Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Y I Patel
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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 08 May 2002 03:11

A plan like the one I am proposing will have several sources of uncertainty and sensitivity that we need to address:

Target List

Numbers Required

Measures taken to maintain op secrecy

And so on...

Clearly, the feasibility of a successful disabling strike will require solution of all these problems.

Keeping that in mind, here is an alternative "go for the jugular" scenario:

**** C3I facilities
Sargodha, Chaklala

40 SRBMs
24 PGM strike
16 area strike
40 AD

Total: 80 SRBMs, 48 PGM strike, 32 area strike, 80 AD.

**** 3 subsidiary regional AD centers/C3 facilities
10 SRBMs
20 PGM strike
8 area strike
24 AD

Total: 30 SRBMs, 60 PGM strike, 24 area strike, 72 AD

****5 hardened nuclear sites:

12 PGM loaded strike aircraft
6 area strike aircraft
18 AD aircraft

Total: 60 PGM strike, 30 area strike, 90 AD

**** 15 TELS + 15 dummy TELs
2 area strike
4 AD

12 LR reco

Total: 60 area strike, 120 AD, 12 LR reco

Grand total: 110 SRBMs (do we have that many/how do we conceal them?)
168 PGM strike
146 area strike
362 AD
12 LR reco

Total of 314 Strike + 362 AD = 676 combat aircraft
.

Moreover I may be now doublecounting. Sargodha, for example, may very likely have a hardened nuke storage facility as well. So take off one faclity (or more) from my list of five.

Other lateral thinking ideas:
Would it be possible to use paras in some sort of a role?
Would it be possible to use specially modified transport aircraft to supplement area bombers?

How about borrowing aircraft from IN or using them where possible?

Remember: if we can establish that assembling required assets is reasonalby possible now or in the near future, then we can think about tactics to take care of the other aspects.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Rudra » 08 May 2002 03:51

so you need 300 strike a/c.

we have about 100 Jags, 40 M2ks and 120 Mig27s.
The Mig27s are only capable of day-ops with the kab-500. we should do it at dusk or dawn to
reduce the chances that scrambled CAPs can initiate WVR intercepts by eyesight when GCI
get a brahmos down the tubes. so effectively just
140 night-capable strike ac.

That leaves 160 more to go. 8 full squadrons of
M2k-5 class ac needed.

I think with each Mki capable of 4xheavy aams and
6xlight aams plus their large radar, range and
speed, even 150 ought to be enough, because
brahmos strikes on runways would bottle some of
PAF on the ground (they can use taxiways at some
reduced rate), plus phalcon will optimize use of
a/c.

anyway thats just wish. at present 18 Mk-I and
70 (?) Mig29s with no AAR. if mki production
commences in 2004 @ 10 /yr we can have 60 in 2010,
add the 18 converted in Ru, that makes 78. the
Mig29s have no official upgrade plan to AAR, so
are unsuitable for air dominance deep inside Pak.

So 150-78(80) = 70 shortfall in heavy interceptors. 3.5 squadrons.

if each a/c cost avg of $40mil that costs
(40)*(70+160)= $8 billion.

5 Phalcon at $200mil each = $1 bil.

15 AAR at $100mil each(guess) = $1.5 bil.

Munitions PGMs (local make, imported), laser
pods (hundreds) = $2 bil.

Capex = 8 + 1 + 1.5 + 2 = $12.5b upto 2010.

opex = will have to be met by increases in defence
budget.

if someone can justify how Mig29s, Mig27s or
Mig21s can be used, then the cost and time is
reduced.

--
actually Vikram's hisab-kitab makes clear why
IAF might be interested in a ||el project to get
150 M2ks.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 08 May 2002 03:59

Now you're talkin, baby. I just remembered something - you don't really need a strike aircraft to take out a TEL. You can just shoot it up with any old cannon. So scratch 60 strike aircraft right there.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 08 May 2002 04:01

GD on should try with available resources and not unobtanium. See what you can plan with the ~850 a/c that IAF has. And dont know how many Prithvis are there. Say the 333 full load only.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Joeqp » 08 May 2002 04:22

Is there any more news about the exercise itself (instead of the exercise that we seem to be going through here....)

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Johann » 08 May 2002 05:15

Some suggestions Vikram, and they all have to do with attrition, the crucial factor in airwar.

- treat the battle for air supremacy seperately from the offensive against TELS. The latter can not occur before the former

- start from a defined Indian & Pakistani orbat

- create a more detailed *sequential* target list of radars, airfields, C2 nodes, SAM & AAA batteries.

- recalculate weapon and platform numbers attrition by type after each sequence. This will of course require assumptions over the distribution of the PAF/PA's air defence efforts, and the relative lethality of systems. There are standard figures that can help.

- You can get some idea of total sorties when you put the target list together with standard packages, 'typical' mission abort rates, BDA recce missions and repeat missions.

- divide total number of sorties by average sustained sortie rate to get a rough idea of a time frame under ideal and greatly simplified conditions.

Remember weather can ruin a search for TELs easily, especially if they're in the high country. It's hard to predict the recce requirements because we cant know how much prior intelligence the Indians would have going in.

Unless one can have a high confidence that one can actually wipe them *all* out in a few hours the risk of proceeding with such a strike seems too great.

