pakistan have fullfledged air wings of their own with all types of helicopters, including attack helicopters and fixed wing aircraft in their inventory. The Government in USA and UK had to intervene to facilitate the formation of a separate Army Aviation Corps, despite strong objections by their respective air forces. During the Vietnam War (1959-75), the US Army had more helicopters than all of the branches combined (Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard). However, the Indian Army continues to be denied the rightful ownership of attack helicopters, despite the fact that this flying machine and weapon platform is acquired only for supporting ground forces in the battlefield. Stale arguments are put forward again and again to justify the unjustifiable.
Missions The primary mission of Army Aviation is to fight the land battle and support ground operations. It operates in the tactical battle area (TBA) as a combined arms team expanding the ground commander’s battlefield in space and time. Its battlefield leverage is achieved through a combination of mobility and firepower, that is unprecedented in land warfare and hence it is the centrepiece of land force operations. Its greatest contribution to battlefield success is the fact that it gives the commander the ability to apply decisive combat power at critical times virtually anywhere in the battlefield. This may be in the form of direct fire from aviation manoeuvre units (attack/armed helicopters) or insertion of ground forces at the point of decision. This versatility is the essence of Army Aviation due to which it can be effectively employed right from commencement of offensive till conflict termination. The assets required for the above manoeuvre, the attack and assault helicopters, must be at the beck and call of a field force commander and also piloted by men in olive green who fully understand the ground situation, are from the same background and speak the same language. This will ensure the optimum utilisation of the battle winning resource.
Oft Repeated Arguments In a recent article in The Times of India, Pune edition titled “The War Within: Army
Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopters can augment IAF’s attack capability
Control and ownership of attack helicopters and medium-/heavy-lift helicopters by the Army is an operational imperative vs IAF in New Turf Battle”, the author has dwelt on the old and tedious arguments of the Air Force as to why Army should not have attack helicopters? Perhaps the author is not aware of the fact that this issue was first raised by the Army in 1963 and the so-called turf war unfortunately continues to rage till date. I would like to highlight two issues raised in the article, purportedly the views of the Air Force. Firstly, the remark that Army does not have an aviation culture and therefore is not capable of operating and maintaining attack/heavy helicopters is not only shocking and condemnable but needs to be treated with utter disdain. The second issue pertains to the reference to the Joint Army-Air Instruction of 1986, which supposedly permits the Army to only operate helicopters of less than five-tonne weight. In the light of the above, there is a need to
highlight a few facts to demystify the deliberate attempt to create a haze.
Army Aviation Corps’ (AAC) Perspective Plans The AAC is a thoroughly professional force and has an aviation culture as good as or even better than the Air Force. It operates the largest fleet of helicopters in India (Cheetah, Chetak and advanced light helicopter—ALH) to the extreme limits of man, machine and terrain. It is the lifeline of troops deployed in Siachen. The AAC already has in its inventory the lancer gunship (armed Cheetah) complete with a sighting system, gun and rockets and has been bloodied in operations in counterinsurgency environment. The armed version of the ALH (Rudra) is purely an Army project and is being inducted into the AAC by the end of this year. In addition to the gun and rockets, the Rudra has air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, akin to any state-of-the-art attack helicopter in service today. In fact, the light combat helicopter (LCH) being developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited will have the same weapon complement as the Rudra. As per the AAC Perspective Plans (future plans), the Rudra units will form part of the Pivot/ Holding Corps and will play a crucial role in any future conflict. It would be pertinent to mention here that the Army Aviation test
pilots and flight test engineers were totally involved in the selection and integration process of all the weapon systems in the Rudra project. This should put aside any fears/apprehensions regarding the capabilities of the Army to operate and maintain armed/attack helicopters that my colleagues in IAF may have. With regard to the second issue, both the ALH and Rudra are above the five-tonne category. Hence the repeated reference to this issue defies logic. Secondly, today the entire threat perception and security environment has undergone a drastic change since 1986. Indian Army faces a two-front threat and anticipates hybrid nature of operations in the future and has embarked on the road to modernisation and transformation to keep pace with the emerging threats and challenges. The other two services are also a part of this process and their acquisition plans speak for themselves. The Air Force needs to focus more on its strategic role and leave the TBA for the Army to handle, keeping in mind the nature of future conflicts. There is a tacit need for the Air Force to have a relook at the 1986 document and move away from a rigid mindset.
Enhance the Overall Goal and Capability of the Land Forces The role that Army Aviation needs to perform in support of land battle requires equipment, personnel, air crew and organisations enhancing the overall goal and capability of the land forces commander. The need is for dedicated air crew who are not only proficient in flying but are associated full time with army manoeuvres, operational thinking and ground tactics, as well as spend time in the field. The present structure is not suited for the short, swift and limited wars envisaged in the future. Turf battles are part of every nation’s defence forces, but the experience of other nations clearly illustrate that each service needs a viable integral aviation component for it to retain the capacity to meet future challenges on the ground by using aerial manoeuvre and attack as part of its response to the dynamics of an ever changing battlefield. The control and ownership of attack helicopters and medium-/heavy-lift helicopters by the Army is an operational imperative due to the need for integration of all elements of Army Aviation (combat and combat support) into a cohesive combat organisation. The time for decision is now. SP
Continued from page 6... of our primary and secondary schools, to be able to inspire young children and build a strategic culture. We must remember that those who fight for the nation and sacrifice their lives deserve memory and recognition. That sustains their families more than any monetary compensation. In the recent past, we have witnessed an unhealthy row over the age of the last Army Chief, attempted bribe to purchase Tatra vehicles from the Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML), and the deep-lying suspicion of the military over movement of some units for training near Delhi. The last mentioned incident reflects the lack of trust that continues to bother officials in the government after 65 years of independence and after
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what the armed forces have contributed to the nation. There is deep discontent among the armed forces veterans and widows who retain an umbilical connection with serving soldiers and maintain traditional camaraderie and kinship. They feel cheated over pension disparities and anomalies. As a result, they have been organising rallies, fast unto death agitations, and surrendering war and gallantry medals to the President in order to draw public and political attention. Less visible is the unhappy feeling among serving soldiers over automatic promotion and upgradation rules that the civil services have managed to secure for themselves. The general impression is that the political lead-
ership takes little or no interest in the welfare of armed forces and in protecting their hierarchical status in the government and society. The relationship is far from healthy. A few days ago, the Prime Minister announced a Committee under the Cabinet Secretary to look into these anomalies and grievances. Contrary to all organisational norms, the Committee had only civil secretaries as members and no representation from the military. This has led to the Chiefs of Staff Committee lodging a fully justified but an avoidable confrontation within the government.
Lessons Learnt There is no point talking about revolution in military affairs, information systems and
net-centric warfare if we cannot induct relevant weapons and equipment on time. Efforts towards modernisation of the armed forces have not borne fruit primarily due to the absence of holistic and long-term defence planning. The Kargil War was not the first time when Pakistan initiated a war, and we must not assume that it would be the last time. India will remain vulnerable to such threats along its disputed borders unless it builds a credible will and capability to deter and dissuade likely adversaries. An enduring lesson of the Kargil War, indeed most wars, is that for national security, sound defence enables sound foreign policies. Indian civil and military leadership needs to keep this in mind. SP
...To Be or Not To Be? More than physical ownership, what really matters is for the two services to be able to fight a war-winning joint air-land battle. The time may be ripe to stop the in-house fighting and prepare ourselves to carry it to the enemy, when required. Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia
rom various reports emanating from the Indian media, it appears that the Army has once again launched an aggressive campaign amongst the top echelons of the government, demanding that the Army be allowed to have its own full-fledged air wing which includes the attack helicopters. Citing examples of some major armies in the world including the US, China and Pakistan, which have their own air wings, the proponents of this argument lament as to why the Indian Army is being denied the rightful ownership of attack helicopters (AH) despite the fact that this ‘flying machine and weapon platform’ is acquired only for supporting ground forces on the battlefield. The naivety of this argument is immediately manifest from the following facts: first, the Indian Army air wing was established way back in 1986 in the form of Army Aviation Corps (AAC) with clearcut mandates; second, the AAC is already acquiring the combat/attack helicopter platforms with the acquisition of ‘Rudra’, the weaponised version of the advanced light helicopter (ALH) Dhruv and the ‘under development’ light combat helicopter (LCH) of which the Army has placed an order for 114 machines; third, the notion that the AH is meant only for supporting the ground forces on the battlefield. Most flying machines have many-faceted roles and the attack helicopters are no exception.
