Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 23 Oct 2003 18:12

While the Indian Army is operational competent, yet the scientific and technological march the world over apparently the Revolution in Military Affairs {RMA} has outpaced the jack of all trades approach towards warfare.

Apparently, specialisation is the need of the hour especially in the field of:

1. Information Technology and Information Warfare,
2. Human Resource Development/ Management.
3. Weapon Technologies.
4. Communications.

Thus, the questions that come to mind are:

1. Is there a requirement to organising structural changes?
2. What are the spheres where specialisation is essential?
3. What does it involve to usher in specialisation down to the unit level?
4. What will be the gains?
5. What are the impediments?

What do you feel will the modern battlefield be like?

Has the Generalised soldier become redundant?

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Jul 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Anaath » 23 Oct 2003 18:38

The IA does seem to have enhanced its emphasis on tech-savvy and expertise with equipment development and usage.

Nothing symbolizes this change better than this part of the new six-point “Code of the Warrior” instituted for graduating IMA GCs by the IMA's last commandant, Lieut.Gen. T.S. Shergill:

“..I will train my mind, body and spirit to fight, excel, in all devices and weapons of war present and future..”

Valour, sacrifice, gallantry and devotion to duty were always prized. This new focus on technical excellence will be a welcome characteristic.

When a tradition-bound Army like the IA begins to tweak the fundamental ethos of its officer cadre, the process merits due attention.

Posts: 425
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 05:32

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby member_201 » 23 Oct 2003 19:19

Ray Saheb, I have changed the title of the thread, to avoid members getting confused between this thread and the General Army Discussion thread. Thanks.

Indian Experience in RMA

By Air Commodore A K Tiwary (Retd.)

Forum Moderator
Posts: 746
Joined: 29 Sep 2002 11:31
Location: Maximum City

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rishi » 23 Oct 2003 19:20

Mordenising India's armed forces
-- Dr. Tim Hoyt

Note the conclusion on IA and RMA (or lack thereof)

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 23 Oct 2003 19:53

Originally posted by Rakesh Koshy:
Ray Saheb, I have changed the title of the thread, to avoid members getting confused between this thread and the General Army Discussion thread. Thanks.

Indian Experience in RMA

By Air Commodore A K Tiwary (Retd.)
Fine by me.

It must be understood that IA will not operate alone. It will have to be jointmanship.

Posts: 425
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 05:32

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby member_201 » 23 Oct 2003 20:03

Ray Saheb,

The original title had 'Indian Army' in it. If you wish, I can change it to Indian Armed Forces. Just let me know.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Jul 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Anaath » 23 Oct 2003 20:43


The IAF posts notwithstanding, could we retain an IA focus?

Even jointmanship requires the IA to bring its own training, resources and expertise to bear.

BRF has seldom dedicated bandwidth to analyse this from the ground up.

An IA view on jointmanship, from a person no less than Lieut. Gen. Vijay Oberoi

“Each Service needs to send its best officers to joint organisations, on the thinking that we must 'give up some of the grape juice to later enjoy the wine'5.”

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 23 Oct 2003 21:23

Originally posted by Rakesh Koshy:
Ray Saheb,

The original title had 'Indian Army' in it. If you wish, I can change it to Indian Armed Forces. Just let me know.
No, basically I wanted it for the Army since the others are in it in a big way. I just wanted to bring into focus that integration of warefare is essential and what would be the Army's contibution in RMA towards it, apart from Army specific RMAs.

Posts: 161
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Shrewsbury, MA

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Babui » 23 Oct 2003 21:49

Correct me if I'm wrong but RMA (for infantry) can be boiled down to the following: (1) the ability to fight at night (2) ability to see the enemy before he sees you (3) ability to bring own firepower down on the enemy with exactness and (4) ability to communicate or 'know' the position of own forces.
[On a broader level - RMA is the synergy that comes from using all your military assets in the most effective manner]
Relative to the US (considered the standard in RMA implementation and thinking)infantry, the IA's infantry cannot (as yet) fight large scale battles at night. It is only recently that ghatak platoons and eventually the entire 340+ battalions will be armed with NV units. Possibly in 3+ yrs, we will be hearing of division level night exercises.
At the infantry level (assuming no air assets), our ability to see 'over the hill' was no different than the soldiers of WWI and earlier. Only recently with the addition of BSR and UAV's (at corps level) has the possibility of seeing over the hill been enhanced. Actually, I'm not sure at what level the UAV's are controlled but I'm sure we can have microlights at battalion level. KNowing that UAV's are with the Pakis and Chinese; it will be the coordination of the info received at the level that it matters most that will be decisive in combat.
As recently as Kargil, we saw that the only way to bring firepower down on the enemy was through surveillance by artillery spotters and possibly behind the lines spotting by the para-commandos. The only effective targeting was direct line of fire. Again, the only RMA I can see here is allowing artillery spotters to target enemy using UAV's or BSR's.
I really don't know much about the communications aspect and so can't comment.
I would be interested in knowing if there are other ways RMA can be applied to the infantry arm.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 13
Joined: 07 Feb 2003 12:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby ptraj » 23 Oct 2003 22:01

Very basic and perhaps naive questions:

Does RMA assume a highly (high-school/college-level?) educated soldier different from those hired in IA 'recruiting fairs'? What does this mean for the officer level qualifications

How will attract such people who will obviosuly be drawn to a safer easier job in industry?

Will this new soldier need to be proficient in English given that IT related stuff is vastly easier and more ubiquitous in English? IIUC, for the most part only the officers speak English.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 23 Oct 2003 22:07

is it classified info how many jeep/gypsy, 3-t and
10-t trucks an IA brigade has and how many more
would be necessary to make them all ride + a weeks supplies rather than walk ?

once a breach is achieved, one facet of RMA would
imply a "herd" of 1000s of ODS-II style trucks
guarded by units of APCs and tanks flooding through
and heading for nodes of power leaving behind small
harassment units to secure the rear and surround
enemy strongpoints. commanders would ride in command tanks with large 21" flat monitors displaying the best tactical data from all sources.

Posts: 425
Joined: 11 Aug 2016 05:32

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby member_201 » 24 Oct 2003 19:30

Q1. Is there a requirement to organising structural changes?
A1. IMHO, India needs to take a look at RMA and adapt it to suit its needs. We need to stop following the policy of ‘monkey-see, monkey-do’. Two examples that come to mind are replacing the Balls on an Admiral’s Flag to Stars, just like the United States Navy and removing off all pennant numbers from submarines, again just like the USN. While I see the relevance of the latter, I really don’t see it in the former. Even in the case of the latter, why did we have to wait for the USN to start that practice, before we put it in place as well? I believe the Indian Army, and her sister services, do require structural change. However that change must not come at the expense of losing our identity. We must certainly make the Indian Army, as the euphemism states, ‘Leaner and Meaner’, but that must come after careful planning of what our threat perceptions are and what we must have/acquire to meet them.

Q2. What are the spheres where specialisation is essential?
A2. IMHO, specialization needs to occur in the fields of I.T., Engineering and Medicine…in that order. The next couple of decades will see the Indian Army handling some of the most powerful pieces of military equipment. The battlefield has become increasingly electronic, with real-time information becoming the catalyst in achieving victory. Our Signals Corps will have an important role in that process. I also strongly believe that officers and jawans should also learn the ‘why’ and not just the ‘how’. Any soldier can pull a trigger, but they need to understand why they are pulling the trigger. Our soldiers need to be better rounded and they need to get out of their regimental thought process and look at the bigger picture. They need to understand the political situation before going into battle.

Q3. What does it involve to usher in specialisation down to the unit level?
A3. The desire to change has to come from the top, for that we need not just ‘thinking’ Generals, but rather ‘action’ Generals. We need Generals who can take the thoughts and put into the paper and then transfer those thoughts on paper, onto the battlefield. Unless that effort is made by the senior brass, RMA will only serve as an after thought in the Indian Army. In that regard, ARTRAC (Army Training Command) will play a key role in implementing RMA down to the unit level.

Q4. What will be the gains?
A4. The gains will be many or very little, depending on how the change will be accepted. At the unit level, I envision a soldier who knows why he serves with the Indian Army, a soldier who deals with the cutting-edge of technology and a soldier who understands the socio-political issues of his country. At the brigade and divisional level, I see an Indian Army who will strike harder, move faster and deliver a more deadly blow to the enemy.

Q5. What are the impediments?
A5. Technology serves as a dead weight in the hand of fools. Change, while hard, must be encouraged. It should not be forced. I see the resistance to change as the only impediment. Lack of funds, lack of infrastructure, etc are all excuses when there is a lack of desire to change. As the saying goes, “When there is a Will, There is a Way.” Bash On Regardless! :D

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Jul 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Anaath » 24 Oct 2003 19:57


Thanks for the well-thought-out responses.

Could you expand on A2 ..” Our soldiers need to be better rounded and they need to get out of their regimental thought process and look at the bigger picture. They need to understand the political situation before going into battle.”

Ray Saheb’s thoughts on the matter would also be deeply appreciated.

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 24 Oct 2003 23:19

Originally posted by Anaath Das:

Thanks for the well-thought-out responses.

Could you expand on A2 .." Our soldiers need to be better rounded and they need to get out of their regimental thought process and look at the bigger picture. They need to understand the political situation before going into battle."

Ray Saheb's thoughts on the matter would also be deeply appreciated.
Actually I appreciate the views being given.

I started this thread because of a discussion that I was engaged in with some friends and I wanted to know the views of the knowledgeable members here who are well conversant with the forces as also are experts in weapon technology.

Off the cuff one could debate [these are not necessarily my ideas] but what was thrown around during my discussion like misguided SCUD missiles which excited but only tantalised by its sheer audacity are as below.

Wars have to be short, decisive and a DEFINITE DETERRENT to the adversary for the future.