.p.s. 333 Missile Group has 12 launchers according to SBM's TOE, with a current stockpile of some 120 Prithvis roughly evenly split between the SS-150 and SS-250

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Rudra » 08 May 2002 08:26

125 mig27s are slated to receive the upgrade package to improve navigation and targeting. as
I was talking of 2010 timeframe, looks reasonable
that most would be upgraded by then. cost could
be in range of $1-$2mil/ac. small sum. saves
$5 billion for other toys.

We still need about 40 strike a/c to reach 300.
and MKIs have to be rolled out at 10/yr for 6 yrs.

My best guess is that IAF will try MKI for a couple years to understand its tech then order
more from a parallel line in Russia if it likes
the A2G capability. its either that or the less
capable M2k-5.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Bharat » 08 May 2002 16:41

Hey, this thread has gone from discussing aspects of exercise to a punishing attack on non nuclear strategic assets to a direct attack removing Pakistan's nuke weapons.
One very easy plan is to rob the US model which is definitely present.
I am not in favour of an all out attack removing Pakistan's nuclear assets, are we ready to accept the risk?
Also it is definitely more clever to use low yield nukes to take out Pakistan assets stored in hardened shelters using low flying aircrafts accompanied by a second wave of attacks using missiles tipped with nukes to remove communication nodes.
In short remove Pakistan's existence.IT is definitely more feasible than using present conventional weapons.If we attain stealth technology , ABM technology , AWACS , JSTARS , satellite cover , AAR's and a strong diversified economy we can attempt something on this scale to de nuclearise Pakistan and risking the loss of a couple of major cities.

NOW to jump into the nos game.

Let's pick on Vikram's nos.

10 hardened targets mmmm....

First wave
Radar Coverage..
4 Jags attacking with HARM
4 attack aircrafts per nuclear site..
Each with 2 2000lb penetrating warhead.

Following wave
4 aircrafts with FAE's.

Air converage , stop PAF fighters from striking at IAF bombers.
Some 50 PAF fighters will be swarming in .
30 IAF fighters with SRAAM LRAAM.

Stand by
2 aircrafts per site to hit with nuclear weapons.
2 nuclear tipped missiles per site fuelled and ready.

That makes 300 fighters, 140 bombers , 20 missiles.

At the same time take out forward air bases with cruise missiles.

After the first strike , hit at PA bases and ammo dumps .
After the second massive strike IAF bombers would be diverted for army purposes of radar suppression and aerial bombardment.IAF would provide air coverage but mainly work to put PAF in museum.
But for all this we need newer bombers with limited stealth technology.Cruise missiles which are highly accurate.
For such a simultaneous attack 500 aircrafts would be in offensive and similar in defensive mode.TO GET 1000 aircrafts in air at the same time would lead to suspicion, so we need to accumulate the aircrafts from all parts of India and refuel them in air continuosly.Also AWACS will have to look into Pakistani sky and find out PAF positions.JSTARS would be needed to look into the missile sites to find out if there is sudden alarming movements.We need top level intelligence to find out for perfect about the nuclear sites.
After the initial attack on nuclear centres we need to air drop paratroopers with radiological detectors to remove the nuclear materials.We also need them to destroy the various machinery that are used in manufacturing and storage in these sites.
We need ground intel that will confirm if strike is successfull ,or if there is alarm ,thwart theft of the nukes by radicals.BUT mainly for ground based BDA that will call in for further strikes and IF REQUIRED nuclear strikes.
Also in Pakistan there won't be much of a roving nuclear force , so the ground based intel can keep an eye on TEL's moving in and out and the statistics of their timings.At the same time sats in the sky can keep an eye on their areas of movement and if JSTARS can find them.Also 3 hours before the strike start ground based intel can mark the trucks or even go after them using RPG's and bombs.But the marking of the target is better as the ground intel would be sorely needed for BDA.
We need a flexible air force in which there are 3 shifts of pilots for the same air craft and a state of the art maintenance crew.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Tim » 08 May 2002 21:04

Sunil,

The way the Iraqis did it - perhaps similar to the way India's 333rd regiment works? - was to have pre-sited firing positions, and to hide the TELs and move them there when circumstances were appropriate. Therefore, you could hide your Ghauri in your garage in Lahore (assuming you have a big, inconspicuous garage), but the actual firing would probably take place at a pre-ranged location outside the city.

Depending on doctrine, Baluchistan might be a good place early in a conflict. It's out of easy observation range. If your doctrine is not "all-out countervalue strike at the first opportunity", but instead some kind of graduated escalation or assured retaliation approach, stashing your missiles/warheads in Baluchistan preserves the force (necessary for assured retaliation, like in the DND), and it's also relatively near Thar if you're thinking about tactical options in event of an Indian armored penetration. So a lot of the preemption possibilities remain tied in with assumptions about Pakistani doctrine, deployment, and C2.

After the Gulf War, the US spent a lot of time thinking about counterproliferation through military force. It's not easy at all, although the threat (primarily through acquired capability, rather than announced intention) can be useful as a diplomatic tool. Once you announce it's your intention, however, adversaries can take countermeasures - and those actually are fairly cheap and easy.

On the calculations - I think Johann was alluding to this, but it might be worth being more explicit about. Unless Indian forces have developed a whole new method of operations with the Prithvi, twelve launchers means you can fire one salvo, and then spend a considerable time reloading and refueling (hours? I'm not sure, at this point). That affects your calculations. The Iraqis pre-fueled their Scuds, and were able to cut down subtantially on their reload times. I don't know if that technique is applicable to the Prithvi. My understanding is that the Prithvi is more delicate and the fuelling process more dangerous.