For example, these helicopters have been gainfully used for destruction of enemy air defence systems in the forward areas, close interdiction, combat search and rescue, counter-insurgency, even for communication and logistics duties, in the absence of committed helicopters for such roles. It is clear from the above that the IAF’s attack helicopters fleet is not only to provide close support to the Army in the tactical battle area (TBA) but also to cater for other missions that are entrusted to the IAF. Little wonder the IAF is proactively seeking to augment its attack/combat helicopter capability by acquiring state-of-the-art Boeing Apache Longbow AH-64D attack helicopters, 22 of which have been ordered. These will supplement and eventually replace the existing but ageing Mi-25/Mi-35 helicopters. In addition, the IAF has also placed an order for 65 light combat helicopters being developed indigenously by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Interestingly, even the Wikipedia on LCH spells out its intended roles as, “air defence against slow moving aerial targets (e.g. aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)), counter-surface force operation (CSFO) destruction of enemy air defence operations, escort to special heli-borne operations (SHBO), counter-insurgency operations (COIN), offensive employment in urban warfare, support of combat search and rescue (SAR) operations, anti-tank role and scout duties.” How many of these are confined to the TBA? Perhaps, the land bat-
The IAF’s attack helicopters fleet is not only to provide close support to the Army in the tactical battle area but also to cater for other missions that are entrusted to the IAF tle pundits would like to answer. Under the joint Army-Air Instruction of 1986 when the Army Aviation Corps was created, the Army was given the mandate of operating light helicopters up to five-tonne class. This distinction was done as the Army sought these helicopters to fight the closein encounter land battle. That situation has not changed with the Army’s acquisition of advanced light helicopter weapon systems integrated (ALH-WSI) in its ‘Rudra’ avatar nor will it change with it’s to be acquired LCH, as both these belong to the five-tonne class. It must be remembered that by exceeding the max take-off weight by a few hundred kgs over the five-tonne limit, does not put the helicopter in an altogether different (heavy) category. The AAC’s cry for owning the heavier attack helicopters has about
the same merit as the Infantry formations’ desire within the Army to have their own ‘Topkhanas’. Even the Army would admit the good reasons as to why these formations were restricted to having their mortar elements while the ‘big guns’ were kept within the ambit of artillery. The supporters of the so-called Army’s case for owning all attack helicopters have even come up with an idea, bordering on the infantile, suggesting, “The Air Force needs to focus more on its strategic role and leave the TBA for the Army to handle…” If some quarters in the Army actually think that the Army can fight and win the ground battle merely by owning the attack helicopters, they couldn’t be further removed from the ‘ground reality’. Fortunately, the Air Force understands the juvenility of this offtrack notion and continues to train for all its roles including the ones related to the TBA. If the recent disclosures by the outgoing Army Chief are any indicators, the service will do well to put its own house in order by filling up the serious deficiencies being faced by its combat arms rather than indulging in unnecessary and costly turf wars. In the final analysis, more than physical ownership, what really matters is for the two services to be able to fight a war-winning joint air-land battle. It is believed the Indian defence planners have been hard at work, hammering out doctrines for fighting exactly such a battle. The time may be ripe to stop the in-house fighting and prepare ourselves to carry it to the enemy, when required. SP
Editor’s Comments - Army Aviation Asset
was surprised and amused at the recent media reports which indicated that the Army Chief General Bikram Singh has asked the government to allow the Army to have its own attack helicopters and that this move has once again given rise to a fresh round of turf war between the Army and the Indian Air Force. At the beginning of the second decade of 21st century, the Indian armed forces are still stuck in the quagmire of unresolved command and control problems of an aerial weapon platform, which is designed for manoeuvre and attack against ground targets. The attack helicopter is an essential component of the land battle, a norm followed by every country in the world. It is common knowledge and an accepted principle that each service must possess and indeed command all elements which are required to conduct their respective battles, efficiently and effectively. The ground battle invariably requires some essential elements which include infantry, armour and artillery, including air defence artillery, engineers, army aviation and the logistic services. The basic tactics employed by ground forces comprise “fire and manoeuvre” and therefore all elements that are required to undertake these missions on the battlefield should logically be a part of the ground force. The so-called “attack helicopter” is nothing but an extension of the ground manoeuvre arm, except that it manoeuvres through the medium of air and provides intimate fire support to the ground manoeuvre elements. This does not mean that an Army can fight future battles without the Air Force. In fact air power
will predominate in the theatre of operations in future wars and counter-air operations; and battlefield air interdiction and close air support are inseparable parts of a campaign. Having said that, it does not mean that everything that flies in the air should be with the Air Force. In all armies of the world, including our neighbours, Pakistan and China, the attack helicopters are the Army’s asset, owned and operated by the Army. The light combat helicopter and the ALH (WSI) being inducted in the Army are also equipped with various types of weapons and missiles for battlefield support. These helicopters are lighter than the AH 64 D Apache, which carries a far bigger arsenal of weaponry. So it seems that the only bone of contention that remains today is that the heavier helicopters will currently be with the Air Force and the lighter ones with the Army. This artificial barrier will also disappear with time. The writing on the wall is very clear. Attack helicopter is an essential component of a combat grouping, primarily meant for supporting and augmenting the ground forces, i.e. the Army. It can be said that ultimately it is the mutual acceptance that matters more than the arguments put forward. If we have to fight together as a joint force our hearts and minds have to honourably accept each other’s requirements and view points and proceed ahead with joint training, joint planning and joint execution of war and not get stuck in invidious arguments and distinctions which only help to provide the media with material to exploit the differences between the services. SP Untitled-3 1
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For Logistics and Tactical Requirements of Armed Forces Logistics is not only about the supply of materiel to an army in times of war. It also includes the ability of the national infrastructure and manufacturing base to equip, support and supply the armed forces, the national transportation system to move the forces to be deployed and its ability to resupply that force once they are deployed. And without well-developed transportation systems, logistics cannot bring its advantages into full play. Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor
Photograph: SP Guide Pubns
he importance of logistics in the field can be gauged from Lord Wavell’s statement: “Ultimately real knowledge of supply and movement factors must be the basis of every leader’s plan; only then can he know how and when to take risks with these factors, and battles and wars are won by taking risks.” The supply and movement of ration, fuel, ammunition, clothing, stores and other warlike equipment from peace time depots forward to operational sectors so as to provide the field formations their requirements on time, harmonised with their operational plans, is the job of a logistician. For mobile and swift offensive operations, the logistician has to be literally a magician to ensure that all requirements are within reasonable turn around distance. This will ensure that commanders at various levels do not have to look back, over their shoulders, and all requirements are pushed forward. This requires an echeloned system of maintenance from rear areas to forward areas and vice versa to ensure smooth movement of logistic convoys. It is logistics that will determine the forces that can be delivered to the theatre of operations, what forces can be supported once there and what will then be the tempo of operations. Logistics is not only about the supply of materiel to an army in times of war. It also includes the ability of the national infrastructure and manufacturing base to equip, support and supply the armed forces, the national transportation system to move the forces to be deployed and its ability to resupply that force once they are deployed.
Modes of Transportation Without well-developed transportation systems, logistics cannot bring its advantages into full play. Besides, in business, a good transport system in logistics activities can provide better logistics efficiency, reduce the operation cost, and promote service quality. The improvement of transportation systems in the armed forces needs an estimate of the terrain over which the goods have to move and accordingly the transportation system has to be designed. For example, if the troops, rations, fuel, medicines, ammunition, etc have to be moved over terrain in which there are no roads existing then all the above items have to be moved in high mobility wheeled or tracked vehicles or moved by aircraft. If there are no airstrips where the items are required to be transported, then they have to be air dropped with parachutes. In the hinterland of a country, we may employ a varied system of transportation from depots or manufacturing units to field formations, such as rail transport, heavy lift aircraft, inland water transport and road transport in the form heavy load carrying vehicles, etc. However, as we come close to the border areas and go beyond the borders, the transportation mode changes to trucks which are capable of carrying loads across country on indifferent tracks, and high mobility wheeled vehicles which can keep up with armoured and mechanised forma-
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Tata mine protected vehicle
tions moving off the tracks and roads, and heavy- and medium-lift helicopters. Trucks which carry logistics loads in the Indian Army are mostly indigenous vehicles. The main suppliers of heavier trucks to the Army currently are Ashok Leyland, Tata and Vehicle Factory Jabalpur.
Ashok Leyland Ashok Leyland is a pioneer in the design, development and manufacture of defence vehicles and offer end-to-end solutions to meet the logistics and tactical requirements of the armed forces. While the Stallion is their flagship platform, they have developed two more platforms: the Colt and the Super Stallion. Going forward, they are expanding their Stallion range of logistics transport solutions while tactical or armoured vehicles will be offered on all three platforms on the back of strategic partnerships with KMW, Germany; Panhard, France, and Paramount, South Africa.