Wars are expensive in manpower, eqpt and finances and we can't go to war at the drop of a hat.

We can't also afford the stalemates we stagger to most of the time. It is counterproductive. It only emboldens the adversary for the future. Even the inconsequential around our borders get chripy.

The current eqpt, 0rganisation and doctrines are not suggestive of boldness owing to various reasons. Many of the doctrines are wishful thinking and time-pass.

Weapons are purchased as immediate response to a growing security concern and political expediency situation more out to appease the poltical Opposition clamour and the non knowledgeable citizenry. A well thought weapons acquisition plan to match the threat analysis of the short term and long term should be the answer.

The organisation [in some arms] is not compatible with the arms and eqpt being procured. The infantry is getting new weapons and eqpt but all these have to be distributed within the existing manpower.

The logistics train is archaic and not combat dictate driven. CODs etc are redundant but who can entrench the civilians working there?

Finally, the bottom-line is -
To be decisive, one has to be able to paralyse the enemy. The nuclear facilities and nuke delivery armament of the adversary should be neutralised or rendered harmless before the real offensive goes underway so that nagging worry about the nuclear threshold does not inhibit bold and aggressive action.

All this is easier said and done.

Therefore, what is the answer?

One is that the ISR facilties and Comd and Control facilities have to be fine tuned. Second is to have the lightning strike capability to render the enemy's nuclear wherewithal negated. It will cost a fortune.

What all should be the eqpt and organisation to include at the unit level that can effectively achieve the above paragraph?

What are your answers?

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 24 Oct 2003 23:29

Also, please don't be Pak centric. Our interest lies well beyond our borders and seas.

Y I Patel
Posts: 666
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Y I Patel » 26 Oct 2003 01:01

IMHO, focussing on issues of jointmanship or training for small units misses the lessons offered by Iraq on the real impact of RMA. RMA has not changed the verities of war making at the very top (above the Joint commanders' level), or at the level of small units.

This we can say from the following:
(1) At the operational level, RMA facilitated the handling of formations and individual units (batt and below), and the warfighting ops went superbly.
(2) RMA did not change small unit fundamentals, and all the nasty surprises encountered by US-UK forces can be boiled down to their disregarding basic good practices in the hope that the "wonder weapons" will compensate for shoddy execution.
(3) Smart weapons did not make top leadership wiser or smarter, and inculcated a false sense of confidence in the ability of armed forces to achieve political goals in the absence of sound political planning. Hence, while RMA and jointmanship helped execution of ops, it did nothing to attain the real objectives of the war.

These are important lessons for the Indian Army to digest.

The effect of RMA can be boiled down thus: operational tempo has doubled; more importantly, information flow has gone up by an order of magnitude! Operational commanders no longer have to strain their eyes to peer through the fog of war. Instead, they have to struggle to make sense of the cacophony generated by all the information flowing in!

So the real gains of RMA can be not so much in better training of small units or in rearranging OG bureaucracy, but in studying how the organization of fighting formations has to be adapted to the new reality of information flows and torrid op tempos. The solution lies in restructuring, retraining, and reequipping staff of brigades and above to meet the new demands generated by RMA. They now need to be trained and equipped so that they can process the deluge of information into actionable intelligence (we call it knowledge); they need to have the ability to monitor and control a sharply increased pace of operations; and they need new skills and outlook to do justice to the new modes of electronic warfare. Electronic warfare cannot be conducted at battalion level - jamming a few radios at that level will do nothing to disrupt the enemy's information networks. So (like Rakman said) signals and intel units will have to move to a more prominent and more empowered role. Infantry will still be queen of battle, and Arty will still be god of war. But those underappreciated geeks in signals and intel units will have to find their own padestels in the military pantheon.

Posts: 111
Joined: 11 Nov 2000 12:31
Location: Earth

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Joeqp » 26 Oct 2003 03:07

Can someone care to address the RMA needed at the "micro" level? At the level of a Bn or below?

I feel that IA needs more mobility; as well as the ability to operate in smaller units for longer durations. This calls for (a) better equipment (which, I'm sure, we'll keep discussing ad ininitum for decades), and (b) closer support from IAF at a smaller scale.

In terms of (a), better equipmemt, this includes better transportation; better equipment to operate for longer durations (better rations, comm eqpt, lighter eqpt, etc.). This topic probably comes under the "modernisation" of the army thread. I actually feel very disheartened to see that even <B>today</B>, GPS, secure comms, etc. are not standard issue. I really don't understand how an item like the GPS, which is a commodity item in the rest of the world, can be so difficult to get in India. It would take approximately 2 months to equip every section of the frontline outfits with GPS (from the date of order, to delivery). Anyways, this is an issue for some other debate, I guess.

For (b), we probably need tighter integration with the other services; more "horizontal" integration than vertical. In other words, (say), a Bn CO should be able to call in strikes or recce or medevac without traversing much up the chain of command. IIRC, the idea behind NDA was this: so that officers would carry over their friendship from the Academy days, and it would serve them well during time of conflict. I remember reading about such stories during the '71 war. Maybe more oint courses (like the DSSC), but at a lower level, is an answer.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 26 Oct 2003 06:36

purchased in bulk , a consumer hiker type GPS set will come for $100 or less. They are rugged and waterproof enough so No Need for some german stainless steel case with a french liner from the arms merchants. there is atleast one company in Blore who infact makes GPS receiver kits.

Each section of 10-14 men the smallest independent unit of ops should have one. the cost comes to just $300 per platoon - probably less than the cost of 1 insas rifle.

roughly a million men hmmm for $100 mil which is peanuts each person could have one. for $50 mil every second person -- this would handily cover our teeth formations. the good ones have storage for waypoints , electronic compass, clock, calender, PDA functions, altimeter built in also.

bare minimum respectable kit for indian soldier 2010:
-- 1 insas rifle
-- GPS device with digital stored map of op-area
-- 5-10x optical sight (day only)
-- light bulletproof vest with ample exterior pockets
-- light kevlar helmet

bare minimum kit for a section 2010:
-- 1 bipod MMG with night sights
-- 1 Carl gustav launcher
-- 1 thermal imager (2 would be nice)
-- 1 anti-material sniper rifle with night sights
-- atleast 4 night sights on insas out of 10
-- secure tactical radio with unbreakable AES keys.
-- 1 medic with all latest ER tools.

I figure this and a artillery network composed of new age 155mm, smerch, pinaka ready to pour fire within seconds of a WLR reading should finally in conjuction with completed J&K fencing keep the pakdogs quiet in their kennel forever.

a paki unit with rusty G3 7.62mm and none of goodies above would be decimated by a well led similar unit using above gear especially in night battles which is the usual norm.


Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 26 Oct 2003 08:00


That 'rusty' 7.62 that the Pak is carrying is more 'trusty' than the 5.56 since the amn yaws and tumbles, not so accurate and the 'kill' power is lower. So much so for the Small arms debate thats on the BRF.

Talking of bulletproof vest, there is an intersting side effect. A 7.62 hits you so hard that the 'shock' and the velocity stops your heart from beating and you are dead. However, this requires check. I heard it from someone with experience with the US Army. I believe that is another reason why there is a raging deabte about rethinking if 5.56 is the correct calibre for battle.

Check Tanknet threads on 5.56 , something on marksmanship etc.

That is why I keep saying don't just go by the glossy arms manufacturers brochures. Find out about the ground situation. Don't ask the IA alone since they are still dazed with delight. Ask those who have used it for long.

As Rakesh says no need to 'Monkey see, monkey do'.

Nice to see you back YIP with your sagelike comments.

Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby JCage » 26 Oct 2003 10:09

Can we stop this hoary hoax of IA not having secure communications,GPS etcetc? :roll:
As Rudra notes,GPS is easily available from a variety of Indian manufacturers.
GPS or not,compass training and map navigation is an essential part of training and will still continue.
Trusting Uncle Sam round the clock is also not foolproof.
And as regards comms,per Rays note last time discretion demands we dont discuss the specifics,but secure comms already exist-whether it be Ascon/Aren or all the way down unit comms.Old sets are getting encryption modules and newer ones are all secure.Most designs are sourced from within India as well.

Posts: 111
Joined: 11 Nov 2000 12:31
Location: Earth

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Joeqp » 26 Oct 2003 17:07

Originally posted by nitin:
Can we stop this hoary hoax of IA not having secure communications,GPS etcetc? :roll:
As Rudra notes,GPS is easily available from a variety of Indian manufacturers.
Nitin, you are actually reinforcing my point. GPS has been readily available for years. But can you tell me whether the chaps in the IA have it? I can assure that most units do not, without going into specific details.

I know how useful GPS is, I've been an owner since 1992.

Today, the modern GPSes come with the India datums (instead of just WGS-84), and so their output would match the Indian GSI maps.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 26 Oct 2003 17:21

Ha! all 7.62mm diehards will be shot tomorrow.

nowhere in the world is anyone considering a return to 7.62mm , though improvements as usual will continue to be made in 5.56mm. Care to comment on how many rounds of each type a regular soldier can carry and the weight difference on long patrols?

G3 is obsolete. heavy and old just like our FN7.62mm. I think the mainline nato armies have shifted to newer gear from FN and HK like HK36, SA80.

its as sign of Paks poverty they are still using G3 and AK47s.

Posts: 1562
Joined: 09 Oct 2000 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby JCage » 26 Oct 2003 17:40

GPS started induction in infantry units in 1997-98 itself iirc. The only hangup has been money to speed up the procurement rate.
Even though the present units are relatively inexpensive,equipping a million man army does take time.I might add that GPS cant be trusted entirely,hence INS systems are used in the IA for high value assets-such as armour etc.These of course being part and parcel of an integrated nav package which includes GPS.
The units I presume you are referring to (specops) etc were the first to get the goodies.
Anyway better nav,comms and firepower are all part of the infantry upgrade,which has already commenced and been fiscally cleared.SO no grounds to worry on that score.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 26 Oct 2003 18:00

but it would cost only $100 million to equip every man in the army! surely we dont need a $2000 POS from israel or german dealers to provide this basic need - not unless theres money being made on the side.