One last point to keep in mind - there's a huge difference between having this capability in statistical theory and carrying it out in practice. Air operations are sequential in nature - it is extraordinarily difficult to carry out a "time on target" strike across a broad front without being detected. For example, look at how the USAF has carried out operations in the Gulf, Kosovo, and Afghanistan - each time, there is an initial period of air defence suppression, and so far that has almost always been carried out in the absence of opposition, and has still taken days (and many, many sorties - even in Afghanistan) before aircraft are released for other, lower priority missions. And that's not even factoring in friction - weather, C2 difficulties, enemy opposition, mechanical breakdown, etc.

In the context of Parakram, the US air attacks on teh Iraqis are again instructive. It took over thirty days to degrade Iraqi forces (in extremely favorable terrain, with over 2000 aircraft working the kill boxes. in the absence of significant air opposition) to 50-75% effectiveness. We did considerably worse against the heavy mechanized forces of the Republican Guard than we did against the dug-in, lower-morale regular army units at the front line (the ones who later surrendered to UAVs :) ).

Circumstances differ, of course, but that experience might suggest that if the objective of the Indian armed forces is to destroy the heavy armored army reserve corps, that it might take many, many days of serious attrition on both sides, since the Pakistanis will probably put up substantially more air opposition than Iraq, and the numerical and qualitative advantage of the IAF is much smaller than that of the Coalition. It might be far easier, if the intent is primarily attrition, to cripple one of the front line corps - but that will not have as great a political or military impact on Pakistani leadership as significant damage to a reserve corps (although it will also be a lower incentive to escalate, based on the public statement of Kidwai and Sattar about red lines - armor is more of a red line than infantry).

Just some thoughts.

Tim

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Bharat » 08 May 2002 22:38

Tim,
just how intensive and precautious are USAF ops?
For eg. India ,Pakistan Israel would make their aricrafts refuel and take off ASAP to make max. usage of aircraft.Does the USAF observe the same principle ? Cause most of the times USAF is in max. nos and air defence a premier priority with different sections of USAF as in air defence , radar jammers , attack birds given to different aircrafts which act as a cohesive unit.
The other countries do not have this capability so the pilots would have to do harder work and more combat hrs in a given frame of time than his US counterpart.
MY point is that statistics from USAF ops would not be that relevant in the context of the sub continent and the measure stick might be different.

In the case of Iraq US attained air supremacy.In the sub continent it would be more guerrila type of air attack, out of sudden as early warning systems are fewer.
So when an attack moves in it goes with it's air defence and radar jamming equipment.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Sunil » 08 May 2002 22:45

Tim,

While taking absolute care to keep this at the purely hypothetical level and stressing that I am essentially facing downwind here, I note the following:

Pre-arranged launch sites would entail having some sort of access road with appropriate radius.

Baluchistan is quite attractive provided range and CEP are favorable. I am not so sure if that is the case.

I feel that there are two sorts of pakistani missile targets, the first are counter-force targets, and the second are counter value targets.

Given mr. Osama Bin Ladens approach to things, it seems to me that the Pakistanis may not need a missile to carry out counter value strikes. Assuming that they do want to use missiles to do so, we are faced with the following possibilities

a) the long-range missile TELs will be deployed in `safer' areas (farther away from the border such as Baluchistan). They will be armed with nuclear weapons so as to offset their CEP issue.

b) The shorter range missiles will be deployed closer to the border and could be equipped with conventional warheads. The TELs used for these missiles would have to be conserved and their use would have to entail minimum collateral damage on account of the launch itself.

This to me implies ability to evade detection and subsequent action. This makes the choice of a city a difficult one, too many eyes and ears about. Also being too close to the border is not a wise choice on account of LRRPs. This more/less leaves only deserts, wooded and-or mountainous stretches with atleast the basic road and communications infrastructure to support the presence of a TEL.

> So a lot of the preemption possibilities remain tied in with assumptions about Pakistani doctrine, deployment, and C2.

This I fully agree with. It is worthwhile to see where a lot of communications related development has been going on in pakistan in recent times.

> Once you announce it's your intention, however, adversaries can take countermeasures - and those actually are fairly cheap and easy.

I do think these `intentions' discussed on this thread are well known to the Pakistani strategic community.

> the Prithvi SRBM and its refueling time etc.

I am not sure I can comment on any of those with any degree of authority.

> One last point to keep in mind - there's a huge difference between having this capability in statistical theory and carrying it out in practice.

Which is why I prefer to keep this `hypothetical' and refuse to designate a clear objective. Never know who one might upset once that sort of thing is done.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby shashidhar » 08 May 2002 22:56

One factor different will be US opted for airdominance or air supremacy.India will have no such intentions.What India will probably aim for is a major and rapid thrust -suffcient to cripple the enemy command.
The other key factor is US insistence on low casualty.As much as we like,I ndia assumes that casualties are a part of the process.Hence the sanitisation of airspace is probably unachievable or unnecessary to meet our goals.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 08 May 2002 23:24

What you say is true, but it is also irrelevant.
Vietnamese general to American general, when told that Americans had won all engagements in the war.

Sir, now you are going tactical.
Mush to Home Minister Advani, Agra 2001.