Stallion 6x6 The Stallion 6x6 is significantly upgraded in form and function compared to its earlier version. It has a more powerful 165 kW common rail diesel engine that is capable of 800 nm of torque to operate in demanding mountainous terrain. Ease of use is addressed by automatic transmission that is matched to the new engine. The Stallion 6x6 is also equipped with a modern, face-lifted cabin that is ergonomic, air-conditioned with bucket seats and fitted with a driver-friendly information display cluster panel. The Stallion 6x6 can be used as troop carriers, water and fuel bowsers, recovery vehicle, and as the base vehicle to mount communication equipment and command control posts.
Super Stallion HMV 8x8 The Super Stallion HMV 8x8 is the new flagship of Ashok Leyland’s range of logistics vehicles. It has been specially configured to meet the Army’s emerging requirement for vehicles with higher mobility and greater power to operate in challenging desert terrains. It is propelled by a state-of-the-art pow-
erful 360 hp (265 kW) Neptune engine, that can crank up a torque of 1,400 nm. Hub reduction axles ensure better ground clearance and grip for its eight wheels in sand and the central tyre inflation system (CITS) enables inflating or deflating tyres even when on the move. Driver comfort has been addressed through air-conditioning, bucket seats in the ergonomic cab and parabolic suspension in front for a better ride. The Super Stallion platform promises the same versatility of the Stallion platform and can be offered for a variety of applications like field artillery tractor and mounted gun with different transmission and driveline configurations.
COLT Light Tactical Vehicle (4x4) The Colt light tactical vehicle (LTV), jointly developed by Ashok Leyland Defence and Panhard General Defense, has excellent mobility owing to a power to weight ratio of over 34 hp per tonne. It is equipped with a high performance chassis, a unique suspension system and an innovative patented armoured hull. Essentially designed to carry out protected tactical liaison missions, the LTV can fill a large array of roles such as escort, patrol and command vehicles. The product is battle-proven and over 2,000 are deployed across 15 countries.
Product Portfolio Ashok Leyland Defence is also engaged in developing a range of armoured vehicles with military payloads ranging from 1.5 to 16 tonnes, on the Colt, Stallion and Super Stallion platforms that will address requirements for light specialist vehicles (LSV), light bullet proof vehicle (LBPV), light artillery machines (LAM), mine protected vehicles (MPV), field artillery tractors, multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRLs) and other special applications.
Tata Motors Tata Motors has been a strategic partner of the Indian armed forces from as early as 1958. Since then, their mobility-solutions portfolio has grown to include all classes from light to heavy vehicles across the entire defence, paramilitary and police mobility
spectrum. Today, Tata Motors partners in enhancing defence, paramilitary and police mobility in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) regions and Africa. Tata Motors offers a wide range of vehicles, in the light, medium and heavy category. These include: logistics vehicles; tactical vehicles; armoured vehicles; buses; chassis; and specialist vehicles. These models are available with multiple applications as well. Tata Motors vehicles are registered with the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) rate contract, offering the customer a wide choice of applications like troop carriers, water tankers, trucks and tippers, ambulances, chassis (light and heavy), CNG, buses, passenger cars, utility vehicles. Training sessions, workshops and service camps are organised on a regular basis to keep abreast of latest technologies, share technical knowledge and master maintenance methodologies.
Vehicle Factory Jabalpur Vehicle Factory Jabalpur, which comes under the Ordnance Factory Board of the Ministry of Defence, was established in 1969. It is a dedicated manufacturing unit to meet the ‘transport needs’ of the armed forces. Current product range includes 2.5 tonne LPTA-713, 2 KL water bowser and 5/7.5 tonne Stallion Mk-III vehicles, designed to operate in extreme climate and terrain conditions from snow-bound mountains to sand dunes. Manufacturing facilities include state-of-the-art computer numerical machines (CNC) machines and statistical parametric mapping (SPMs) for manufacturing transmission components, fabricated items, chassis frame and body, etc in addition to vehicle assembly lines. The main products of the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur provided to the Army are: 5/7.5-tonne Stallion Mk-III BS-II 2.5-tonne LPTA 713/32 TC BS-II Water bowser 2 KL on LPTA Water bowser 5 KL on Stallion Kitchen container on Stallion Mine protected vehicles Bullet-proofing of vehicles
Indian Army’s Requirements The estimated requirement for light and heavy vehicles by the Indian Army, as reported by the media, is huge. The Army has projected a need for 4,000 light armoured vehicles, 1,500 light bullet-proof vehicles, 4,500 light specialist vehicles and thousands of trucks for carrying logistic requirements for field formations. This list does not even take into account the number of specialist light, medium and heavy vehicles that would be needed for repair and recovery of vehicles in the field and specialist vehicles like artillery tractors to be used to tow the guns and howitzers as and when they are inducted. It also does not include the tank transporters to transport T-72, T-90 and Arjun tanks when they move from one location to another in peacetime or during war in own territory. SP
Nanotechnology in Air Defence-Air Threat Domain Amidst the plethora of tall claims, which seem to get taller by the day, this article, focuses on how nanotechnology is impacting the air threat-air defence domain, encompassing the entire spectrum of sensors, shooters and BMC2 systems Photograph: AeroVironment
Lt General V.K. Saxena “Nanotechnology is an idea that most people simply didn’t believe.” —Ralph Markele
cience and technology in the context of nanotechnology are advancing to the point where structuring matter at nanometre scale (10-9m) is becoming routine. Nanotechnology is thus predicted to produce revolutionary changes bringing far-reaching consequences in many areas. Besides multifarious fields of its exploitation, experts opine that in the field of weapons, nanotechnology may lead to a new generation of future kill options with a capability superior to deterrence of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Implications for the Air Defence Warrior: Amidst the plethora of tall claims, which seem to get taller by the day, this article, focuses on how nanotechnology is impacting the air threat-air defence domain, encompassing the entire spectrum of sensors, shooters and BMC2 system.
Emerging impact of nanotechnologies in multiple air threat-air defence means The Future of ISTAR Missions: Colonel Basilio Di Martino, writing for RUSI Air Power, paints a picture of the future. “The final stage will be represented by swarms of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of the size of an insect, capable of a variety of intelligence surveillance target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) missions.” Make way, the nano air vehicles (NAVs) are here. Gizmos, no more than 7.5 cm and weighing no more than 10 gm are not imaginations anymore. These are realities/ close to realities, given the current pace of technological advances in the field. AeroVironment’s NAV named ‘Nano Hummingbird’ was one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2011, as stated by Time magazine. Employing biological mimicry at nano scale, this NAV is capable of flying like a bird with flapping wings. With a speed of 17 km/hour, a precision hover capability and payload of video camera with a downlink capable of live video streaming, Humming Bird can someday provide precision reconnaissance and surveillance capability in urban areas. ‘Black Widow’, another NAV from the same manufacturer, has an endurance of 30 minutes and a capability of colour streaming of live video.