Its 6 years since your start date so even $15 mil / annum would have completed the fitting by now if they were serious about it.

for $10 million every section would have it. comes to a ridiculous $1.5 mil / annum of outlay which is less than cost of a single T90S tank!

even a non-mil GPS with digial map is a lot better than paper maps and compass navigation. plus they get altitude info also -if that helps artillery gunners use the right tables.

Posts: 111
Joined: 11 Nov 2000 12:31
Location: Earth

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Joeqp » 26 Oct 2003 21:22

I am just referring to the frontline units who are actively engaged with the terrorists. These are the chaps who go out into the jungles, in the middle of the night, and are out for days at a time.

Taking a cue from GD, lets do the math.

Lets assume there are 300 such Bns involved in various ways (includeing BSF, RR, AR, etc.)
Typically, you will see platoon level deployments, so 1 handheld GPS unit per <I>paltoon</I> is enough for starters (perhaps Mr. Ray can fix the numbers better than I). Assuming 12 platoons per Bn, you are looking at 3600 GPS units. Today, a Garmin GPSMAP 76S (with 24MB of memory for maps) is available at for approx $400.
There, the total cost of equipping every platoon works out to $1.5M, assuming no bulk discounts. (With bulk discounts, it could come to under $1M, I'm sure).

The "big ticket" items (like the Gorshkov, T-90, Phalcon, etc.) sound nice, but that doesn't change the lethality of the smallest (but most important) cog in the machine.

And Nitin, for aircrafts and tanks, an INS makes sense. But for the <I>jawan</I> on the field, a handheld GPS is quite adequate. I know, I know: mapreading skilz are necessary and all that. But try mapreading in the jungles of Assam when its overcast and raining for days at an end.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 4487
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 12:31
Location: searching for the next al-qaida #3

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby putnanja » 26 Oct 2003 22:51

UAVs are an important asset too. We should go in more for nishant type vehicles for tactical survellience at lower altitudes, especially in the planes. Also, these assets need to be at the battalion commander level.
We should also have more armoured troop carriers like abhay, which is our bradlet vehicle :) Mobility is important, and the current shaktiman vehicles expose the soldiers to too much hostile fire. Also, these vehicles should be equipped with digital GPS with terrain maps, secure communications and be night vision capable. The commander should be able to monitor the number of vehicles in every sector and their status. And as Rudra said, close artillery support and air support is a must. I hope GOI goes in for atleast 1000 pieces of Bhim/SP artillery guns. Can the 155mm guns fire using GPS coordinates of a target?
Having GPS will allow pin pointing of enemy locations which can be taken out by air force.

Regarding this topic of GPS, if US decides to downgrade the GPS signals over the subcontinent in times of war, what is the fall back option?

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 26 Oct 2003 22:59

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
Ha! all 7.62mm diehards will be shot tomorrow.

nowhere in the world is anyone considering a return to 7.62mm , ete.
I have used both 7.62 and 5.56 in CI and combat. We converted to 7.62 as soon as we could in Kargil from AKs which we carried there.

The 7.62 is heavy and bulky. Of that there is no doubt. I prefer to CARRY a 5.56 but USE a 7.62 because the KILL effectiveness is more on long ranges. The external ballistics possibly because the ammunition is lightweight with less 'gunpowder' reduces its accuracy at long range. That is CRITICAL in combat. Maybe someone who is more conversant with armament tech can explain it better in sceinetific terms because there is yaw; I tried it in a layman way. Yet, I will concede that the trooper prefers a 5.56 because who the dickens wants to carry more weight.

In so far other armies are concerned, because the 5.56 has given problems to the troops in Afghanistan, there is a debate on. I beleive they are experimenting with something called 'green tip'. I am not aware what that is.

GPS is at the platoon level and it will be given to sections as it comes. Yet, we will not lose our map reading skills since that is a real saver. The other items are merely aids.

As far as GPS for arty is concerned the alitude at the OP end or the Gun end will be given. The maps too allow the same; may not be to that degree. However, what is important and critical is the altitude at the TARGRT end.

UAV is indeed required; though not as an infantry eqpt.

UCAV [combat capable UAV] like the one which killed the terrorist in Yemen is also a critical store that is reqd.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 4487
Joined: 26 Mar 2002 12:31
Location: searching for the next al-qaida #3

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby putnanja » 26 Oct 2003 23:49

GPS can give you altitude too, to a higher degree of precision. Also, there are gizmos available now using which you can get coordinates and altitude of the target too.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 27 Oct 2003 00:21

Ray, do you think use of optical day sights on rifles as opposed to old iron sights leads to better accuracy at long range?

do all INSAS now come with optical sights (I realize CQB COIN units tend to just pack them away)?

using optical sights, can a average IA infantryman
(not a trained sniper) steadily kill moving(running zig zag) or stationary targets at 250-300m using 3-shot bursts ? or just stationary targets ?

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 13
Joined: 07 Feb 2003 12:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby ptraj » 27 Oct 2003 04:33

Interesting article by Raja Menon. I've tried to ask the same question in other threads.

Key points:

1. "Dawood Ibrahim, along with Tiger Memon, Hafez Sayed, Sayed Salauddin and Azhar Masood have waged war on India for periods varying from six to ten years. Cross border terrorism is thirteen years old. All these terrorist leaders live openly in Pakistan and have had long and intimate contact with the ISI. Any such individual, in any other part of the world would have been extradited, eliminated or picked up and brought across the border by special forces. All that India has done to stop these individuals waging war against the state is to write Musharraf an occasional letter demanding that he ‘‘give them up’’. The revelations by the US that Dawood has Al-Qaeda links will result in one more letter. Why have the three services not accepted that their ‘‘enemy’’ today are primarily some individuals and not the Pakistan army or navy or air force? Because each of them is unclear as to whose ‘‘enemy’’ these individuals are."

2. "In the overall ambiguity of things, none of the three services has accepted these individuals as ‘‘their’’ enemy. So none of them has developed a single service capability to pick these enemies up nor will they see that the hardware necessary to do this job comes from their budget. This is a great tragedy for the country and the soldiers in J&K, who are constantly on the defensive against terrorism with no hope of there ever being an offensive. "

With Love frrom Bhai

The point I was was trying to make in other threads is: " Do T-90s (for example) or MBTs make a whole lot of sense when what is really required is a focus on who the enemy is and how they should be targeted. RM has articulated this concern.

Posts: 599
Joined: 28 May 2001 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Rudra » 27 Oct 2003 04:55

good article. some of what he says is finally being acted upon -- new items for SF units including night vision and comm gear. india wants more stuff from US , though I figure it shouldnt wait but procure from israel instead if not available locally. the Mi24/35s which can carry 8 SF troopers each are also being upg'ed to a night fighting ability.

ofcourse we really need Dhruv with night vision (say 50) assigned to NSG and SF units under new joint-SOF command to bring together NSG,paras,marocs, sff under one roof and share their capabilities ..allowing commanders to mix-n-match units per the mission. A small fleet of around 5-10 upg'ed AN32 could ferry them around on long missions. it could be HQ'ed at maneswar and detachments based elsewhere each with its own Dhruvs.

SF being small doesnt even need much funds to be
upg'ed upto NATO-tier1 std.

Posts: 425
Joined: 16 May 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Anoop » 27 Oct 2003 05:47

Ray Sahab,

An RMA that seeks to neutralize the nuclear force of the enemy in a pre-emptive strike seems pretty much wishful thinking for us. So then, how about making it a non-factor in combat? In other words, provocative and punitive measures applied to hurt but not enough to lead to full blown war.

We must focus on limiting the fighting to and winning small scale localized combat in a visible and politically humiliating (for the adversary) fashion without allowing him to expand the scope of the war. In the India-Pak context this would mean quick and effective degradation of Pak border posts in response to a terrorist attack, with the option of air strikes if fighting escalates. The ability to prevent a border land grab by being able to rush forces to the border or to be able to take more land in retaliation quickly is also necessary to be a deterrent.

Limiting the scope of war appears to be the combined job of the civilian and military leadership. Military exercises with close participation of civilian bureacracy and politicos may be helpful in controlling the ascent of the escalation ladder.

BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 27
Joined: 14 Jul 2002 11:31

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby Anaath » 27 Oct 2003 05:54

The very nature of these kinds of debates will ensure that we miss several angles and merely scratch the surface, but that is still better than nothing.


Rear Adm. Menon has been pointing out deficiencies in our Special Forces capabilities quite consistently in his columns over the years and most of his points are worth paying close attention to.

Specifically, he seems wed to implementing a USSOC type integrated command that controls SF elements and support units of all three services. The logic behind this is sound and we might have no choice but to institute such an arrangement.

But, in making his pitch for such a reorganisation, he omits the need to reassess our political doctrine for the employment of Special Forces. “Snatch and grab” ops of the type he recommends in the case of the Mumbai blasts accused have not found favour with our establishment for fear of initiating a vicious cycle of kidnapping and aggressive-arrests.

Neither Adm. Menon nor anyone else seems to have seriously dissected this policy or questioned its utility. GoI’s decision in 1990s to constitute a Multi-Agency Monitoring Centre to keep track of the accused (and do nothing more) in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case would make a fine example for study.

So it is more than a little unfair to lay the blame for the lack of a single-service snatch and grab capability at the door of the service chiefs. Not that there aren’t several other issues to study concerning foresight (or lack thereof) of the services leadership.