I thought of some more refinements to what I had put down, and I even thought of some responses to earlier queries. But now I don't see the necessity fo posting that anymore. Hell, I can bust my a$$ for the next five weeks to come up with a detailed ATO for the first five days of war, only to hear that "Oh but you got the MiG 21 servicability rates all wrong! You need to get engine lifetime figures for the five different MiG engine variants to make it really work..."

So let me cut through the intermediate steps, and tell you what insights I gained from this thought experiment.

Firstly, I looked at the opening moves since they would set the context for this deadly chess game. We can all agree this would be the most difficult phase. And I found that while it would indeed be horrendously complicated, it can be planned. India may not have the assets to implement the plan right now, but purchases in the pipeline such as Su30MKIs, AWACS, and BrahMos would substantially meet any shortfalls in our current assets.

Secondly, I was able to identify assets that would be crucial. Now I have an insight as to why a "poor developing country" is spending so much to aquire AWACS; new intel gathering assets; PGM delivery systems; and PGMS. Aquisition plans that are being talked about so glibly here and in the press suddenly start making sense....

Thirdly, I was able to work out for myself and appreciate the foresight of those who are working on making it happen.

Finally, I had the satisfaction of thinking the unthinkable. There seems to be a collective mental block regrading how to fight a nuclear threat. In the Indian (and BRF) context, it manifests itself in three ways:

Resignation: Oh some nukes will always get through, but what the heck - are nuclear wars that bad after all?

Denial: Oh it is all Paki bluff. They won't dare use them for fear of being wiped out. Uncle Sam wont let them use them.

Self Hatred: Our babus and netas are all wimps. They have always succumbed to Paki blackmail, and will continue to do so.

I am glad there are some shining exceptions to this, and if my posts won any converts to the cause then it was worth it. And I am even happier that those unlikely instruments of India's destiny do not particularly suffer from the same block.

So back to our deep penetrations and shallow thrusts now :)

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Johann » 08 May 2002 23:54

Vikram,

Isnt that the idea of starting this discussion? To seperate the impossible from the possible and the plausible from the possible through ever deeper, broader and more rigorous analysis?

Saying India ought to try and find a way to execute a conventional first strike on Pakistani nuclear forces is **quite** different from saying that with x sqns, Y awacs and z UAVs it should succeed. Unless you can assure us that you're comfortable and familar with the complexities and frictions inherent in planning an offensive air war we have to go through all the steps that led to your conclusions.

Perhaps you think I'm being overly demanding or pessimistic. Think of this as a murder board - every major operation has to go through one at the conceptual stage. One or more gung ho officer(s) must convince a group of highly skeptical peers and superiors that he is offering a viable solution. Given the ambition of the plan, the risks inherent, and the range of unknowns one has to start from the basics. Otherwise it's not worth doing at all.

When commanding a (ch)airborne BRigade it's easy to forget that Murphy is *real*. It's usually safer to favour the slightly pessimistic assumption rather than the slightly optimistic assumption- this way you build slack into a plan, otherwise it will not survive (in any form) contact with the enemy. Remember Schleiffen and his plan?

I have assumed you want a 100% TEL kill - if you are assuming a lower number, you have to make that number clear from the start.

My suggestion is continue working on the air dominance/supression phase, it is an essential part of many scenarios. TEL hunting is just one possibility. It will be worth the effort, and I'm willing to help wherever possible.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 09 May 2002 00:35

No Johann I don't think you are being any different than any other peer reviewer I have had to deal with :)

We would only go round and round after a while, so what's the point?

What I propose instead is to let the lessons sink in, because we have a lot of revisiting to do regarding Parakram.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Johann » 09 May 2002 02:29

Vikram,

I was talking about building a basic framework for air superiority: forces, targets, sequence/time frame & attrition starting from the ground up, built around projected operational goals/constraints. Fleshing it out, strengthening it and building extentions can come later. It will give you a much better idea of what's possible than this 'thought experiment'.

Target lists may not be as difficult as you imagine - there are numbers available for numbers of fixed surveillance radars in pakistani service, possibly even rough locations which can be combined with their ranges to give an idea of coverage, numbers for missile batteries, mobile radar systesm, etc. We know where PAF airbases are, and their distances to IAF bases, etc, etc. One person to talk to might be SBM who wrote that educative article on air defence networks in the Indo-Pakistan context.

What to do, I am like this only :p

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 09 May 2002 20:50

From South Asia Military Balance by Anthony Cordesman:

India
AD: 368
F/B: 367
Total: 738

Tankers: 6 (!!)

Pak
AD: 192
F/B: 112
Total: 353

SBM gives a more detailed and useful break-up:
(http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Info/SAD.html)

PAKISTAN

30 x 20-50 kT weapons
40 x F-16 fighter-bombers
140 x Mirage III/V - 685km
140 x Nanchang A-5 attack aircraft
50 x M-11 missiles - payload of 500kg & 300km range.
6-12 x Ghauri IRBM

1 ADC HQ, 4 supporting regional Sector Operation Centers, 7 Control and Reporting Centers.

Despite this investment in radars, one major gap remains - along the Indian border from Sialkot to Suleimanke
where major targets are located. Pakistan had hoped to bridge this gap, and solve a few other low level detection
problems with the purchase of E-2C Hawkeye AEW aircraft, but this order failed to materialize and Pakistan is
unlikely to get an AEW aircraft in the near future.
INDIA

85-100 x 20-200 kT weapons
110 x Jaguars (in 4 full-strength squadrons)
200 x MiG-27 (in 8 full-strength squadrons)
70 x MiG-23 (in three full-strength squadrons)
75 x Prithvi SSM (Payload of 500-1000 kgs. & range of 150-350km)
5-20 x 'Agni' IRBM

The for India, of course, should come from BR's own IAF page since it is more current.