Advantages The obvious gains from such NAVs in reconnaissance and surveillance domain are the capability of precision hover, a hover stability against wind gush (up to two metres/second), hover endurance of eight-ten minutes (and counting), controlled transition from outdoors to indoors with a heads-down indoor manoeuvre based on live video. It is not unlikely that development in the field of high energy materials will allow combat missions to take advantage of ‘Smart Swarms’, showing their presence and infiltration effect over a large area. When even the present day unmanned aerial vehicle
AeroVironment Nano Hummingbird
(UAV) and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is becoming a tough target, defying electronic recognition due to their nonresponsive radar surfaces and small sizes (thus showing a great deal of immunity to hard kill by radar guided weapons), one can imagine the tremendous difficulty in taking on swarms of NAVs (who knows UCAVs in future). The only answer probably would be through deploying soft-kill options with a capability to attack the electronic/electromagnetic (EM) umbilical cord between the swarm of let-loose nano-UAVs and their controlling base stations. Multiple Users: The use of emerging nano-materials is finding increasing use in providing added immunity (hence survivability) and effectiveness to a variety of combat aircraft. In July 2010, it was reported that a nanotechnology company is nearing completion of a nano-paint which has the capability to convert incident radar EM waves as heat waves, thus providing a degree of low-cost stealth solution to their combat fleet of aircraft. Nanotechnology is fundamentally changing the way materials and devices will be produced in the future. Significantly improved physical, chemical (and biological) properties are being realised not only by the order of magnitude size reduction (1-100 nanometres), but also due to other phenomenon, like size confinement, predominance of interfacial phenomenon, quantum mechanics, etc. Resultant materials, besides being highly light-weight, will have much higher strength and thermal stability. Obviously, these will find increasing use as structured materials for future combat aircraft. Specific Functional Areas: A technology forecast paper, focused on 2025 scenario, identifies that nanotechnology advances in the field of aviation will embrace four basic functional areas, i.e. materials, coatings, computers and electronics. All of these could be exploited variously in enhancing survivability and effectiveness of aerial vehicles in combat. As stated, a nano-material paint that makes an aircraft incredibly difficult to detect on radar is certainly a cheap alternative to a specially designed stealth aircraft. This airspace based defence appli-
cation in the nano domain aims to improve strength-to-weight ratios. For example, nanotechnology is being applied to aluminium to change phases and micro-structure in order to make it perform like titanium but without its weight. Other developments relate to high strength, corrosion resistance, high thermal reliability and highly reliable coatings which can not only sense the damage but also initiate some repair. Such coatings can also display qualities of chameleon camouflage suitable for use in ground and aerial vehicles. Several companies are developing high strength, light weight composite materials using carbon nano tubes. These high strength low weight materials are finding use in aircraft wings/body with take-away of reduced size, weight and power consumption of payloads. Nano-instrumentation is another exciting field promising smaller cockpits, thus leaving greater scope for payloads. Other nanotechnology benefits to aerospace include lighter panels, cockpit glasses, light and robust aircraft engines and components, maximising payloads and optimising fuel consumption. The Likely Take Away: As per a technology update, revolutionary new nano composites have the promise to be 100 times stronger than steel and only one-sixth of its weight. Therefore, in futuristic scenarios, aircraft using composite materials reinforced with carbon nanotubes could weigh as little as half of the conventional aircraft, besides being extremely flexible by allowing its wings to reshape instantly and remain extremely resistant to damage at the same time. In addition, such materials could have ‘self-healing’ functionality. Research is on for a possible use of filled nano-capsules in zinc coatings for ‘self-healing’ on cutting edges. The ultra high strength-to-weight ratio, improved hardness, wear resistance and resilience of nano structured materials provide additional safety to crew against crash impact, thus saving precious resources and pilot costs. Introduction of nano particle additives to five per cent in the material used for the interior of an aircraft can greatly reduce fire risk. Hard compound nano-ceramic films are being investigated for protection of engine and blade surfaces
allowing them to run ‘hotter’. Also, the nano-phase ceramics are being tested for use as ‘thermal barrier coatings’. The coating system consists of an outer layer (that is chemically resistant) deposited on an underlying strain-resistant layer that can deform without cracking/peeling off. Aluminium nano-particles when used with rocket gel fuels increase propulsion energy. Nano materials are also finding use in aircraft sensors for measurement of velocity, acceleration, positions, and temperature and flow properties. Nanotechnology in Air Delivered Weapons: Way back in 2007, Russians announced the successful testing of an airdelivered non-nuclear bomb (called dad of all bombs) claimed to be the most powerful in the world (four times more than the US ‘mother of all bombs’), approximately 11 vs 44 tonnes of equivalent TNT. The massive power was attributed to a new highly efficient type of explosive in the bomb developed with the use of nanotechnology. Basically, nanotechnology has shown the feasibility of creating a new class of weaponry—compact powerful bombs that use nano metals such as nano-aluminium to create ultra-high burn rates and chemical explosives that are in order of magnitude more powerful than conventional bombs. Typical nano-munition will be much lighter but highly more potent and destructive. Nanotechnology in Armour for Weapons: Nano-structured materials will also find increasing use in gun/missile armour. These materials are extremely strong, multi-impact capable and light weight. One example of such material is Kryron carbon nano-tube metal matrix composite (CNT-MMC). This material is very suitable for hard armour plating of combat systems. Smart nano-material of the future may also have the capability to adapt to changes in light, temperature, pressure, or stress for instance. Cool New Weapons: Three dimensional assembly of nano-structures in bulk case yield much better version of most conventional weapons e.g. guns can be lighter, carry more ammunition, fire self-guided bullets, incorporate multi-spectral gunsights or even fire themselves when threat is detected (through nano swarm-sensors). Pace of Technology: With the advent of nanotechnology, the qualitative advances in weapon technology will be enormous and compelling. Nano material based on molecular manufacturing will catch on, duly complemented by self-replacing systems. These will achieve a high degree of automation and smartness through artificial indulgence. An actual nano-technic war if ever occurs is likely to be inhumanly fast and enormously destructive. If such be the pace of nano-revolution, all aspects of air and air-defence warfare as a subset of the whole, will be fully immersed in the nanorelated developments/enablers. SP The writer is the Commandant of the Army Air Defence College. The views expressed in this article are those of the author in his personal capacity.
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‘Raytheon has many solutions to meet the need of Indian services’ Tim R. Glaeser, Vice President and Business Development Executive for Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD), Business Development and Strategy, Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), in an interview with SP’s Land Forces, spoke in detail about Raytheon’s missile defence systems. Excerpts from the interview: Tim R. Glaeser joined Raytheon in August 2004, after a 24-year career in the US Army. Prior to his retirement, he served as Commander, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he commanded the US and Kuwaiti Patriot forces. As the Vice President and Business Development Executive for IAMD, Business Development and Strategy, IDS, Glaeser is responsible for developing customer-focused marketing strategies and the growth of domestic and international markets. Glaeser has also previously served as Vice President, IAMD, Patriot Programs. SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): Can you tell us about Raytheon’s Patriot, Hawk XXI and the national advanced surface-to-air missile system (NASAMS)? Are they being offered to India? Tim R. Glaeser (Glaeser): As the OEM of Patriot, Hawk XXI and NASAMS (national advanced surface-to-air missile system), we are proud of the reputation as the “best in class” for each of the market sectors these programmes support. We are working with our many international partners to continue to enhance the effectiveness of the systems and reduce the total cost of ownership. Specific public release information on each can be provided based on the requirements stated in the request for information (RFI). We are reviewing all RFIs released by the Indian Army, Air Force and Navy.
SP’s: Can you give us details of Raytheon’s very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) and short-range surface missile (SRSAM) systems? Glaeser: Raytheon has many solutions to meet the need of Indian services for VSHORAD and SRSAM. Our platform launched Stinger and Javelin which are well known in the Indian armed force community. For SRSAM, we have both Hawk XXI as well as NASAMS that are capable of meeting and exceeding the requirements stated by the Indian Air Force and Indian Army. SP’s: Tell us about Raytheon’s mediumrange surface-to-air missile (MRSAM) and long-range surface-to-air missile (LRSAM) programmes. How do they fit into the Indian Army’s requirement for providing air defence to mobile and semimobile assets? Glaeser: For MRSAM class of system, we are confident that Patriot continues to be the golden standard for defence against air breathing threats, cruise missiles, tactical ballistic missiles and many other types of threats. We are also proud to say that 12 other nations have embraced Patriot as their primary defence structure against these threats. Mature, battle-proven and continuous technology upgrade to system capability keeps Patriot as the pack leader
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in the MRSAM class of system in the world. We consider LRSAM as an architecture rather than a system that is comprised of early warning radar, sensors, C4ISR node, integrated air missile defence and family of effectors. In the LRSAM class of system, Raytheon has vast number of systems and elements that can be specifically tailored to meet the need of LRSAM requirements. We have not seen any requirements in the area of MRSAM and LRSAM from the Indian Army. We have provided approved information in these weapon class systems to the Indian Air Force. Patriot is known to protect mobile and semi-mobile assets as proven in two wars. Based on the RFI seen, we feel Hawk XXI and NASAMS are the right solution set for the Indian Army.