The 5.56 mm/ 7.62 mm debate is most fascinating. The logic behind the shift seems to be to injure the enemy combatant rather than to kill him, in order to damage enemy morale and to complicate his logistics.

However, we see RR and other COIN units showing a definite preference for the 7.62 mm calibre for reasons of stopping power (and consequently, self-preservation) as explained by Ray Saheb above.

In the “Monkey See, Monkey Do” department, we now know that the Russian Army is funding trials at IZHMASH for their An-94 Abakan, chambered for 7.62mm. It is believed that Stavka never really bought into the post-Vietnam changeover to 5.56 mm inspired by their American adversaries.

The major problem for us in India is this: We accepted the surrender of 93,000 PoWs, complete with their officers dropping side-arms to the ground with a flourish. 30 years later, they are back and with a vengeance. Not to be too Pakistan-centric, it is nobody’s guess that the PLA fears “morale problems and logistical difficulties” more than it fears old-fashioned attrition. And we know from their force-structure and human-wave tactics that they do not even fear old-fashioned attrition all that much.

We Indians are too politic to think like Gen. Patton did when he said “..we are gonna kill them lousy Hun sonsobitches by the bushel. Then we’re gonna use their guts to grease our tank tracks..” or words to that effect.

Perhaps we should. Then we will focus on getting weapons that kill people and win wars, pure and simple. Not weapons that merely injure and complicate logistics.


Finally, with regard to “getting out of the regimental mindset and seeing the big picture”, there is enough blame to go around between military and civilian leadership.

The fiasco of the Unified Command in J&K has ensured the complete lack of accountability in COIN ops whether one is evaluating General officers or Secretaries to GoI.



Whatever the Army does to effect a RMA, it is assumed that its actions will be guided by the need to win decisive victories against all adversaries.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby shiv » 27 Oct 2003 06:04

Originally posted by Ray:

That 'rusty' 7.62 that the Pak is carrying is more 'trusty' than the 5.56 since the amn yaws and tumbles, not so accurate and the 'kill' power is lower. So much so for the Small arms debate thats on the BRF.

Talking of bulletproof vest, there is an intersting side effect. A 7.62 hits you so hard that the 'shock' and the velocity stops your heart from beating and you are dead. However, this requires check.
It is quite possible to believe that a 7.62 mm bullet hitting someone's chest protected by a bulletproof vest wouuld feel like Tendulkat hitting a six, missing the ball and hitting your chest with the bat instead. Yes, that could stop your heart.

I find the 7.62 vs 5.56 mm debate interesting - especially coming from Ray because, obviously, the "perfect answer" is not yet known.

IIRC the 5.56 was mooted because
a)it maimed, rather than killed and it was assumed that a wounded man would occupy two colleagues to rescue him

b)The overall load carried was lighter.
The complaits against it are:

1)smaller range
2)Less accuracy

The Indian army has IIRC obtained its own solutions - with higher muzzle velocity and range - but I am not sure.

As a person who is forced to keep reading scientific journals and what reserchers tend to do, the first thought that comes to mind is:

a)7.62 good but bulky and heavy
b)5.56 light but less efective

Therefpre why not start developing 6.4 mm (or, to make it sound more confusing and pretend that some thought and planning is involved, 6.434 mm caliber) weapons which have more more hitting power than 5.56, but are lighter than 7.62.

I will not be surprised at all if this is the "solution" that is reached, and glossy brochures made to promote this new caliber of weapon.

BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby shiv » 27 Oct 2003 06:14

Are not all battles won by the following factosr (and perhaps others that I have missed out)?

1)Accurate knowledge of where the enemy is and what (weapons/forces) he has got to support him

2)The ability to concentrate massive firepower quickly in the area that it is needed most.

It may be "needed most" to achieve a breakthrough, it it may suddenly be "needed most" to thwart a Longewala type enemy push.

3) The ability to fight when the enemy cannot fight (night, bad weather) and where the enemy does not expect trouble - desert/mountain/waterway

So what is needed is:

1)Infornation gathering system: recce, UAV.

2)Information processing system: communication, men, software to build up a battlefield picture

3)Every "unit" must receive relevant information and coordinates. Every unit must have GPS and night vision

4)There must be great mobility, and great firepower. Firepower must be flexible and "upgradeable" - by the ability to direct heavy firepower quickly for short periods in which it is needed most. Perhaps the best "mobile artillery" are helicopters. More helos for the army

5)training for men in computer game arcades, so that they get accustomed to fighting with computer screens

Just some random thoughts.

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 27 Oct 2003 06:31


Thats exactly what we are doing. Rush in and stagger to a halt. We have to think of other options. Also, we have to think of beyond the seas and the mountains. It is going to cost money and so it should be a long term plan. What all should this plan encompass? Not merely the rifle. What else? And why? In so far as the nuke facilties and all that check out what types of satl are best for Command and Control, what are good for svl [surveillance], what are good for communications. How can we integrate all this with computers? Think of nano technologies. Think of composite materials.

In so far as the rifle is concerned I have asked a tech friend of mine to give me the external ballisitics of 5.56 vs 7.62. What Shiv is stating about the calibre 6 is precisely what is being debated abroad. Personally I think it is hype of the armament industry. If someone is in Pune, IAT Girinagar can help. This is no secret.

5.56 was adpoted for the very same reason what Shiv has written which I articulated earlier in some thread or the other.

What is really bothering is what Rakesh so aptly states as 'Monkey see, Monkey Do'mental make up.


Though not concerned with this thread, check out why the Canadians are abandoning medium and heavy tanks for light ones.

Much talk is on regarding the Stryker.

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 27 Oct 2003 12:50

Here is something for info.


Military rifle bullet wound patterns

by Martin L. Fackler
In addition to the full-metal-jacketed construction which makes them
"military" bullets, the pointed ogival "spitzer" tip shape is shared by
all modern military bullets. The obvious advantage of this streamlined
shape is decreased air drag, allowing the bullet to retain velocity better
for improved long-range performance. A modern military 7.62 mm bullet (with
all-lead core) will lose only about one-third of its muzzle velocity over
467 m; the same weight bullet with a round-nose shape loses more than one-half
of its velocity over the same distance.

More pertinent to the present discussion is this pointed shape's effect
on the bullet's yaw in tissue. The first full-metal-jacketed bullets (1885-1910)
were over four calibres long and round-nosed. Typical of this bullettype
are the 6.5 mm Carcano and the 30-40 Krag bullets; they penetrate tissue
simulant travelling point-forward for 50 cm or more before significant
yaw begins (Fackler, M.L., unpublished data, 1987). The very minimal wounding
effect produced by these early round-nosed jacketed bullets was remarked
upon by surgeons of the time (Kocher, Markins, Brunner, Abbott, LaGarde,
etc.). Even those soldiers with through-and-through chest wounds in which
the bullet missed the large vessels (but passed through the lung) would
be fit to rejoin their units in a few weeks.

The distance that the military-type bullet travels point-forward before
yawing is critical to wounding effects. The distance shown on the wound
profiles is the average distance at which this occurs. However, it is important
to recognise how much shot-to-shot variation from this average distance
can be expected. Taking the M16 wound profile (Fig. 6) as an example, it shows significant yaw starting at a 12cm penetration depth. Seven out of
ten shots can be expected to begin yaw within 26 % of this distance (between
nine and 16 cm penetration depth). This plus or minus 25 % rule is a useful
approximation that can be applied to the otherwound profiles. Let us apply
it to the 50 cm distance-to- yaw for the older bullets; whether the bullet
begins to yaw between 37 or 63 cm penetration distance does not effect
most wounds of the human body because, in the great majority of cases,
the total tissue path will be less than 37 cm.

Conversely, inconsistent effects have been noted in wounds caused by
the M16 and other modern military bullets. Considering the variation in
length of the possible tissue path through the human body, this "inconsistency"
of effect is to be expected. Beware! This variation can be used to dupe
the unsuspecting. A series of shots through a 14 or 15 cm block of tissue
simulant or the leg of a 25 kg animal can give enough variation so that,
by selective choice of exit wound photographs, one can "prove" any point
one wishes (such as one bullet being less "humane" than another). The author
hopes, that understanding this, will make the reader less likely prey to
this sort of deception.

Bullet mass and bullet striking velocity establish a bullet's potential;
they set the limit on the tissue disruption it can produce. Bullet shape
and construction determine how much of this potential is actually used
to disrupt tissue; they are the major determinants of bullet effect. Far
and away the most disruptive bullet of those described is the West German
7.62 NATO round. Its fragmenting behaviour maximises utilisation of its
much higher potential (bullet mass well over twice that of any of the 5.56mm
bullets and velocity only about ten percent less than theirs) for tissue

This author has not tested other European 7.62 NATO rounds, but the
"NATO standards" apparently allow bullet designers great latitude in the
choice of bullet jacket material and thickness. In 1979 a published high-speed
x-ray photograph showed the Swedish 7.62 equivalent to the 7.62 NATO bullet
breaking in a soap block shot at a range of 100m. Although bullet fragments
were not recovered and photographed (the importance of bullet fragmentation
in tissue disruption was not well recognised at the time), one must suspect
the same very disruptive behaviour from this bullet as from the West German
round. This is particularly ironic since the Swedish wound ballistics program
was using every means possible to discredit the M16 as "inhumane" while,
at the same time, Sweden was producing a 7.62 mm military bullet that caused
far more extensive wounds than the M16.

Whether we like to admit it or not, the primary purpose of military
rifle bullets is to disrupt human tissue. Yet the effects of bullets on
bodies - the characteristic tissue disruption patterns produced by various
bullets - remains unclear even to many of those who design and produce
bullets. Surgeons who are called upon to treat the damage bullets cause,
with few exceptions, lack practical knowledge of bullet effects. Attempts
to fill this information void with formulae, graphs, flawed experiments, invalid assumptions, and theories based on half-truth (or no truth at all)
have only increased confusion.