Detailed analysis later.

In spite of my best efforts, I couldn't stay away. There. Happy now, peer reviewer????

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby JCage » 09 May 2002 22:55

Originally posted by Vikram Vyas:
What you say is true, but it is also irrelevant.
Vietnamese general to American general, when told that Americans had won all engagements in the war.

Sir, now you are going tactical.
Mush to Home Minister Advani, Agra 2001.

I thought of some more refinements to what I had put down, and I even thought of some responses to earlier queries. But now I don't see the necessity fo posting that anymore. Hell, I can bust my a$$ for the next five weeks to come up with a detailed ATO for the first five days of war, only to hear that "Oh but you got the MiG 21 servicability rates all wrong! You need to get engine lifetime figures for the five different MiG engine variants to make it really work..."

So let me cut through the intermediate steps, and tell you what insights I gained from this thought experiment.

Firstly, I looked at the opening moves since they would set the context for this deadly chess game. We can all agree this would be the most difficult phase. And I found that while it would indeed be horrendously complicated, it can be planned. India may not have the assets to implement the plan right now, but purchases in the pipeline such as Su30MKIs, AWACS, and BrahMos would substantially meet any shortfalls in our current assets.

Secondly, I was able to identify assets that would be crucial. Now I have an insight as to why a "poor developing country" is spending so much to aquire AWACS; new intel gathering assets; PGM delivery systems; and PGMS. Aquisition plans that are being talked about so glibly here and in the press suddenly start making sense....

Thirdly, I was able to work out for myself and appreciate the foresight of those who are working on making it happen.

Finally, I had the satisfaction of thinking the unthinkable. There seems to be a collective mental block regrading how to fight a nuclear threat. In the Indian (and BRF) context, it manifests itself in three ways:

Resignation: Oh some nukes will always get through, but what the heck - are nuclear wars that bad after all?

Denial: Oh it is all Paki bluff. They won't dare use them for fear of being wiped out. Uncle Sam wont let them use them.

Self Hatred: Our babus and netas are all wimps. They have always succumbed to Paki blackmail, and will continue to do so.

I am glad there are some shining exceptions to this, and if my posts won any converts to the cause then it was worth it. And I am even happier that those unlikely instruments of India's destiny do not particularly suffer from the same block.

So back to our deep penetrations and shallow thrusts now :)
Time constraints have kept me off this opus..but let me just say your "insights" serve you well.(Literally Star Wars eh :) ?)The defining funda has always been money. Pursuant to capex discussions etc,i did dig up some figures which when i get em lined up..will be posted.
AWACs is vital.You have AWACS and believe me assets will get "freed" up.No need to go for the brute force approach.Can vector in multiple strike sorties with minimal AD assets(apart form AWAcs top cover).

Also the IAF exercise strengths show the incremental approach..experts first,then everyoe for "experience" once the tactics were(at the very least partially)mapped out.Like in PVijay.

What really rocks is that IAF is intending to do the above with what they have.
As capabilities come online,the effort shall become more enhanced.But with what they *have* a lot can be done.Apparently thats the way chosen.

Keep up the good work.Off i go. :(

Regards,
Nitin

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Leonard » 09 May 2002 23:59

US forces arrive for joint exercises at Agra


PTI [ THURSDAY, MAY 09, 2002 9:36:28 PM ]

NEW DELHI: US special forces from the Pacific Command have started arriving here for the two-week long first ever armed forces joint exercises with Indian para-commandoes kicking off in Agra from Saturday.

The 200 soldiers from Special Operations Forces, representing the elite Delta Force, rangers, marine and naval seals, would join a band of 200 Indian para-commandoes in special exercises, highly placed Army sources here said.

An advance team of the US forces has already arrived with specialised equipment and set up camp at Agra, housing India's lone 50th para brigade.

The exercises would include parajumping, training on each others weapons and joint hit and run anti-terrorist raids, officials said.

The special forces joint exercises coincide with exercises between the two countries now on in Alaska involving specialised mountain warfare troops.

The US has over the years been very keen to share experiences of Indian forces in the world's highest battlefield in Siachen glacier.


<<<<
Hopefully this a pre-cursor/planning for a Joint Ops between US & India Spec. Forces to "pre-emptively" take out Paki Nukes ????
>>>>

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 10 May 2002 02:43

Whats amazing is the total blackout on the PK-II exercise leaving us to flail in vain. I have been looking at regional sections of the English language press but no success.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Rudra » 10 May 2002 03:19

so who are these specialized mountain warfare IA
troops training in alaska ? SFF ? ladakh scouts ?
theres been no speculation in BR either of who
went.

I agree that P-II is total black at moment. yahoo
has two hazy pix of soldiers running on exercise.
but probably not P-II.

also is there any public domain info on the
"secretive" Aakraman exercises in TACDE ? are
the AD or strike/SEAD oriented ?