SP’s: Has surface-launched advanced medium-range air-to-air missile (SLAMRAAM) been successful in the US Army? Glaeser: As you know, internationally, we have renamed SL-AMRAAM as NASAMS. The US Army National Guard currently mans NASAMS in the National Capital Region. NASAMS is fielded globally in six countries. The US Army selected NASAMS for the National Capital Region in 2004 and it was installed and operational within 90 days of the decision and has till date protected the critical assets in and around the nation’s capital with an extremely high operational readiness (OR) rate. NASAMS can affordably protect large areas with an aggressive horizontal keep out radius, high OR, low sustainPhotographs: Raytheon
ESSM take off
ESSM GBAD BTV
ment costs, and low manpower operating requirements. SP’s: Do you have specific systems for the navy and the air force as well? Glaeser: We are confident that our family of surface-to-air missile defence solutions are well suited for the Indian Air Force as well as the Indian Navy. We are yet to see any requirements from the Indian Navy. SP’s: Are there any air defence battle management systems being offered? Glaeser: Each of our systems and solutions come with a battle management system. The offer will depend on which solution and system the Indian armed forces will acquire. SP’s: Are you planning for joint ventures with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), especially in the field of ballistic missile defence? Glaeser: Our sister division, Raytheon Missile Systems, is engaging DRDO in the area of ballistic missile defence at a level they are approved by the United States Government. We are actively trying to engage DRDO with respect to approved technology projects in the area of surface-to-air missile defence. SP’s: Do you have any plans to participate in joint ventures with Indian defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) and/or private companies? Glaeser: Like everyone, Raytheon continues to evaluate Indian defence and homeland security market to seek appropriate partners and team members. As appropriate opportunity is presented, Raytheon is fully committed to take the necessary steps to explore and act on these requirements. SP’s: What are your plans for offsets and transfer of technology (ToT)? Glaeser: Raytheon has successfully executed offsets and transfer of technology requirements under the FMS route and/ or the DCS route around the world with various countries and companies. We will embark on these requirements on a case by case basis by working closely with the US Government, Government of India and our industry partners in India. SP’s: Can you share some of the recent success stories? We shall appreciate if you can elaborate on the reasons for such achievements? Glaeser: Raytheon continues to take pride in providing capable, proven, technically unmatched and best value solutions to our customers worldwide. In the area of air and missile defence, our recent contracts from Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and UAE, to name a few, shows that our customers have chosen the right system solution to protect their critical infrastructures and their homeland, which I would attribute to our engineers, our company values, our customer focus and our capable systems. SP
Indian Army’s Battle Management System The understanding of BMS in militaries of foreign armies covers the entire military structure from apex to foot soldier. In the Indian Army, while plans for operationalising network-centricity were initiated, the cutting edge (Battalion/Regiment and below) was left out—now being rectified by procuring a BMS, which will be an important facet of capability building in the Army. Lt General (Retd) P.C. Katoch
he manner in which Operation Neptune Spear was conducted in the killing of Osama bin Laden symbolises what presentday military operations today are all about—with the actual operation controlled from an operations room thousands of kilometres away and President Barack Obama and his national security team watching the entire operation live via satellite; an example of battlefield integration as well as battlefield transparency flashed by news channels throughout the world. Pictures of Osama were uploaded to analysts in the US for confirmation of identity and for furthering the operation once it was confirmed that Osama had indeed been killed, though Osama’s body was identified by one of his wives. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was able to confirm this after feeding the photograph into a facial recognition programme and by matching the DNA with Osama’s sister who had died two years earlier. Meanwhile, photographs of destruction of electronic and sensitive parts of the MH-60M Black Hawk that had stalled were also uploaded. Having received due confirmation, the Seal Team 6 continued to wind up this highly successful mission. It was also apparent that the US had catered for the eventuality of any reaction by the Pakistani military—both on ground and in air. This again required battlefield integration of a very high degree.
ability to conduct operations simultaneously within an all arms group. The key to success will lie in effective command and control across the force. Therefore, commanders at all levels, more so at the cutting edge level require pertinent information in order to enhance their decision-making and command capability. Harnessing information technology here will act as a force multiplier to enhance operational effectiveness of commanders and troops at all levels by enabling exchange, filtering and processing of ever increasing amounts of digital information currently available but not integrated. Most foreign armies including those that were deployed in operations abroad have situational awareness packages with the essential integration tool of various types—a battlefield management system (BMS). We require a BMS custom-
left out—now being rectified by procuring a BMS, which will be an important facet of capability building in the Army.
Scope & Concept of BMS A BMS is vital in modern warfare as it enables faster decision by commanders at all echelons, better decision due to reliable operational information provided in real time and the ability to quickly close the sensor to shooter loop. BMS deployed in foreign armies include FBCB 2 (USA), T-BMS-Commander Battle (France), Hunter (Israel) and P-BISA-Bowman (UK). The FBCB 2 deployed in Stryker Brigade and its units/subunits in US provides near real time accuracy of locations, fully automated icons and all platform ubiquitous, providing expanded range of operation, reduced communication time, coordinated manoeuvre capability (night Illustration: SP’s Design Team
Filling the Capability Void Post the Operation Neptune Spear, there were many a debate in India whether Indian Army has similar capabilities for such an operation. The fact is that not only is our battlefield surveillance still functioning on ad hoc basis, as of today, we lack an integration tool supporting every level of military users ranging from individual soldier to Battalion Group/Combat Group Commander in the tactical battle area (TBA). Thus we are not in a position to provide in near real time, an appropriate common and comprehensive tactical picture by integration of inputs from all elements of the battle group. What is essentially required at these levels are battlefield transparency through situational awareness and a common operating picture (COP) to pick up the enemy much before he picks you up, see the target and direct fire in quick time using the best weaponry available, as also monitor the after effects. Situational awareness existing in the Indian Army is currently on ad hoc basis whereas the requirement is of an integrated network system. Future military operations will be combined comprising all arms and inter-service elements. These operations will require units and sub-units of other arms to operate subordinated or in cooperation with each other. Also, successful execution of fast moving operations will require an accelerated decision-action cycle and an
Considering the vast and variable terrain over which the Indian Army is deployed, validation trials will need to be done in plains/semideserts, mountains and jungle terrain ised to the Indian Army requirements. The understanding of BMS in militaries of foreign armies covers the entire military structure from apex to foot soldier. In the Indian Army, while plans for operationalising network-centricity were initiated, the cutting edge (Battalion/Regiment and below) was
and bad weather), faster decision-making, reduced fratricide and increased lethality. T-BMS-Commander Battle (France) deployed in SF Brigade, Intelligence Brigade, Mountain Infantry Brigade, Parachute Brigade, Light Manoeuvre Brigade, FrenchGerman Brigade has sub-systems like GIS Information System (vector, raster, elevation maps, synchronised 2D/3D view, navigation aids, etc), situational display services (tactical editor, military symbols, order of battle, ID cards), messaging services, mission preparatory services (map workshopterrain study and interpretation of the battlefield, plans and orders preparation, itinerary planning, radio network configuration, etc), and mission executive services (situational awareness including Blue Force tracking, automated sharing, graphics and alerts, orders and reports generation, logistics status management), and after action review services (replay of operational sequence, recall/review tactical changes, messages received, etc). Hunter (Israel)
The BMS proposed to be acquired will need to be customised to the specific requirement of the Indian Army combines all C4I efforts in ground forces to achieve full operability, synergising doctrine, manpower, planning, development and training. Platform integration includes the non-line of sight platforms (mortars, artillery, MLRS), manoeuvre platforms (tanks, infantry, reconnaissance elements, engineers, logistic elements, intelligence elements), airborne platforms (helicopters) and air defence. P-BISA-Bowman (UK) is based on tactical and secure voice and data communication and developed around commercially available of the shelf (COTS) or military available of the shelf (MOTS) equipment by engaging key equipment partners in system level design from the beginning and minimising new development and re-development. Technology being sought by the Indian Army is mostly available in the world market and the Indian industry appears to be competent to meet the system requirements as was evident from about 26 responses received on the issue of a request for proposal (RFI) for the BMS by the Indian Army during 2008. The foreign partners are too keen to have a transfer of technology (ToT) with their Indian counterparts and in most cases are ready to share the source code as well. As the Indian Army views it, the overall scope of the system is to integrate, test and field a BMS duly integrated with other components of the tactical command, control, communications and information (Tac C3I) system. The BMS proposed to be acquired will need to be customised to the specific requirement of the Indian Army. It will need to be first integrated and tested in a controlled environment for which a test bed laboratory will need to be established. After testing in the laboratory conditions, validation trials of the system will need to be carried out under field conditions. Only after successful validation of the system in field, the process for equipping will begin. Considering the vast and variable terrain over which the Indian Army is deployed, validation trials will need to be done in plains/ semi-deserts, mountains and jungle terrain. The concept is to have an ideal system which should be able to integrate means of surveillance and engagement through an automated decision support and command and control system, exploiting technology for rapid acquisition, processing and transfer of information; enhance situational awareness; acquire capability to react to information and sharpen the ability to synchronise and direct fire; and thereby establish and maintain the overwhelming operational tempo. SP
4/2012 SP’s Land Forces
>> Show Report
Eurosatory Tilts Towards Security Business The highlight of this year’s event was 370 new product launches, up from 350 in 2010. The 152 delegations from 84 countries confirmed that economic gloom or no gloom, Eurosatory is the destination for land and security business. R. Chandrakanth in Paris
espite a difficult economic environment, Eurosatory 2012, a leading land, air and security event, pulled off a strong performance this year. The barometer being the increasing attendance by international exhibitors and visitors and Eurosatory reported growing percentages—70 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. The 152 delegations from 84 countries confirmed that economic gloom or no gloom, Eurosatory is the destination for land and security business. The highlight of this year’s event was 370 new product launches, up from 350 in 2010. The clusters for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)-unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs); simulation; operational medicine; day and night vision; defence and security operational individual equipment; high technology subcontracting; embedded electronics and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNe), etc were ticking with activity.