The obvious - simply measuring, recording and describing the disruption
produced by various calibres and bullet types - has largely been ignored
in favour of more dramatic and complex methodology. To illustrate the problem:
if a neighbour told you that a meteorite had fallen into his back yard,
wouldn't you ask him how deep and how large a hole it had made? If he replied that he had, on good authority, an estimation of the meteor's

striking velocity and the amount of kinetic energy it had "deposited"
and gave you both these figures, you might be impressed by the sophistication
of this information, but you still wouldn't know how big a hole he had
in his yard.

Roger Frost, in his cogent editorial "Bullet holes in theories" (IDR
8/1988 p.875) suggested that the various groups interested in gunshot wounds
need to "start to talk to one another". Let's add that the talk needs to
be in terms that can be understood by all - to inform rather than to impress.

In order to illustrate the penetrating projectile-body tissue interaction,
the "wound profile" method was developed. It is an attempt to present a
useful approximation of the pertinent, useful, factual data to clarify
bullet effects in a form that can be readily understood. The profiles depict
the maximum disruption that a given bullet can be expected to produce in
the elastic soft tissue of the living animal. The "permanent crush cavity"
indicated on the wound profiles is the "bullethole" produced by the projectile
crushing the tissue it strikes. The "temporary stress cavity" shows the
approximate extent to which the walls of this hole were stretched a few
milliseconds after bullet passage (entirely analogous to a splash in water).

Anyone who has ever seen a bullet hole recognises that in many cases
it is, in fact, more what might be called a potential hole; it need not
be gaping open. One can, however, easily pass a probe through it, as is
commonly done by forensic pathologists to establish the direction or angle
of the shot. How deeply the bullet penetrated and its attitude (yawed or
straight) and form (deformed or fragmented) as it penetrated. along with
the approximate distance the walls of the hole were stretched after the bullet passed (temporary cavity) - this is the crucial information needed
to understand the wounding mechanisms.

Figure 1. Fired bullets internal cross section from left:AK-47, AK-74,
5,56 x 45 NATO, 7,62 x 51 NATO.
To describe wounding patterns of the common military rifle bullets in
use today, wound profiles will, along with a description of the two characteristic
wounds for each bullet, be used. A simple abdominal wound, and an uncomplicated
(didn't hit bone or large vessels) human thigh wound caused by each bullet,
will be described to demonstrate how the material presented as wound profiles,
can be put to practical use. This should give the combat surgeon some idea
of what to expect. His descriptions of the wounds he actually treats, if
they differ significantly from the expected pattern, might be the first
indication of a change in enemy weapon or bullet type. Patterns of bullet
fragmentation as seen on x-ray, or even the tissue disruption pattern as observed in the body, can be compared with the series of wound profiles
to estimate the bullet type when the bullet has passed entirely through.

Current rifle bullets

Soviet 7.62x39mm - The Soviet AK-47 Kalashnikov fires a full-metal-jacketed,
boat-tail bullet that has a copper-plated steel jacket, a large steel core,
and some lead between the two. In tissue, this bullet typically travels
for about 26cm point-forward before beginning significant yaw. This author
observed, on many occasions, the damage pattern shown in Fig. 2 while treating battle casualties in Da Nang, Vietnam (1968). The typical path through
the abdomen caused minimal disruption; holes in organs were similar to
those caused by a non-hollow-point handgun bullet. The average uncomplicated
thigh wound was about what one would expect from a low-powered handgun:
a small, punctuate entrance and exit wound with minimal intervening muscle disruption.

Figure 2. AK-47, 7,62 x 39 mm FMJ, 713 m/s 7,8g
Yugoslav 7.62x39mm - The Yugoslav copper-jacketed, lead-core, flat-base
bullet, even when fired from the same Kalashnikov assault rifle, acts very
differently in tissue. It typically travels point-forward for only about
9cm before yawing. Due to the lead core, this bullet flattens somewhat
as it yaws, squeezing a few small lead fragments out at its open base,
but this does not add significantly to its wounding potential. Referring
to the wound profile of the Soviet AK-47 bullet (Fig. 2) and blotting out
the first 17cm of the projectile path will leave a good approximation of
what one might expect from this bullet.

Since this bullet would be travelling sideways through most of its path
in an abdominal wound, it would be expected to cut a swath over three times
the dimension made by the bullet travelling point forward. In addition
to the larger hole in organs from the sideways-travelling bullet, the tissue
surrounding the bullet path will be stretched considerably from temporary
cavitation. Actual damage from the stretch of cavitation can vary from
an almost explosive effect, widely splitting a solid organ such as the liver, or a hollow one such as the bladder if it is full at the time it
is hit, to almost no observable effect if the hollow organs (such as intestines)
when hit contain little liquid and/or air. The exit wound may be punctate
or oblong, depending on the bullet's orientation as it struck the abdominal
wall at the exit point. The exit wound could be stellate if sufficient
wounding potential remains at this point on the bullet path. The thigh
entrance wound will be small and punctate but the exit wound will probably
be stellate, measuring up to 11 cm from the tips of opposing splits. The
stellate exit wound results from the temporary cavity simply stretching
the skin beyond its breaking point. These stellate wounds generally bleed
very little. Small-to medium-sized vessels are certainly cut or torn, but
the temporary

cavity tearing action generally stimulates the tiny muscles in the
vessel walls to constrict and clots will form in their open ends, limiting
blood loss. Being wide open, these wounds tend to drain and heal amazingly
well even in situations of limited surgical resources. This increased tissue
disruption of the leg will, of course, temporarily limit the mobility of
the person hit to a greater extent than wounds causing less tissue disruption.

Soviet 5.45x39mm - This is fired from the AK-74, which is the Soviet
contribution to the new generation of smaller-calibre assault rifles and
which produces the wound profile seen in Fig. 3. The full metal-jacketed
bullet designed for this weapon has a copper-plated steel jacket and a
largely steel core, as does the bullet of its predecessor, the AK-47. A
unique design feature of the AK-74, however, is an air-space (about 5mm
long) inside the jacket at the bullet's tip (Fig 1). The speculation that
this air-space would cause bullet deformation and fragmentation on impact
proved to be unfounded, but the air-space does serve to shift the builet's
centre of mass toward the rear, possibly contributing to its very early
yaw. In addition, on bullet impact with tissue, the lead just behind the
air-space shifts forward into this space. This shift of lead occurs asymmetrically
and may be one reason for the peculiar curvature of this bullet's path
in the last half of its path through tissue (Fig 3). Only in a shot with
a long tissue path, like an oblique shot through the torso, would this
curved path be evident; it doesn't really add anything to wounding capacity,
but might cause an occasional confusing path through tissue. This bullet
yaws after only about 7cm of tissue penetration, assuring an increased
temporary cavity stretch disruption in a higher percentage of extremity
hits; other bullets need more tissue depth to yaw and in many cases cause
only minimal disruption on extremity hits.

Figure 3. AK-74 5,45 x 39 mm FMJ 935 m/s 3,4 g
The abdomen and thigh wounds expected from this bullet would be essentially
the same as those described above for the Yugoslav variation of the AK-47

All pointed bullets that do not deform end their tissue path travelling
base first, since this puts their centre of mass forward; this is their
stable attitude. The rotation imparted to the bullet by the rifled gun
barrel is sufficient to force the bullet to travel point-forward in air
(in properly designed weapons), but not in tissue where such factors as
bullet shape and the location of centre of mass far outweigh rotation effects.
The bi-lobed yaw patterns shown in the profiles of the AK-47 and the AK-74 represent what is seen in most shots. Sometimes the bullet yaws to 180°,
or the base-forward position, in one cycle. These variations, along with
the curvature in bullet path at or near the end of tissue path, are of
far less importance than the distance the bullet travels point-forward
before significant yaw begins.

US M193 5.56x45mm - This bullet is fired from the US armed forces' first-generation
smaller-calibre rifle, the M16A1. The large permanent cavity it produces,
shown in the wound profile (Fig. 4), was observed by surgeons who served
in Vietnam, but the tissue disruption mechanism responsible was not clear
until the importance of bullet fragmentation as a cause of tissue disruption
was worked out and described. As shown on the wound profile, this full-metal-jacketed
bullet travels point-forward in tissue for about 12cm after which it yaws
to 90°, flattens, and breaks at the cannelure (groove around bullet
midsection into which the cartridge neck is crimped). The bullet point
flattens but remains in one piece, retaining about 60 per cent of the original
bullet weight. The rear portion breaks into many fragments that penetrate
up to 7cm radially from the bullet path. The temporary cavity stretch,
its effect increased by perforation and weakening of the tissue by fragments,
then causes a much

enlarged permanent cavity by detaching tissue pieces. The degree of
bullet fragmentation decreases with increased shooting distance (as striking
velocity decreases), as shown in Fig. 5. At a shooting distance over about
100m the bullet breaks at the cannelure, forming two large fragments and,
at over 200m, it no longer breaks, although it continues to flatten somewhat,
until 400m. This consistent change in deformation/fragmentation pattern
has an important forensic application. It can be used to estimate shooting
distance if the bullet is recovered in the body and has penetrated only
soft tissue.

Figure 4. M193 5,56 x 45 mm FMJ NATO, 943 m/s 3,6 g initial mass, 2,3
g final weight, 36% fragmentation
The effects of this bullet in the abdomen shot will show the temporary
cavity effects as described for the Yugoslav AK-47 and, in addition, there
will be an increased tissue disruption from the synergistic effect of temporary
cavitation acting on tissue that has been weakened by bullet fragmentation.
Instead of finding a hole consistent with the size of the bullet in hollow
organs such as the intestine, we typically find a hole left by missing
tissue of up to 7cm in diameter (see permanent cavity in Fig. 4). The thigh entrance wound will be small and punctuate. The first part of the tissue
path will show minimal disruption. The exit will vary from the small punctuate
hole described for the Soviet AK-47 to the stellate exit described for
the Yugoslav AK-47, depending on how thick the thigh is where the bullet
perforates it. In a sufficiently thick thigh, the M193 bullet fragmentation
is also likely to cause a significant loss of tissue and possibly one or
more small exit wounds near the large stellate one.