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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Shishir » 10 May 2002 04:09

The 200 soldiers from Special Operations Forces, representing the elite Delta Force, rangers, marine and naval seals, would join a band of 200 Indian para-commandoes in special exercises, highly placed Army sources here said.
Let's see here...So we have a CT unit(Delta), Elite infantry(Rangers), Marines(Elite something) and a navy SF unit(Seals) training with the Indian equivalent of the Rangers(Para-Commandos) :)

How does this work? Not sure if Delta take part in exercises with the Marines even in the US.. Wonder what the agenda will be like for this exercise.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby svinayak » 10 May 2002 05:49

The Pakistanis Of late have shown an increasing interest in acquiring a submarine based second strike capability. This will enormously complicate things if GoI is in fact thinking like Vikram.

IMHO it is unrealistic to entertain the notion that a sea based deterrent can be mounted by a force that can't even hope to achieve success in its primary role of sea denial. Nevertheless, Pak Admirals will continue to make these incredible claims,
Simply put, PN would have to undertake a humongous build up in several areas before their threat of mounting a sea deterrent can be taken seriously.
My reading on the Pakistan attempt to create a sea based detterent is based on simple premise:
guerilla mentality. It is not based on any concrete plan of sea deniability or shore offensive.

A terrorist mind needs stealth, fear factor and lethal punch to acheive his objective. Paki generals see the submarine as a tool for just this purpose. This may sound crude but they are looking at the sea based submarines as a extension of their jehadi policy.

Now since they have lost their strategic depth on the western front they look at the sea from Arabian sea and indian ocean as their last remaining "strategic depth". Hence they are willing to invest major portion of their defence budget on the sea platform.

Todays Blues Clues question:
Which country would be most interested in limiting the sea based deterrent of Pakistan especially around the straits of Hormuz?[other than India of course]

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby shiv » 10 May 2002 10:52

Originally posted by acharya:

Todays Blues Clues question:
Which country would be most interested in limiting the sea based deterrent of Pakistan especially around the straits of Hormuz?
Let me guess:

Chile?
Bechuanaland?
Lichtenstein?
Iran?

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 12 May 2002 21:17

Looking at the PAF orbat as outlined by Cordesman
highlights something I had not realised before - that
India enjoys a massive numerical siperiority (probably
qualitative superiority as well) in AD aircraft. I threw in 362 AD
aircraft for defending the striking force without realising PAF has
less than 200 AD aircraft to respond with.

If I take that into consideration and cut myself some further
slack by assuming AWACS capability on part of IAF, then
I can slash my AD force considerably! Consider these revised
numbers:

Let the strike force remain as before, but remove all dedicated
AD aircraft and put them into regional AD fleets controlled by
AWACS. Then we can propose something like:

3 ASGs (Air Supremacy Groups) consisting of:

1 AWACS
72 AD (airborne)
2 tankers

giving a total of 3 AWACS, 216 AD, and 6 tankers. This reduces our
overall "first wave" fleet size to about 500-550 combat aircraft. It
also takes care of homeland AD, since any PAF aircraft taking off
will now be engaged over Pak airspace. I like that notion a lot.

We also have a huge standing reserve of about a 160 AD aircrft, and
we can divert a substantial chunk of these for TEL hunting.

But before we do that, I have some severe reservations about Pak deterrent
that I would like addressed:

(1) Most importantly, I believe Pak keeps weapons separate from
delivery vehicles. They have to do that to prevent some beard from
getting his hands on a ready-made WMD parked in a warehouse somewhere.

(2) Related to (1), Ghauris are liquid fuelled IIRC. This, combined with
their low numbers and few storage facilities, means that they are that much
easier to keep track of.

1 and 2 mean that the prime target should be storage facilities, not TELs.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Raj Malhotra » 12 May 2002 23:19

Vyas

If you remember I ran a thread to estimate Pakistan nukes, on the premise that western journals (and even India) had a bias in overestimating the Pakistan nukes? You did not comment at that time. What is your personal estimate of Pakistan nukes?

Also their (small) nuke number will suffer atleast some degradation over the war situation till it reaches the button line.

Also in your earlier comments are you red lining too early? Especially assuming that India does not intrude too far but the IAF starts a campaign to bomb Pakistan in Stone Age, will the Pakistan press the button? I personally do not think so, as it means that Pakistan will cease to exist, defeating the purpose of pressing the button. Also as somebody pointed out it means mass suicide with all family, friends and relatives.

Bombing Pakistan economic and infrastructure targets means it will be a teach a lesson war and RAPE and feudal class will be allowed to survive if they donot press the button. India can also publicly declare that it will not annex any area (except in Kashmir) that reduces the reason of pressing the button.

In case it reaches to red line then Northern India will suffer massive damage, but India borders will now touch Iran and Afghanistan. Such a geographic entity cannot be isolated in international scene for long.

I am ignoring the scenarios built by western friends that continue talking about Pakistan pressing the button as a first thing on impulse or India just reacting with non nuclear strikes. I think the GF and CDS comments that Pakistan will cease to exist should be taken as Indian doctrine.

Also the TN devices will be cleaner and corridors can be left for remaining portions of IA to reach Pakistan-Iran-afghan border and claim whole of territory.

I may be wrong but the present interpretation of Indian war strategy seems to be:-

Effort to hunt and destroy nuke assets on Pakistan soil. Simultaneously extra strong AD cover by IAF to prevent the nuke strike aircraft getting through.

The IAF/IA effort limited to military formations to the exclusion of pure economic targets like power projects and telephone exchanges.

This would mean that IAF will be over burdened for anti nuke strikes and army will suffer massive losses as it targets defensive positions in offensive doctrine especially if it goes for non-maneuvering frontal attacks.