Photographs: Nexter Systems and BAE Systems
Good Indian Presence
BAE Systems’ RG35
Securities Business to the Fore
While defence spend in most developed economies are getting slashed, the need, however, to enhance security capabilities has opened up opportunities for those in the securities business. The British think tank, International Institute for Strategic Studies, has reported that defence spend by European NATO states dropped by an average of 7.4 per cent per country in real terms between 2008 and 2010, with double-digit drops in France, Italy and Spain. Eurosatory consolidated its position in security (police, civil security, fire service) by gathering companies which displayed dedicated or dual offering. About 40 per cent (560 exhibitors) belonged to this segment. The largest group of exhibitors was from the US (158), followed by the United Kingdom (109) and Israel (59), not to miss out on the Russian, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Indonesians who swarmed the event. This time five new pavilions were added and four of them were from the East—Indonesia, Korea, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates and from the West was Turkey. The refrain at Eurosatory, no doubt, was that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had to continue looking East to keep their businesses going. The Asian pie, with India leading, was hard to ignore for any OEM. The need to woo the Asian buyer was evident. The worldwide arms market is said
Eurosatory, over the years, has been driving home the point that defence technologies are dynamic considering that newer threats are emerging faster and deadlier 16
SP’s Land Forces 4/2012
to be worth over $1 trillion a year. At the event, the European Defence Agency (EDA) announced that it was partnering with 17 leading European defence firms to undertake a study of the land system industrial base. The study will look at capability gaps and possible conflicts in five-year, 15-year and 30-year increments. The effort hopes to identify what capabilities the European land defence industry, which comprises 25 per cent of all European defence spending, may need to address in order to effectively meet future threats. For Indian companies, Eurosatory offered a platform to enhance their presence in the world defence markets, to explore opportunities to become a part of the global supply chain, to form joint ventures/partnerships, etc. The Indian pavilion was well attended and there were about a score companies including the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited; Defence Research and Development Organisation; Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited; Bharat Earth Movers Limited; Bharat Electronics Limited; Bharat Dynamics Limited; Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Limited; Mazagon Dock Limited; Ordnance Factory Board; MKU Pvt Ltd; Offset India Solutions; Alligator Designs; Avaana; Micromet ATI and others. The Indian delegation was led by the Minister of State for Defence, Dr M.M. Pallam Raju, who in an exclusive interaction with SP’s Land Forces said, “Eurosatory is an important event for India as we get to see here the latest offerings from OEMs from all over the world. As we have embarked upon a modernisation programme of the armed forces, attending such events is always beneficial. The government is committed to providing the best equipment to the Indian soldier.”
New Products and Innovations
The amazing number of new product launches, mostly in the securities business, is indicative of the growing needs to counter asymmetric threats. The Russians, the Israelis, the Chinese were displaying wares with lethal consequences. Take, for instance, the Russians who launched the ‘terminator’ tank—Uralvagonzavod BMPT with four anti-tank missile launchers, a 7.62 machine gun, 30mm AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers and a two-man turret with dual 30mm cannons on top. The exposition of the Russian delegation comprised 14 companies of the militaryindustrial complex, representing about 200 products and solutions. The Chinese had the Sky Dragon, a surface-to-air missile system with a 50-km range and 80 per cent shoot-down efficiency. The system is said to be capable of aiming 12 interceptors simultaneously and can track up to 140 concurrent inbound threats. Eurosatory, over the years, has been driving home the point that defence technologies are dynamic considering that newer threats are emerging faster and deadlier. The warfighters have to be equipped with arms and communication technologies that give them the fighting edge.
Show Report / interview >> The warfighters have to be equipped with arms and communication technologies that give them the fighting edge The importance of terrain dominance is gaining currency to quell any kind of threat. The Israelis were right up front in this area. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems, with stalls next to each other, had amazing footfalls, most of them overawed by their offerings in ‘complete terrain dominance’. The use of radars, UAVs, helicopters, missiles, networked communication; command control, etc were accentuated by these two companies to great effect. BAE Systems showcased its latest in mine protected vehicles, the RG35 family. This family of vehicles, it said, met today’s battlefield requirements by being adaptable for future technologies and fulfilling a variety of roles. The French company NBC Sys presented its CBRN modules Meerkat for light combat vehicles which are quick in response against chemical and biological threats. Italian company IVECO Defence vehicles had two versions of the MPV 4x4, the MPV baseline platform and MPV ambulance/intensive treatment unit. Thales and Renault Trucks Defense joined forces to extend the capabilities of the VAB Mk3, the latest addition
Photographs: Saab, General Dynamics, Navistar and Rafael
Nexter at the Centre Nexter (GIAT Industries), one of the founding fathers of Eurosatory, has asserted its presence in each of the subsequent 21 shows since 1967, through its offerings in ground and air-ground defence systems. In this edition, it occupied the largest area at the show with a stand of over 4,000 square metres, exhibiting a range of products and services. Nexter Systems put on display its demonstrator for a two-man 40mm CTA gun turret developed under a risk reduction contract for the French DGA (defence procurement agency). Among other products showcased include for the first time the casualty evacuation (CasEvac) version of its VCI 8x8 infantry fighting vehicle.
Saab’s RBS 70 NG
Eagle 6x6 from GDLS
Rafael’s Samson RCW
Navistar’s Special Operations Tactical Vehicle
to RTD’s range of armoured vehicles. The VAB Mk3 is a new generation armoured personnel carrier, fully configurable to the type of mission, displays real-time image
from a turret-mounted camera, providing the three main operators (infantry squad leader, gunner and driver) with a shared picture of the tactical environment.
Major OEMs The biggies in the defence realm such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Raytheon, EADS, Finmeccanica, L-3 Communications, Thales, Oshkosh, ITT, Honeywell, Textron, Rockwell Collins, Safran, Nexter, HAL, Goodrich and a host of others were armed with their latest offerings. Lockheed Martin’s outlook in France looked promising as the French Army showed interest in the Javelin missile and other advanced weapon technology systems. Not to be outdone were medium and small players. From Amphemol’s rugged USB 3.0 keys to FN Herstal’s FN Scar assault rifle to Insitu’s NightEagle to Iveco’s VBTP 6x6 armoured, amphibious vehicles, Eurosatory had an array of products and solutions that had potential of shock and awe of the firepower that land systems could generate. SP
ITT Exelis out in front ITT Exelis has strengthened its presence in India with partnership with the Tata Advanced Systems. ITT Exelis is here for the long haul and explaining the intent to SP’s Land Forces at Eurosatory 2012 are Dave Prater, Vice President, Networked Communications, Communications and Force Protection Systems and Nick Bobay, Vice President and General Manager, Geospatial Systems, Night Vision & Imaging. Photograph: www.exelisnic.com
SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): What is ITT Exelis footprint in India? Dave Prater: ITT Exelis has an office in Delhi and I have been to Delhi and Bangalore a couple of times. We are in the pursuit of tactical communication systems, battlefield management systems of the Indian Army and of the National Security Guard (NSG) and Special Protection Group (SPG). We understand that the dismounted soldier needs compact and secure networked communications not limited by traditional radio frequency line of sight. It is here that SpearNet, which Indian customers seemingly are attracted to, is a 21st century communications system bringing voice, situational awareness (SA) and inter-networking access that surpasses traditional point-topoint communication system limitations on range and data rate. SP’s: What are the features that SpearNet offer as per Indian requirements? Prater: Primarily SpearNet radio is mobile networking design... it is unmatched in the world, in terms of size, weight, throughput and cost. We are quite happy that some of the Indian customers have shown interest in the product and we are waiting for the first order in India. Outside of India, we have good number of customers. In terms of improvements, we have doubled the throughput. The little handheld radio has now two megabits per second sustained throughput and can achieve much higher throughput than this. The SpearNet radio was built commercially and fielded extensively in Spain. It is only now we have doubled the throughput.