Figure 5. NATO M855 / SS109 5,6 x 45mm
Lutz Möller: Dear Reader, Here I put you little Jampressurecalculator,
so you can by yourself recon the Jampressure at the Bullettip. From Fluiddynamic
one knows the Jampressuereformula ps = ½ * rho*v².
See by yourself which fairytalelike high pressures result upon impact.
Fill in some Speeds in m/s. When you then hit the "recon"-button, I (true:
your JavaScript) calculates the pressure

Speed: m/s Pressure: bar 
The Brakeforce results from effective Pressure over the Area. As the
full Jampressure only applies on the Bullettop, from there dimishes to
the side and finally lifts off to Zero, leaving a pressureless Cavity,
one marks a bullet with a Drag Cofficient Cd, so F = -Cd * A * ½
* rho * v²

Fackler continued

The slightly heavier and longer American M855 bullet shot from the M16A2
assault rifle is replacing the M193 bullet shot from the M16A1 as the standard
bullet of the US armed forces. FN Herstal originally developed this bullet
type (which has a steel "penetrator" as the forward part of its core -
Fig. 1) designating its bullet the SS109. The wound profile (Fig. 6) is
very similar to that produced by the M 193 bullet. Although the SS109 and
the M866 are not the same bullet, their differences are small and one almost
needs a magnifying glass and a side-by-side comparison to differentiate
the two. There is little difference in their performance in tissue.

The abdominal and the thigh wound produced by the M856 or the SS109
bullets would be essentially the same as those described above for the
M16A1 M193 bullet.

Figure 6. M856 5,56 x 45 mm FMJ 925 m/s initial mass 4 g, final mass
2 g, 50% fragmentation
The longer 5.56mm bullets (M866, SS109) need a higher rotational velocity
to maintain stabilisation in air. FN claimed that this faster rotation
also causes the SS109 to have a significantly longer path in tissue before
marked yaw occurs, thus producing wounds of less severity. This is simply
untrue (compare Fig. 6 with Fig. 6). Additional rotation beyond that needed
to keep the bullet straight in air appears to have little or no effect
on the projectile's behaviour in tissue. However, there is a situation concerning rotation rates whereby these longer 5.66mm bullets can cause
increased wound severity. Shooting the SS109 or M865 bullet in the older
M16A1 rifle barrel (they are not intended for use in this 1-in- 12 in twist
barrel, but in the newer M 16A2 1-in-7in twist) produces a bullet spin
rate insufficient to stabilise the longer bullets. Such a bullet will yaw
up to 70° in its path through air. Striking at this high yaw angle
(essentially travelling sideways), these bullets break on contact and the
marked fragmentation, acting in synergy with the temporary cavity stretch,
causes a large (over 15cm) stellate wound with the loss of considerable
tissue (Fackler, M.L., unpublished data, 1988).

Figure 7. American 7,62x51 NATO FMJ, 862 m/s, 9,7g
NATO 7.62x51mm FMJ (US version) - This full-metal-jacketed military
bullets wound profile (Fig. 7) shows the characteristic behaviour in tissue
observed in all non-deforming pointed bullets. It yaws first through 90°
and then, after reaching the base-forward position continues the rest of
its path with little or no yaw.

The uncomplicated thigh wound might show very minimal tissue disruption
since the streamlined bullet tends to travel point forward during the first
16cm of its tissue path. The abdominal wound, with a sufficiently long
path so that the bullet will yaw, causing the large temporary cavity that
is seen at depths of 20 to 35cm, would be expected to be very disruptive.
If the bullet path is such that this temporary cavity occurs in the liver,
this amount of tissue disruption is likely to make survival improbable.

Figure 8. German 7.62 x 51 mm FMJ NATO left, same american right
The design standards for ammunition that can be called "NATO" ammunition
do not specify bullet jacket material or jacket thickness. The construction
of the West German 7.62 mm NATO bullet differs from the US 7.62 mm NATO
round in that, the jacket material is copper plated steel, whereas the
US version is copper (or the so called gilding metal alloy, which is predominantly
copper). The West German steel jacket is about 0.6mm thick near the cannelure
and the US copper jacket is about 0.8mm thick at the same point. This design
difference is responsible for a vast difference in performance in tissue.
The German bullet, after travelling point-forward for only about 8 cm,
yaws and breaks at the cannelure. The flattened point section retains only
about 66 % of the bullet's weight, the remaining 45 % mass becomes fragments
(Fig. 8). The wound profile can be described as an enlarged M16 profile
(Fig. 3), with dimensions of the tissue disruption increased by 60 % (temporary
stress cavity about 22 cm diameter; permanent crush cavity about 11 cm
diameter, penetration depth of the bullet point about 58 cm). The uncomplicated
thigh wound from this bullet is likely to have a large exit with the loss
of substantial tissue near the exit; still, this might not be a very serious
wound since the bullet fragmentation does not occur until beyond 10 cm
penetration depth and, in most shots, the bullet will have passed well
beyond the major vessels before this occurs. The abdomen shot, however, because of the much enlarged permanent cavity from bullet fragmentation,
is likely to prove fatal in a majority of cases.

Sovjet and Chinese 7.62 x 54 mm R (Rimmed case) - This bullet, although
not nearly as common as the AK-47 or the others discussed above, is included
because it is currently used in the Dragunov sniper rifle and the Communist
bloc light machine-guns. Also, since it was the standard Soviet military
round in WW1 and WW2 (in the bolt-action Mosin-Nagant), it might well be
found in considerable numbers in some Third World countries. The bullet
weighs 9,6 g; the base is hollowed out with a cone-shaped cavity - 5 mm
deep for the Sovjet, 3 mm deep for the Chinese). The Sovjet bullet has
a copper-plated steel jacket and the Chinese one has a jacket of what appears
to be brass. The muzzle velocity is about 853 m/s and the wound profile
closely resembles that of the 7.62 mm NATO (US version). Thigh and abdominal
shots thus would be as described above for the US 7.62 mm NATO bullet.

Martin Fackler

Betreff:        [HK-L] Re: Fragmenting

 Datum:       Thu, 20 Jan 2000 21:49:37

   Von:        "Michael
Bonomo" <>

    An:        Chuck
Santose <>


Hi Chuck,

I'm afraid I don't share the admiration for the 55 grain M16 at any range
beyond 100 meters. Too many first hand close-up-and-personal experiences
in rather muddy jungle areas where they didn't get the job done for me
to trust them at more than 100 meters. And even then I've seen the 55 grain
do no more damage than a .22 rifle in some cases. What a .223 is SUPPOSED
to do and what it does in real life are two different things. Ever wonder
why they put 3-shot burst devices on many of the newer weapons? A
wasn't just to conserve ammo. I'd much rather score a single solid torso
hit with a 7.62NATO (with an H&K G3 of course;) than a multiple hit
with a varmit cartridge. While I agree that "wonder bullets" like the Glaser,
etc., are not ultimate killers...they DO have applications. As in airplanes
where you don't want any misses blowing out your cabin pressure at 20,000
feet. However, I am VERY reluctant to trust laboratories for finding the
ideal cartridge for street use. I don't give a dang if they spend the whole
budget surplus (if there still is one) to reach their findings. Labs can
NOT duplicate street situations or military combat scenarios.

Better check that effective range info for the SS109. I think it is
superior to the M193 and not inferior.


> Date sent:           
Thu, 20 Jan 2000 10:59:32 -0500

> From:                
Chuck Santose <>

> Subject:             
Fragmenting Bullets

> To:                  
Michael Bonomo <>,


> Mike --

> The M16 bullet (actually M193 Ball and M855 Ball) is extremely effective
to roughly 170 meters beyond which the bullet is unlikely to fragment and
cause the giant wounds these rifles are famous for.  This is why military
ball ammo causes larger wounds than JHPs from THIS rifle at THESE ranges.
(M16-type carbines have less MV and less real effective range.  The darling 10" "CAR-15" bbls used by Delta operators in Somalia proved very

> [M855 Ball -- the newer 62gr steel cored bullet -- has a shorter effective
range than older M193 Ball because it starts off almost 200 > fps slower.]

> Fragmentation of M16 military ball ruptures the walls of the giant
temporary cavity caused by the high velocity bullet turning it into a 
very large permanent wound cavity.  This cavity is located DEEP within
the target where it has great potential of damaging vital organs.

> Pistol bullets don't move fast enough to cause temporary cavities
of any significance and none shred it with fragments.

> Bozo Bullets like MagSafes, Glasers, Tritons are designed to fragment. 
So what?  There's no temporary cavity to rip apart.  These bullets
rarely penetrate deep enough to have any potential of reaching vital organs. 
They can cause large shallow wounds which are much less likely to incapacitate
an attacker than deeper wounds.  These bullets are effective in fragmentation. They are ineffective in incapacitation.

> Laboratories like those at the FBI and California Highway Patrol have
spent a lot of our tax dollars determining the most effective cartridges
for pistols of all calibers.  Their criteria is based on what it takes
to incapacitate a determined attacker in a gun fight.

Why anyone would choose a lesser bullet (like MagSafe, Glaser, or Triton)
is a mystery to me!