I would feel that:-

The military strategy (should) be primary IAF led aimed at infrastructure and economic targets.

IA goes 20-30 km deep maneuvers (avoiding frontal attacks) to fight on Pakistan soil but only with the primary aim of keeping Pakistan army engaged. If Pakistan foolishly tries riposte then IAF and artillery/ATGMs eats it up.

The war effort/aim is teach a lesson war.

It is declared at the outset that India does not aim to retain territory. (After the war/cease fire we forget the promise and ask for concession on Kashmir).

The effort to hunt down nukes is kept secondary. Also as IA will not go deep therefore IAF will not get overtly constrained by forward support. The manpower losses will/may also remain low.

The red line will remain far except for understandable saber rattling.

(Incidentally India seems to have contracted for 8000 laser guided artillery shells, I would think as the price of LGBs is similar therefore atleast similar/more LGBs may/should also be contracted for)

(How did you include AWACS?)

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby shashidhar » 12 May 2002 23:27

Gentleman,
If we indeed take POK what happens to the people?There is a sizeable Non indigenous elements.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Kuttan » 12 May 2002 23:30

This discussion is, as someone pointed out, "all tactical" - ignoring alternative purposes for the mobilization of Indian forces.

Three points:

1. Mobilization put the bulk of the needed armor and combat units on the north-western side of the crucial rivers and mountain passes - this negates the utility of Paki airstrikes on railroad infrastructure in the first days of a war.

2. It forces TSP to distribute defences to anticipate an all-out Indian sweep across the slumland.

3. It is completely counter-productive for India to do such a sweeping land attack.

If I were running things, I would go for the central High Command and wipe out Mush and his junta - a top-down strategy. I would also pulverize Karachi harbor and the Augusta yard.

Then sit back and spend some time shooting down the PAF, but not make any serious land attack.

There is a 98% probability that the Pakis will run inward and fight themselves to fill the vacuum at the center. Some selective encouragement to certain forces in the Pak military, and helpful airstrikes against selected other generals, would amplify the process of implosion.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby JE Menon » 13 May 2002 00:50

I'm not much of a military strategist - still can't tell a brigade from a regiment - but Narayanan's top-down idea seems to make sense. Why occupy land? If our objective is to dismantle Pakistan, why not just focus on degrading their political/economic/defence infrastructures in clearly designated retaliatory action? In other words, stir the pot without becoming an ingredient....

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Bharat » 13 May 2002 00:54

Raj , you are dead on.
I don't think IAF would be allowed to go to anti nuclear operations.It would be tough to do it successfully and miscalculation chances are high.
IAF would go for air bases, ammo and fuel dumps.IAF would also go for camps , madrassas , terrorists HQ.
IA would go for forward camps in POK, assasination attempts on launch commanders .Strikes at guides for terrorists.
Hit at the Pakistani artillery.
Narayanan, whats best about you is not your thinking and strategy but to put it across with a rather unmatched clarity. :D

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 13 May 2002 03:57

Gosh wasn't I the one who accused Johann of being too tactical? O tempora, O mores... it's time for me now to raise some plodding tactical observations...

If I were running things, I would go for the central High Command and wipe out Mush and his junta - a top-down strategy. I would also pulverize Karachi harbor and the Augusta yard.
As a tactitian I dread the Ghauri's mobility, particularly the difficulty of tracking one down,... but man, oh man, that mobility is nothing compared to the speed with which a threatened Paki general can move! And there are 40 odd Lt Gens, god knows how many Maj Gens scattered all over Pak. How are we going to take them all out in one raid, when US can't find one (okay, maybe four) persons in eight months? Also, how is the IAF pilot going to identify a Pak general in his battle camoflage? Land his Jaguar at the sight of a purdah, lift the veil for positive ident, and then shoot off a PGM if there is too much facial hair?

While a Pak general can move (O can he move) a harbor is somewhat handicapped in the mobility sweepstakes. So what would be more preferable - shooting at it first in face of PAF opposition, or waiting a couple of days till PAF has been wiped out and then razing the harbor to ground with some An32 strikes? As for the Agostas, we have not talked about IN much in this thread, probably because no one particularly assumed all those INS beauties twiddling their thumbs while IAF flyboys hogged all the glory.

Raj

Regarding the issue whether I am redlining too early, I don't think so. The destruction of significant chunks of ones AD network is a massive loss, but one that is much harder to perceive than the more tangible infrastructure losses. A modern military relies on AD for being the roof of the house - bring it down, and you effectively render a country shelterless. So you have to compute not just the loss of a radar, but also the attendant implications about the ability of Pak to defend itself against subsequent raids on any target.

Regarding your earlier thread on number of Pak nukes, I chose to take the middle path and assumed about 40.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 15 May 2002 02:33

From The Telegraph on PK-II May 14, 02: http://www.telegraphindia.com/national.htm#head9

BORDERS BRISTLE WITH FRESH WAR GAMES

FROM SUJAN DUTTA

New Delhi, May 13:
A series of manoeuvres by Indian armed forces over and above its deployment under Operation Parakram has worried the global community led by Washington. It is one of the chief concerns that US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, Christina Rocca, will address in her talks with India.

The official reason given for the Indian army exercises is that “troops have to be kept fighting fit”. Strategic thinkers would say that the successive exercises are also intended to send out the message that America’s Operation Enduring Freedom cannot afford to dispense with Indian cooperation. Indian army movements can easily force Pakistan into making matching deployments and throw into disarray Islamabad’s participation in the coalition’s “war on terrorism”.

Unconfirmed reports say that such movement on the Pakistan side might have already taken place. Pakistan’s 11 and 12 corps, normally based in its western sectors, were deployed on its border with India since the Indian military’s deployment began in December. Islamabad was probably moving elements of its 11 and 12 corps to help in the search for al Qaida activists. Washington might well have detected some hesitancy in the Pakistani establishment to persist with the movement of these elements because of the Indian army moves.

The Indian army exercises, with air force back-up, are on even as the security establishment in Delhi has concluded that Musharraf’s proclaimed steps against militants have yielded precious little for India.

As the snows melt in the higher reaches of Kashmir, there is the possibility that infiltration will rise. The figure being quoted is that through April this year, 120 militants infiltrated into India as against 130 in the same month in 2001. This justifies the army to persist with its deployment.

In the army commanders’ conference last month, the consensus was not in favour of withdrawal of troops without tangible results.

The US was worried as it is with Operation Parakram that has seen the movement of some eight lakh troops from peace time locations to their assigned locations near the border. US forces are in Pakistan carrying out operations targeting al Qaida leaders in association with the Pakistan military.

US forces in India — a unit of about 100 US Rangers from the Pacific Command — began a joint exercise with the Indian army’s para-brigade in Agra today, though for a different purpose. Fact is, the US cannot afford a war between India and Pakistan now when both countries are of strategic and military importance to it in its current operations.

Two months ago, American satellites were reported to have picked up the movement of the army’s 2 (strike) corps then commanded by Lt Gen. N.C. Vij. The Americans were said to have expressed their displeasure.

Vij has since been transferred as Chief of Staff Army Training Command (ARTRAC), Shimla. Defence ministry sources have always denied that the transfer was at the behest of Washington. There have been indications that Vij’s transfer was the outcome of a communication gap between him and the western army commander, Lt Gen. Sangra (who has now retired).

The 2 corps, usually based in Ambala, has been moving its armoured and mechanised units again. (The movement of armoured units is always closely watched because they are perceived to be assault forces in times of conflict in the plains). Other mobilised hardware include bridging equipment and field artillery. This series of movements began around end-April.

The movements are possibly part of an exercise that has been codenamed either “Operation Parakram II” and/or “Operation Brahmashava”. The movements are backed up by sorties of IAF aircraft. The manoeuvres are confined largely to the Suratgarh-Ganganagar area in Rajasthan but could be covering a part of Punjab as well.

Details of the movements are not available. Defence ministry sources even refuse to term these movements an “exercise” and call them “manoeuvres”. The exercise is likely to continue till April 15.

This is roughly the time for the 1 and 2 (both strike) corps to conduct its exercises. Last year, the 1 corps concluded its exercise by May 11. That exercise, codenamed “Poorna Vijay” was crucial to the military’s strategic objectives because it was said to have factored in moves in the event of a nuclear strike and for a nuclear strike.
-----------
Wonder what he means by April 15? Could it be May 15th?

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Shirish » 17 May 2002 21:39

no more news on this

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 17 May 2002 21:52

Yes shirish. Beacuse its for reals now.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Adi » 17 May 2002 22:54

Originally posted by ramana:
From The Telegraph on PK-II May 14, 02: http://www.telegraphindia.com/national.htm#head9

Two months ago, American satellites were reported to have picked up the movement of the army’s 2 (strike) corps then commanded by Lt Gen. N.C. Vij. The Americans were said to have expressed their displeasure.
I presume they mean Lt.Gen. Kapil Vij, and not Lt.Gen. NC Vij, who is a former DGMO, right?

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Shirish » 18 May 2002 20:50

web page
The army's study reveals that the initial mobilisation for Operation Parakram which includes transportation, supplies and logistics has cost the exchequer Rs 500 crore. Moving an infantry brigade of 3,000 men costs Rs 3-5 lakh. It cost Rs 25 lakh to move a regiment of 45 tanks by train, and artillery guns cost Rs 20 lakh per regiment in deployment. The deployment figure spirals to Rs 1,200 crore if one takes into account the troop field allowances, cost of getting supplies and compensation to villagers in border areas. Defence Ministry officials say Operation Parakram will cost between Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,000 crore if withdrawal takes place this year. These figures will shoot up if hostilities break out

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Y I Patel » 21 May 2002 00:45

Op Parakram - II will end on Tue, May 21:

http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=10552

Some parting titbits:

(1) The exercise was held in the Bikaner-Ganganagar area, after all. Most probably 2 corps participated (though that fact is not mentioned).

(2) Very interesting - Jaguars, Mig 23s, and Mig-27 participated. Why is it interesting???

While IA/IAF are certainly not defenseless immediately after the exercise, they may ask for a few days to rest, repair, replenish, and recover.

Well, looks like it's time to close the exercise book on this one. Thanks for the fun discussion, guys.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby Sribabu » 21 May 2002 15:17

http://www.rediff.com/news/2002/may/21war3.htm

Any guesses on why he need to go back?
Also, this looks like something for the press only, not real ops.

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Re: Parakram II: all services excercise on western front

Postby ramana » 21 May 2002 20:36

GF rushing back is obviously due to Lone's killing by TSP terrorists in Kashmir.


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