ITT Exelis upgrades SpearNet
SpearNet for national security and resilience
Also it has unique capabilities. It is an open packetised radio which you can plug in USB, Ethernet, wireless or an Internet protocol as per requirements. SP’s: Where do you stand in the selections? Prater: There are two customers in India. The Directorate General of Information Services (DGIS) and we are going to get into prime contract. We are working with a couple of them very closely to integrate our products to meet the TCS programme. It has now come to a down-select, but we haven’t heard as yet. SP’s: What is the marketing strategy? Prater: We are making separate efforts as a
direct prime for the NSG and SPG who are looking more at available radios today. As far as TCS and BMS are concerned, they are technologies to develop solutions for the future. We will do that with an Indian-led prime. SP’s: Are you working with anyone in India? Prater: We are working with Tatas and we are competing for a position on their team. They are looking at us as potential partners. Recently, we have done good work with Tata Power and we would love to be on their team. SP’s: What other products are you pitching for the Indian market? Prater: We have Software Defined Radio (SDR) products that we think are well posi-
ITT Exelis has upgraded its handheld SpearNet radio with enhancements that further extend its capabilities beyond competitor offerings. SpearNet is a high throughput radio that provides large amounts of voice, data and video communications over a self-forming and selfhealing ad hoc network. The first enhancement allows the radio to move around the battlefield in a cellular-like fashion while maintaining communications without reconfiguration or dropped calls. Well-known for its ability to move large amounts of data, Exelis also improved on this already strong SpearNet capability in the second enhancement by greatly increasing its data transfer rate. When compared to fielded dismounted technology, SpearNet—using wideband direct sequence spread spectrum—provides users with two to eight times the amount of voice, data and video that can be moved from the dismounted soldier to the commander. This is more throughput that any other military radio used by dismounted forces today, ITT Exelis claimed. tioned for what India is doing with the BMS and future infantry soldier as a system (F-INSAS). The plan is to supply components to an Indian prime and then develop it for the Indian BMS requirement. SP
4/2012 SP’s Land Forces
>> news in brief Boeing to brief India on AH-6 light
Strategic Forces Command exercises Agni-I
In the final stages of setting up a line for the AH-6 light armed utility helicopter, Boeing plans to weigh interest in India through briefings to the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF) later this year. With Boeing Rotorcraft energies currently focused on capturing the IAF attack helicopter competition, the company is lining up data and information for presentations on the AH-6i, the export version of the light chopper originally developed by McDonnel-Douglas. While the IAF and the Army already have their light utility helicopter procurement process on—in fact at the final stage—sources in Boeing believe the AH-6i could have prospective value for India’s Special Forces and paramilitary. Like its much larger cousin, the AH-64D Apache, the AH-6i Little Bird deploys an impressive arsenal of on-board weapons, including a chain-gun, rocket pods and AGM-114 Hellfire strike missiles. The AH-6i, with a 1-2 person crew, has a MTOW of 722-kg, can cruise at 135 knots at an altitude 18,700 feet and is powered by a single Allison 250-C30 turboshaft engine. A variant, called the AH-6S Phoenix has been pitched to the US Army for its armed aerial scout programme. So far, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have expressed interest.
India’s nuclear command, the SFC has once again exercised the 700-km range nuclear capable Agni-I ballistic missile. The missile was successfully launched 1006 hours on July 13 from Wheeler Island off the coast of Odisha. “It was a textbook launch, meeting all mission objectives and the missile reached the target point in the Bay of Bengal following the prescribed trajectory,” said Dr Avinash Chander, Chief Controller R&D (Missiles & Strategic Systems) and Agni Programme Director.
things: (a) that the two Mi-25/35 flights under two helicopter units will soon be flown by Army Aviation pilots (the choppers are in IAF livery) and the IAF will raise new units to house the 22 new attack helicopters (prospectively, the Boeing AH-64D Apache Block III) and, later, the light combat helicopter or, (b) The Mi-25/35s will be transferred to IAF command and control, while the Army raises new units and floats fresh requirements (it already stands to receive the Dhruv-WSI), or (c) a status quo on command and control of the current units, until new platforms enter service.
Boeing confident of attack helicopter award
Indian Army scouts for TETRA radio sets
Boeing waits in the proverbial wings for what it hopes will be its next big contract from the Indian military—a lucrative deal for 22 new AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, all from the latest Block III and at least some of them armed with the formidable Northrop Grumman/Lockheed Martin AN/APG-78 Longbow fire control radar (one in three US Army AH-64Ds come armed with the sensor). If the IAF indeed has plans to award the contract to Boeing, it is unclear as to how many of the platforms will come with the Longbow radar. Trials conducted in India involved an AH-64D Block II with Block III components, including gearbox, fuel tanks, composite rotors, etc, in effect, a Block III but without the attendant avionics. There are also concerns about whether the fracas between the Indian Army and the IAF over the use of armed helicopters has anything to do with the process slowing down, or a decision being deferred.
In an effort to ramp up tactical communication, the Indian Army is looking to rapidly procure TETRA handheld radios to meet its demands for mobile voice and data communications in a field environment. The Army has stipulated that any new handheld radio it considers will be required to function along with existing TETRA infrastructure already in place with the service. Apart from the mandatory function of voice and data communication, the Army has stipulated that it would be interested in supplementary functions on the TETRA handsets, which include priority pre-emption, ambience listening, talking party identification, calling line identity presentation, connected line indication, call forwarding unconditional/busy/no reply/not reachable, barring of incoming/outgoing calls, emergency call, automatic transmission of geographical location (using a GPS receiver) and call control features. The Army has sought an early response from vendors interested in contributing to a test schedule.
Decision on 197 light helicopters soon Eurocopter is waiting with baited breath as the crucial 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter competition is headed towards a possible decision shortly. A special technical oversight committee (STOC) that had been set up by the Defence Ministry to scrutinise certain qualitative requirement waivers in the competition had been raised by a third party that was not part of the trials. It is understood that the STOC has recommended that the waivers are acceptable to both the Indian Army and the IAF, for whom the helicopters are intended. The Eurocopter AS550 Fennec and Kamov Ka-226 Sergei are in close contention for the $750-million deal that will progressively replace Cheetah and Chetak fleets in the Army and IAF.
Attack helicopters for Army The government has accorded crucial clearance to the Army to operate its own attack helicopter units, bringing to a close a long-standing spat between the Army and Air Force over tactical battlefield assets. India currently has two attack helicopter units, both under the command and control of the Army, but flown and maintained by IAF pilots and personnel. The government’s approval could mean either of three
Govt clears procurement effort of QR-SAMs The MoD’s Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) has cleared the `12,000-crore acquisition of quick-reaction surfaceto-air missiles for the Army. The missiles will arm eight air defence regiments of the Army. Competitors from US, Israel, France and Russia are expected to compete for the massive order that could take more than a year to finalise. Former Army Chief General V.K. Singh, in his letter to the Prime Minister, had highlighted the obsolete state of Indian Army’s air defence arsenal. The decision today is a big boost for air defence cover of the country. The missiles are to
Ashok Leyland: A Nation’s Moving Force
or over six decades, Ashok Leyland has been in the business of moving people and goods and is one of India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers. Pioneers in the design and development of defence transport solutions, Ashok Leyland is the largest supplier of logistics vehicles to the Indian Army with close to 70,000 ‘Stallion’ vehicles in use.
The Super Stallion 8x8 - engineered to perform with high mobility and power in arduous desert terrains
Photographs: Ashok Leyland
Light tactical and armoured vehicle on the COLT platform
A Relationship of Substance The seeds for this relationship of substance with the Indian Army were sown in the 1970s, with the supply of 1,000 numbers of the company’s ‘Hippo’, a vehicle specially configured for the Army. In 1994, the hugely successful ‘Stallion’ platform was inducted followed by the inking of a transfer of technology agreement with Ordnance Factories Board for the co-production of the ‘Stallion’ 4x4 at Vehicle Factory, Jabalpur. The ‘Stallion’ platform was first developed as a 4x4 vehicle for various applications such as general service roles, troop carriers, water bowsers, fuel bowsers, light recovery vehicles that have been tested and proven in the most demanding of operating conditions: in altitudes of over 5,500 metres and in the deserts of Rajasthan and in temperatures of -35 degrees Celsius to +50 degrees Celsius. The company’s expanding portfolio of Defence vehicles feature the Light Recovery Vehicle for the Indian Army/DGBR, the 5 KL Water Bowser with twin stainless steel insulated walls water tanks mounted on the Stallion for carrying potable water for the jawans at extreme temperatures, the Truck Fire Fighting 4x2, gun towing vehicle Topchi 4x4, Mobile Refrigerated Containers and Fuel Dispensers.
SP’s Land Forces 4/2012
A new platform – the ‘Super Stallion’ has been introduced to answer the high mobility requirements of the Indian Army. The ‘Super Stallion’ in 8x8 and 6x6 configurations as a High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) is the new flagship vehicle. Engineered to perform with high mobility and power in arduous desert terrains, this vehicle can be offered for a variety of applications for towing Field Artillery, for mounting guns, for mounting electronic warfare equipment and as missile carriers with different transmission and driveline configurations. The HMV 8x8 is, at present, proving its worth by undergoing trials with the Army. The ‘Stallion’ in a 6x6 configuration with a new engine and auto transmission is on offer to operate in demanding, mountainous terrains. This vehicle can be deployed as Troop Carriers, Water and Fuel Bowsers, Light Recovery Vehicles and as the base vehicle to mount communication equipment and command control posts. Both the 4x4 and 6x6 versions have
been supplied to various international customers including the Honduras Army, an American organisation for operation in Iraq and Afghanistan and more recently to Thailand and South Africa.