> -- Chuck

The HK List is sponsored by Street Smart Professional Equipment. For
the finest in public safety equipment and tactical gear, For list instructions

Peter G. Kokalis, Editor of Fighting Firearms Magazine from

Both the AWP and AW CFI Limited Edition rifles chamber throats optimized
for the Federal 308M cartridge that features the superbly accurate Sierra
168-grain BTHP Matchking bullet. Developed for 300-meter shooting in international
matches, this remarkable Boat-Tail Hollow-Point bullet has been winning
competitions ever since it was introduced in 1959. It was used by the gold-medal
winner in the 1968 Olympics and set a new Wimbledon record at 200-15 Xs
in 1983 at Camp Perry. With Federal 308M I have shot 0.25 MOA at 200 yards
and 0.5 MOA at 300 yards with the AW CFI Limited Edition rifle equipped
with the AWC Thundertrap sound suppressor. It just doesn't get any better
than this. The Sierra 168-grain BTHP Matchking bullet remains far and away
the most popular bullet among law-enforcement selected marksmen in the
United States. But, is it really the best choice from a wound ballistics'


The hollow-point cavity in this competition target bullet does not guarantee
the type of consistent, early expansion exhibited by hollow points and
soft points designed for use on living-tissue targets. Research recently
conducted by Lucien C. Haag and reported in the Wound Ballistics Review
(Vol. 2, No. 2), the journal of the International Wound Ballistics Association,
revealed that these bullets frequently fail to expand in tissue simulant
even after as much as 6 inches of penetration and with close range impact
velocities. Dr. Martin L. Fackler, in the same issue of the journal, reported
that these bullets will commonly break up after 7 inches of penetration.
His experiments indicated that when the cavity was increased in diameter
to 0.055 inch by a drill, reliable expansion was obtained after penetrating
less than one inch of 10% gelatin or muscle. Recent controlled testing
has demonstrated that this alteration degrades accuracy

by no more than 0.1 MOA - an insignificant amount. Winchester is reportedly
in the process of developing their own bullet for law-enforcement use that
will provide both match-grade accuracy and reliable performance in tissue.



Sniper Use of Open-Tip Ammunition
Submitted by Don Bain


1. Summary.

This memorandum considers whether United States Army Snipers may employ
match-grade, "open-tip" ammunition in combat or other special missions.
It concludes that such ammunition does not violate the law of war obligations
of the United States, and may be employed in peacetime or wartime missions
of the Army.

2. Background.

For more than a decade two bullets have been available for use by the
United States Army Marksmanship Unit in match competition in its 7.62mm
rifles. The M118 is a 173-grain match grade full metal jacket boat tail,
ogival spitzer tip bullet, while the M852 is the Sierra MatchKing 168-grain
match grade boat tail, ogival spitzer tip bullet with an open tip. Although
the accuracy of the M118 has been reasonably good, though at times erratic,
independent bullet comparisons by the Army, Marine Corps, and National
Guard marksmanship training units have established unequivocally the superior
accuracy of the M852. Army tests noted a 36% improvement in accuracy with
the M852 at 300 meters, and a 32% improvement at 600 yds; Marine Corps
figures were twenty-eight percent accuracy improvement at 300 m, and 20%
at 600yds. The National Guard determined that the M852 provided better
bullet groups at 200 and 600 yards under all conditions than did the M118.
(citation omitted.)

The 168-grain MatchKing was designed in the late 1950's for 300 m. shooting
in international rifle matches. In its competitive debut, it was used by
the 1st place winner at the 1959 Pan American Games. In the same caliber
but in its various bullet lengths, the MatchKing has set a number of international
records. To a range of 600 m., the superiority of the accuracy of the M852
cannot be matched, and led to the decision by U.S. military marksmanship
training units to use the M852 in competition.
A 1980 opinion of this office concluded that use of the M852 in match
competition would not violate law of war obligations of the United States.
(citation omitted) Further tests and actual competition over the past decade
have confirmed the superiority of the M852 over the M118 and other match
grade bullets. For example, at the national matches held at Camp Perry,
OH in 1983, a new Wimbledon record of 2--015 X's was set using the 168-gr.
MatchKing. This level of performance lead to the question of whether the
M852 could be used by military snipers in peacetime or wartime missions
of the Army.

During the period in which this review was conducted, the 180-gr. MatchKing
(for which there is no military designation) also was tested with a view
to increased accuracy over the M852 at very long ranges. Because two bullet
weights were under consideration, the term "MatchKing" will be used hereinafter
to refer to the generic design rather than to a bullet of a particular weight. The fundamental question to be addressed by this review is whether
an open-tip bullet of MatchKing design may be used in combat.

3. Legal Factors.

The principal provision relating to the legality of weapons is contained
in Art. 23e of the Annex to Hague Convention IV Respecting the Laws and
Customs of War on Land of 18 October 1907, which prohibits the employment
of "arms, projectiles, or material of a nature to cause superfluous injury".
In some law of war treatises, the term "unnecessary suffering" is used
rather than "superfluous injury." The terms are regarded as synonymous.
To emphasize this, Art. 35, para. 2 of the 1977 Protocol I Additional to
the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, states in part that "It is prohibited
to employ weapons [and] projectiles . . . of a nature to cause superfluous
injury or unnecessary suffering." Although the U.S. has made the formal
decision that for military, political, and humanitarian reasons it will
not become a party to Protocol I, U.S. officials have taken the position
that the language of Art. 35(2) of Protocol I as quoted is a codification
of customary international law, and therefore binding upon all nations.

The terms "unnecessary suffering" and "superfluous injury" have not
been formally defined within international law. In determining whether
a weapon or projectile causes unnecessary suffering, a balancing test is
applied between the force dictated by military necessity to achieve a legitimate
objective vis-à-vis suffering that may be considered superfluous
to achievement of that intended objective. The test is not easily applied.
For this reason, the degree of "superfluous" injury must be clearly disproportionate
to the intended objectives for development and employment of the weapon,
that is, it must outweigh substantially the military necessity for the
weapon system or projectile.

The fact that a weapon causes suffering does not lead to the conclusion
that the weapon causes unnecessary suffering, or is illegal per se. Military
necessity dictates that weapons of war lead to death, injury, and destruction;
the act of combatants killing or wounding enemy combatants in combat is
a legitimate act under the law of war. In this regard, there is an incongruity
in the law of war in that while it is legally permissible to kill an enemy
combatant, incapacitation must not result inevitably in unnecessary suffering.
What is prohibited is the design (or modification) and employment of a
weapon for the purpose of increasing or causing suffering beyond that required
by military necessity. In conducting the balancing test necessary to determine
a weapon's legality, the effects of a weapon cannot be viewed in isolation.
They must be examined against comparable weapons in use on the modern battlefield,
and the military necessity for the weapon or projectile under consideration.

In addition to the basic prohibition on unnecessary suffering contained
in Art. 23e of the 1907 Hague IV, one other treaty is germane to this review.
The Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets of 29 July 1899 prohibits
the use in international armed conflict:

". . . of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body,
such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the
core or is pierced with incisions."

The U.S. is not a party to this treaty, but U.S. officials over the
years have taken the position that the armed forces of the U.S. will adhere
to its terms to the extent that its application is consistent with the
object and purpose of Art. 23e of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV,
quoted above.

It is within the context of these two treaties that questions regarding
the legality of the employment of the MatchKing "open tip" bullet must
be considered.

4. Bullet Description.

As previously described, the MatchKing is a boat tail, ogival spitzer
tip bullet with open tip. The "open tip" is a shallow aperture (approximately
the diameter of the wire in a standard size straight pin or paper clip)
in the nose of the bullet. While sometimes described as a "hollow point,"
this is a mischaracterization in law of war terms. Generally a "hollow
point" bullet is thought of in terms of its ability to expand on impact
with soft tissue. Physical examination of the MatchKing "open tip" bullet
reveals that its opening is extremely small in comparison to the aperture
in comparable hollow point hunting bullets; for example, the 165-grain GameKing is a true hollow point boat tail bullet with an aperture substantially
greater than the MatchKing, and skiving (serrations cut into the jacket)
to insure expansion. In the MatchKing, the open tip is closed as much as
possible to provide better aerodynamics, and contains no skiving. The lead
core of the MatchKing bullet is entirely covered by the bullet jacket. While the GameKing bullet is designed to bring the ballistic advantages
of a match bullet to long range hunting, the manufacturer expressly recommends
against the use of the MatchKing for hunting game of any size because it
does not have the expansion characteristics of a hunting bullet.

The purpose of the small, shallow aperture in the MatchKing is to provide
a bullet design offering maximum accuracy at very long ranges, rolling
the jacket of the bullet around its core from base to tip; standard military
bullets and other match bullets roll the jacket around its core from tip
to base, leaving an exposed lead core at its base. Design purpose of the
MatchKing was not to produce a bullet that would expand or flatten easily
on impact with the human body, or otherwise cause wounds greater than those
caused by standard military small arms ammunition.

5. MatchKing performance.

Other than its superior long range marksmanship capabilities, the MatchKing
was examined with regard to its performance on impact with the human body
or in artificial material that approximates human soft tissue. It was determined
that the bullet will break up or fragment in some cases at some point following
entry into soft tissue. Whether fragmentation occurs will depend upon a
myriad of variables, to include range to the target, velocity at the time
of impact, degree of yaw of the bullet at the point of impact, or the distance
traveled point-first within the body before yaw is induced. The MatchKing
has not been designed to yaw intentionally or to break up on impact. These
characteristics are common to all military rifle bullets. There was little discernible difference in bullet fragmentation between the MatchKing and
other military small arms bullets, with some military ball ammunition of
foreign manufacture tending to fragment sooner in human tissue or to a
greater degree, resulting in wounds that would be more severe than those
caused by the MatchKing. [FNaaa1]

Because of concern over the potential mischaracterization of the M852
as a "hollow point" bullet that might violate the purpose and intent of
the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets, some M852 MatchKing
bullets were modified to close the aperture. The "closed tip" MatchKing
did not measure up to the accuracy of the "open tip" MatchKing.