Ashok Leyland Defence Systems Ashok Leyland Defence Systems is a focused defence sector joint venture company that will be engaged in the manufacture of a range of specialised tactical and armoured vehicles to meet the emerging needs of India’s armed forces. The product range will offer state-ofthe-art performance while achieving high levels of local content and cost competitiveness. Ashok Leyland Defence has already offered vehicle platforms for Mine Protected Vehicles (MPVs), FATs, Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRLs) and other special applications and will soon have in its portfolio armored vehicles with military payloads ranging from 1.5 to 20 tonnes. ALDS will also have products on the ‘Colt’ platform that will feature, among others, Light Spe-
cialist Vehicles (LSVs). With superior protection, improved agility and enhanced performance, this new range of vehicles will further the capabilities of Indian defence. With production operations in Sengadu, near Chennai, Ashok Leyland Defence has a team of defence professionals bringing domain expertise to their tasks. It leverages Ashok Leyland’s experience of over four decades in defence logistics as well as draws strength from its relationship with some of the world’s best exponents of tactical and armoured vehicles like Panhard General Defense, France, pioneers in the design and development of light armoured vehicles, to jointly develop light tactical vehicles. The company also has a MoU with Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) GmbH, Germany, to jointly develop advanced defence systems for the Indian defence establishment as well as other defence forces worldwide. SP For more information, Please visit http://defence.ashokleyland.com
replace the Army’s obsolete Russian Kvadrat surface-to-air missile batteries. The IAF is awaiting the supply of Rafael SpyDer QR-SAM systems—a product that will compete for the Army competition as well. The huge order will include mostly licence production by the Bharat Dynamics Ltd.
Indian Army hunts for sniper rifle The Indian Army is looking to identify new sniper rifles for its infantry regiments under the ambitious F-INSAS infantry modernisation effort. The Army expressed its urgency, asking for early responses from interested vendors. The Indian Army currently operates the Russian Dragunov and Israeli Galil sniper rifles, the latter almost solely by its Special Forces units. The Army has called upon vendors to quickly respond with information pertaining to calibre, types of ammunition, maximum effective range with various types of ammunition against human targets, length and weight, muzzle velocity, full details of the integrated sighting system, modularity, details of mounting systems for add-on sights, details of flash suppression systems, reliability and effectiveness. Interested vendors will be called upon for quick trials in India under Army conditions.
US Secretary of Defence Panetta in India On the back of a slew of high value defence deals with the US, India has conveyed that it is no longer interested in remaining in a buyer-seller relationship and will exercise its rights as a customer to get the technologies that it needs. The US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta met his Indian counterpart A.K. Antony on June, 6 for an hour, a meeting where Antony is said to have conveyed in no uncertain terms that military trade needed to move beyond simply the transfer of equipment. In a statement, the MoD said, “During the discussion of the defence trade, Antony emphasised that the priority for India is to move beyond the buyer-seller transactions and to focus on transfer of technologies and partnerships to build indigenous capabilities. The US Secretary of Defence assured the Indian side that the US Government will initiate measures to facilitate technology access and sharing.”
Indian Army for fixed-wing mini-UAV The Indian Army has announced its interest in procuring an undisclosed number of mini-UAVs for its infantry units, for real time surveillance and reconnaissance, detection of enemy movement, target detection, recognition, identification and acquisition and post-strike damage assessment. The Army’s Infantry Directorate, after studies, has stipulated that each integrated system should comprise three flying platforms (air vehicles), one man-portable ground control system, three launch and recovery systems (depending on requirement), one remote video terminal, optical sensors (three colour day video cameras plus three night monochromatic night thermal sensors) and one radio relay. The weight of one UAV with its ground control system, one launch and recovery system and one set of optical sensors should not be more than 35-kg, all man portable in a backpack. Indicating its preference for fixed-wing platforms, the Army has said it should be possible to launch and recover the UAV within an area of 50x50 metres and in case of a wheeled launch/recovery the UAV should takeoff/land from an unpaved surface in a distance of not more than 50 m.
Army Chief’s modernisation plans General Bikram Singh, the country’s 27th Chief of Army Staff, has hit the ground running, vowing to bring a strong focus on modernising the Army and continuing the work of his predecessor. The new General has his hands very full, with several programmes still to reach any level of maturity. Apart from the onerous F-INSAS infantry modernisation programme, General Singh’s tenure will see a renewed focus on modernisation of Artillery, Army Aviation and significantly, the Special Forces units. The General will be taking comfort from Defence Minister A.K. Antony’s words to him at their first meeting following the change of guard. Antony conveyed that the MoD would extend full support and cooperation towards the Army’s multifarious requirements. The new Army Chief has laid down an intention to make the Army powerful, efficient, nimble and lethal. Programmes likely to see maturity in his tenure include deals for artillery, light utility helicopters, UAVs, radars, network-centric infrastructure backbone equipment and intelligence infrastructure. SP —SP’s Special Correspondent
APPOINtMENT Bowman to lead ReconRobotics’ Asia-Pacific Business Development ReconRobotics, Inc., the world leader in tactical microrobot systems, has announced that John Bowman has been named the Director of Business Development for the Asia-Pacific region. Bowman is the founder/ owner of Bowson International Limited, a 20-year-old
>> Show Calendar 27-29 August Military Robotics Summit Hilton Alexandria Old Town, Virginia, USA www.militaryroboticssummit.com 11-13 September Solider Modernisation India 2012 Sheraton New Delhi Hotel, India www.soldiermodindia.com 19-23 September Africa Aerospace and Defence Waterkloof Airforce Base, Waterkloof, Centurion, South Africa www.aadexpo.co.za 26-27 September Future Armoured Vehicles Crowne Plaza, Rome, Italy http://future-armoured-vehicles.com 26-28 September Armoured Vehicles Asia Amara Hotel, Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore www.armouredvehiclesasia.com 1-3 October Military Equipment & Technology Expo Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washingow, USA www.militaryequipmentexpo.com 3-5 October Counter IED India ITC Maratha, Mumbai www.ibcevents.com/events/counter-ied-india
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defence products representation firm. Bowman will report to Barry E.T. Harris, Director of International Programs at RRI Global, the international headquarters for ReconRobotics based in Lugano, Switzerland. Bowman will drive sales efforts for the entire ReconRobotics line of tactical micro-robots, including the Throwbot XT, which is widely used by military and police forces to gain immediate video and audio reconnaissance in high-risk environments. SP
Mahindra signs agreement with Telephonics Corporation to form JV Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Telephonics Corporation (Telephonics) have signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture (JV). The JV will provide the Indian Ministry of Defence and the Indian civil sector with radar and surveillance systems, identification friend or foe (IFF) devices and communication systems. In addition, the JV intends to provide systems for air traffic management services, homeland security, and other emerging surveillance requirements. The JV will be called Mahindra-Telephonics Integrated Systems (Mahindra-Telephonics) and will be incorporated in the coming months following an amendment to the prior approval granted by the Foreign Investment Promotion Bureau on March 31, 2012. The project envisages establishing a plant in Bangalore, which will initially manufacture and service airborne radar systems that are already being supplied to the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and support airborne maritime surveillance systems for the Indian Navy and Coast Guard. Telephonics supplies RDR-1400 weather avoidance radar systems for helicopters being built in Bangalore. It is also contracted to supply Boeing with APS-143C(V)3 multi-mode radar for India’s P-8i maritime surveillance aircraft, and is responsible for installation of a sophisticated intercommunication system for the C-17 Globemaster contracted by the Indian Air Force. Mahindra-Telephonics will licence technology from Telephonics for use on a wide range of products that has both defence and civil applications. Backed by strong research and development (R&D), Telephonics has developed a state-of-the-art IFF MKXII system, which has the capability to integrate with civil and military aircraft, as well as ground and sea based IFF systems. Telephonics’ experience with respect to these systems in other countries will provide a platform for the JV to meet the emerging Indian customised civil and military requirements of a National IFF Programme. Telephonics has also developed secure communication systems. The mobile surveillance system is a rapidly deployable ground surveillance system which can detect human and vehicular movement during the day, at night, and in adverse weather conditions. Through networking, a central command and control system can effectively monitor a large area for vehicular and human movement. The JV will be the first private sector company in India to manufacture airborne and maritime radars, utilising licensed technology. Nearly 100 per cent indigenous capability is expected to be achieved in the near future. The JV will also be strategically poised to develop future technologies for civil and military applications. SP
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4/2012 SP’s Land Forces
Published on Aug 19, 2012
SP's Land Forces August-September 2012 >> The concept of functioning as an All Arms Team is the cornerstone of mechanised operations >> Empl...