Other match grade bullets were tested. While some could approach the
accuracy standards of the MatchKing in some lots, quality control was uneven,
leading to erratic results. No other match grade bullet consistently could
meet the accuracy of the open-tip bullet.

6. Law of War Application.

From both a legal and medical standpoint, the lethality or incapacitation
effects of a particular small-caliber projectile must be measured against
comparable projectiles in service. In the military small arms field, "small
caliber" generally includes all rifle projectiles up to and including .60
caliber (15mm). For the purposes of this review, however, comparison will
be limited to small-caliber ammunition in the range of 5.45mm to 7.62mm,
that is, that currently in use in assault or sniper rifles by the military services of most nations.

Wound ballistic research over the past fifteen years has determined
that the prohibition contained in the 1899 Hague Declaration is of minimal
to no value, inasmuch as virtually all jacketed military bullets employed
since 1899 with pointed ogival spitzer tip shape have a tendency to fragment
on impact with soft tissue, harder organs, bone or the clothing and/or
equipment worn by the individual soldier.

The pointed ogival spitzer tip, shared by all modern military bullets,
reflects the balancing by nations of the criteria of military necessity
and unnecessary suffering: its streamlined shape decreases air drag, allowing
the bullet to retain velocity better for improved long-range performance;
a modern military 7.62mm bullet will lose only about one-third of its muzzle
velocity over 500 yards, while the same weight bullet with a round-nose
shape will lose more than one-half of its velocity over the same distance.
Yet the pointed ogival spitzer tip shape also leads to greater bullet breakup,
and potentially greater injury to the soldier by such a bullet vis-à-vis
a round-nose full- metal jacketed bullet. (See Dr. M. L. Fackler, "Wounding
Patterns for Military Rifle Bullets," International Defense Review, January
1989, pp. 56-64, at 63.)

Weighing the increased performance of the pointed ogival spitzer tip
bullet against the increased injury its breakup may bring, the nations
of the world-- through almost a century of practice--have concluded that
the need for the former outweighs concern for the latter, and does not
result in unnecessary suffering as prohibited by the 1899 Hague Declaration
Concerning Expanding Bullets or article 23e of the 1907 Hague Convention
IV. The 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets remains valid
for expression of the principle that a nation may not employ a bullet that
expands easily on impact for the purpose of unnecessarily aggravating the
wound inflicted upon an enemy soldier. Such a bullet also would be prohibited
by article 23e of the 1907 Hague IV, however. Another concept fundamental
to the law of war is the principle of discrimination, that is, utilization
of means or methods that distinguish to the extent possible legitimate
targets, such as enemy soldiers, from noncombatants, whether enemy wounded
and sick, medical personnel, or innocent civilians. The highly trained
military sniper with his special rifle and match grade ammunition epitomizes
the principle of discrimination. In combat, most targets are covered or
obscured, move unpredictably, and as a consequence are exposed to hostile
fire for limited periods of time. When coupled with the level of marksmanship
training provided the average soldier and the stress of combat, a soldier's
aiming errors are large and hit probability is correspondingly low. While
the M16A2 rifle currently used by the United States Army and Marine Corps is capable of acceptable accuracy out to six hundred meters, the probability
of an average soldier hitting an enemy soldier at three hundred meters
is ten percent.

Statistics from past wars suggest that this probability figure may be
optimistic. In Would War II, the United States and its allies expended
25,000 rounds of ammunition to kill a single enemy soldier. In the Korean
War, the ammunition expenditure had increased four-fold to 100,000 rounds
per soldier; in the Vietnam War, that figure had doubled to 200,000 rounds
of ammunition for the death of a single enemy soldier. The risk to noncombatants
is apparent.

In contrast, United States Army and Marine Corps snipers in the Vietnam
War expended 1.3 rounds of ammunition for each claimed and verified kill,
at an average range of six hundred yards, or almost twice the three hundred
meters cited above for combat engagements by the average soldier. Some
verified kills were at ranges in excess of 1000 yards. This represents discrimination and military efficiency of the highest order, as well as
minimization of risk to noncombatants. Utilization of a bullet that increases
accuracy, such as the MatchKing, would further diminish the risk to noncombatants.

7. Conclusion.

The purpose of the 7.62mm "open-tip" MatchKing bullet is to provide
maximum accuracy at very long range. Like most 5.56mm and 7.62mm military
ball bullets, it may fragment upon striking its target, although the probability
of its fragmentation is not as great as some military ball bullets currently
in use by some nations. Bullet fragmentation is not a design characteristic, however, nor a purpose for use of the MatchKing by United State Army snipers.
Wounds caused by MatchKing ammunition are similar to those caused by a
fully jacketed military ball bullet, which is legal under the law of war,
when compared at the same ranges and under the same conditions. The military
necessity for its use-- its ability to offer maximum accuracy at very long
ranges--is complemented by the high degree of discriminate fire it offers
in the hands of a trained sniper. It not only meets, but exceeds, the law
of war obligations of the United States for use in combat.

This opinion has been coordinated with the Department of State, Army
General Counsel, and the Offices of the Judge Advocates General of the
Navy and Air Force, who concur with its contents and conclusions.

An opinion that reaches the same conclusion has been issued simultaneously
for the Navy and Marine Corps by The Judge Advocate General of the Navy.

FNa1. The M118 bullet is loaded into a 7.62mm (caliber .308) cartridge.
In its original loading in the earlier .30-06 cartridge, it was the M72.

FNaa1. While this review is written in the context of the M852 Sierra
MatchKing 168-grain "open-tip" bullet and a 180-grain version, the MatchKing
bullet (and similar bullets of other manufacturers) is also produced in
other bullet weights of 7.62mm rifles (.308, .30-06, or .300 Winchester

FNaaa1. For example, 7.62mm bullets manufactured to NATO military specifications
and used by the Federal Republic of Germany have a substantially greater
tendency to fragment in soft tissue than do the U.S. M80 7.62mm ammunition
made to the same specifications, the M118, or the M852 MatchKing. None
fragment as quickly or easily upon entry into soft tissue as the 5.56mm
ammunition manufactured to NATO standards and issued to its forces by the
Government of Sweden. Its early fragmentation leads to far more severe
wounds than any bullet manufactured to military specifications and utilized
by the U.S. military during the past quarter century (whether the M80 7.62mm,
the M16A1, M193 or M16A2 5.56mm) or the opentip MatchKing bullet under


BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 54
Joined: 12 Nov 1999 12:31
Location: ndelhi

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby ehsmang » 27 Oct 2003 13:51

Hey, this was supposed to be a thread on RMA and not on Rifles & bullets ??!!!

I liked the thoughts of YI Patel about Signals taking its rightful place "..... own padestels in the military pantheon".

After talking to a few persons in the business recetnly, I think this is one of our greatest weakness. The level of IT awarenes and everything that goes with it is very very rudimentary in the services. A person knowing Powerpoint & Excel is treated as the unit's geek!!!

Soldiers saying " Saheb ye kya naya meter le aaya ho. Pehle se jo sikha hai usme kay buraai hai"!!!!

I was incidentally talking to a gent who was of the opinion key to RMA is Network Centric Warfare (NCW). As a vague analogy a network tries to share and optimise resources. Similar a NCW approach tries to share and optimise warfighting resources ( be it a 7.62mm or 5.56 mm rifle, be it a 155 mm or 105 mm gun, the UAV;s, etc etc....). The challenge is how to integrate war making stuff. It is not so much about which calibre of rifle as it is how to optimise the assets ( of course bettter assets will provide more punch).

And it is for this reason that YI Patel's thought on Signals is interesting. The Signals has tradiionally provided the brains and their sophistication will determine how much we go the RMA way.

( There is a very good article on NCW in one of the McKenzie Quaterly of 2003. Let me see if I can get hold of it)

BRF Oldie
Posts: 34982
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30
Location: Pindliyon ka Gooda

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby shiv » 27 Oct 2003 15:54

Ray - you have posted an interesting, if long article. But it does not say anything about the 7.62/5.56 debate. It only supports a particular 7.62 mm sniper bullt of the US Army as far as I can tell.

It does appear that the 7.62/5.56 tradeoff menas that the 5.56 equipped soldier has to be closer to the enemy to do proportionate damage. But the lighter weight menas that the soldier could, in theory, be equpiied to carry things that offset that disadvantage. Is this a "false impression" and mindless argument I am making or could there be substance in it?

For example, could a soldier who carries 4 Kg less in terms of a rifle and ammunition then be given better armor, and a low light vision decice/telescopic sight or useful comm equipment of some sort? Are there many battle situations when a longer ranging rifle is better than any extra body armor/vision device?

Posts: 114
Joined: 06 Aug 2000 11:31
Location: calcutta, west bengal, india

Re: Indian Army - Revolution in Military Affairs

Postby debjani » 27 Oct 2003 16:06

This bullet bit was for you Shiv so that you could give us the medical side of the issue.

This is on RMA and not on bullets actually. While many would also understand strategy and tactics, I was banking on the technological types like the point raised about Network Centric Warfare. That itself is a

RMA is too wide a subject and hence I thought it was worth some stray thoughts from everyone's side so that things emerge and then we can come to a logical conclusion.

Frankly, I cn't answer the controversy of 5.56 and 7.62. Each has the advantages and disadvantages. What is important is that we don't flip flop and waste money.

I will soon post an srticle from PINNACLE on RMA but I would like the debate on and lets get all sorts of opinions ideas and what have you and not preempt the show.

Only when there is a free for all brainstorming can better results be arrived at. There are so many specialists in this forum and I am sure they can add their views on their subject. Thats what I feel but many would rather have a tight rein.

Return to “Strategic & Security Issues Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests