Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

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Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rakesh » 02 Mar 2004 21:55

Please post all relevant discussion pertaining to Exercise Divya Astra in this thread. Looking forward to reading views from Y I Patel et al.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Y I Patel » 02 Mar 2004 22:00

Thank you Rakesh. For starters, here are a few posts from the Army thread....

Posted by Y I Patel (Member # 281) on 02 March 2004, 08:52 AM:

Remember how Paddy said in an interview how he would like the "holding" corps to do some of the work of the strike corps? A logical formation to start bringing about those changes is 10 Corps, which already has two RAPIDS divs. It is positioned across RYK, and has the advantage of location. By adding an Armd Div and some engr + SP arty elements, we will have a strike corps equivalent, under the guise of a holding corps. This would be less sensitive politically as well, since some 10 Corps units are supposed to be guarding the border anyway, and babus can't raise too many objections because no new formation is being raised.

Such a beefed up holding corps can be used in the Soviet mode of breaking down the door in the first wave. Thereafter, the second echelon of strike formations would flow through the opening and exploit to a greater depth. I would imagine that this manner of operations would speed up optempo by reducing logistics constraints for the formation creating the initial breakthrough.

In Ex Divya Astra, GOC designate 10 corps was present. Let me stress that this is most likely standard procedure, 10 corps being what it is. So we should not read too much in his being there. However, snippets like this will be the first straws in the wind, if some shift in strategic doctrine along the lines of Paddy's vision are going to occur. So keep your eyes peeled for future developments that indicate a more active role for 10 corps or 16 corps. These are the two most likely candidates for conversion to a Pivot Corps, as alluded to by Sanjay a while back.

Any thoughts, gentlemen? Does Ex Divya Astra deserve a thread of its own, or are we going to use this thread for discussions?

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Posted by Rudra Singha (Member # 3011) on 02 March 2004, 09:06 AM:

what is a Pivot Corps ? and where is the new armour going to come from - indep brigades existing or new T90Ms ?

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Posted by Y I Patel (Member # 281) on 02 March 2004, 09:15 AM:

That's the beauty of it - no new armour necessary, just move an armd div from one of the strike corps (most likely from 1 corps) to 10 corps, and you have a strike corps good to go.

A big current weakness is that every man and his dog know about India's response cycle - holding corps alerted, strike corps start moving and concentrating, and so on. All this takes time, and the Powells of the world use it to exert pressure on India to calm down. Think what would have happened if we had realistic capability to respond within two-three days of 12/13. By the time Mushy can call a press conference, Indian 10 corps units would be bearing down on RYK train station. By the time Powell gets on the plane, 2 corps would be refuelling on the Sindhu. THEN we will listen to the world and calm down. We will not continue to Quetta, that is.

PS
Pivot corps is a holding corps that can "pivot" around and attack, if necesssary. SBM talked about this when we were discussing Parakram.
From Army news thread...

Posted by muddur (Member # 2965) on 01 March 2004, 08:03 PM:

New toys on show at war games - army showcases latest weapon systems

Army flexes its firepower

Desert storm: Army banks on divine weapon

Army’s divya astra rumbles in desert

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Posted by aman (Member # 4329) on 02 March 2004, 02:06 AM:

Army showcases firepower in Divya Astra
(HT Chandigarh, No archives)
Man Aman Singh Chhina
Mahajan Ranges (Rajasthan), 1 March

THE FIELD firing ranges at Mahajan reverberated with the sound of artillery gunfire, rockets launched by aircraft and the potent weaponry of the newly-inducted T-90 tank as the Indian Army showcased its firepower capability in Exercise Divya Astra here today.

The timing of the exercise, which was postponed twice earlier, encouraged mediapersons to ask Chief of Army Staff Gen N.C. Vij if this was a manifestation of the “feel good” factor (see box).

The daylong exercise showed an integrated fire power display by the Army and the Indian Air Force in the course of which MiG-21 BIS, MiG-23 BN and MI-35 helicopter gunships fired their weapons in perfect symphony with the infantry, artillery and armour.

The exercise was also witnessed by the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen J.J. Singh, GOC, 2 Corps, Lt Gen G.D. Singh, GOC-designate, 10 Corps, Maj Gen O..P Nandrajog and a host of divisional commanders falling under the Western Command.

The exercise showed how a combat group of the Army engages an enemy company location and ultimately captures it by using various weapons in its arsenal and the closer air support. The T-90 tank was also seen in operation as it engaged stationary armour with its anti-tank guided missiles.

The infantry weapons used during the display included the 84-mm Carl Gustav Rocket launchers, Automatic Grenade Launchers, Multiple Grenade launchers and the BMP-II infantry combat vehicles.

The artillery support which devastated the designated enemy area with accurate fire consisted of 155-mm Bofors gun, 105-mm field guns, 130-mm guns and GRAD BM-21 multi-barrel rocket launchers. The GRAD BM-21 unleashed a terrifying salvo of rockets justifying their name as the Terror Weapon of the Army and were definitely the piece de resistance of the day.

The Air Force showed off the accurate firepower of its aircraft including a complement of eight MiG-21 which performed impeccably and achieved direct hits with their shallow dives and well-aimed 57-mm rockets.

Four MiG-23 aircraft dropped 250-kg bombs on the target area with pinpoint accuracy. The Air Force rounded up its display with two MI-35 helicopter gunships belonging to 104 Helicopter Squadron which flew in at treetop level and neutralised the target with 80-mm rockets.

The Army also conducted abridging exercise during the latter half of the day which consisted of BMP-II vehicles fording the Indira Gandhi canal and the Sappers establishing a pontoon bridge to help the armour cross over to the other side.

Feel good factor extends to Forces?

INTERACTING WITH the media after the firepower demonstration, Army chief Gen N.C. Vij made a specific comment that the firepower capability of the Army had gone up “50 times in the last couple of years”. When asked if the “feel good factor” of the government had extended to the services also, Gen Vij commented with a smile that the factor was all over the country. It is pertinent to mention that an airpower demonstration, Vayu Shakti, is also scheduled to be held later this month giving rise to the speculation that the armed forces are promoting the “feel good factor” in their own way.
Dang it, how do I get muddur's links to show up?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Y I Patel » 02 Mar 2004 22:12

I wouldn't see a pivot corps as being a dramatically new breed of animal. Given IA's conservative tendencies, it would be a formation that would build incrementally on current experience.

For want of a shorter descriptor, I will continue to define a corps that is currently tasked with defending the IB as a holding corps, and then any incremental powers assigned to such a corps would be defined as an evolution of a holding corps to a pivot corps.

There are several good things that can be said about having a capable pivot corps. One is the somewhat exaggerated picture I paint in my previous post. More realistically, such a corps would be used for breakthrough attacks of a more limited scope; to kick of discussion I would throw out a number - 10 km penetration +/- 5 km. This is about a day+ advance that is envisaged under the current doctrine for a strike corps.

Now what would such a capability translate into? Punitive land grab operations in a limited war, breakthough operations leading to strategic explotation by follow-on formations in a larger war. In both cases, having formations closer to the border permits easier logistics considerations and faster reaction times.

The thing to watch out for is that such a development may be considered to be destablizing, if not accompanied by other non-mily moves that demonstrate pacific nature of changes in military doctrine.

Note that all this is just hypothetical discussion right now, trying to build on Paddy's ideas about formations being able to attack from a cold start.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Vick » 02 Mar 2004 22:31

Would it be possible to list the ORBAT of the three Strike Corps, the Holding Corps, and the Paddy proposed Pivot Corps?

Also, if a pivot corp takes away an armored bdge from the strike corp, wouldn't the strike corp become under strength?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rudra » 02 Mar 2004 22:48

introduction of nooks to TSP was also destabilizing. I vote we drop the topic of whether its stabilizing or not for the chankians and concentrate on military matters only.

Guest

Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Guest » 02 Mar 2004 22:57

Hold your horses.

No ORBAT info other than whats out in open sources (links only)

Even the slightest interpretations based on your non open source info and this thread will be deleted

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby RayC » 02 Mar 2004 23:10

If one understands the equation between a 'Hammer' and 'Anvil', one will understand what is a 'Pivot'. It is the same old thing, but sounds exciting and important. :D

Of course there is more to it, but then rudimentarily put it is what in basic tactics is stated as 'one leg on the ground'but on a very very big scale!

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Y I Patel » 02 Mar 2004 23:16

One leg on the ground - the other in someone's groin?

:D

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby RayC » 02 Mar 2004 23:18

Originally posted by Y I Patel:
One leg on the ground - the other in someone's groin?

:D
A little lower what the British chaps callled as the 'golis'. :lol:

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Prateek » 02 Mar 2004 23:35

Dang it, how do I get muddur's links to show up?

I am going to post all of them here 4 you.

New toys on show at war games
- army showcases latest weapon systems

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1040302/asp/nation/story_2956860.asp

New toys on show at war games
- Army showcases latest weapon systems
DALIP SINGH

Two BMP II amphibian infantry combat vehicles during the Divya Astra exercise on Monday. (PTI)
Suratgarh, March 1: The army today put its recently acquired firepower on display in a local demonstration of “shock and awe” about 100 km from the border with Pakistan.

But the exercise was just that, a war game — called Divya Astra — to keep the armed forces in battle-ready condition.

Army chief General .C. Vij said it was not meant to send any signal across the border. “Theoretically, there is scope for a war. But we are moving forward towards peace.”

The exercise showcased some of the latest equipment and weapons systems the army has acquired from Russia and Israel as part of its modernisation.

Automatic grenade launchers, under-barrel grenade launchers, multi-grenade launchers, the Carl Gustav rocket launcher, the Grad BM 21 multi-barrel rocket launcher and the Dragonuv sniper rifle were on display.

Over 100 jawans and officers also used long-range recce and observation system (Lorros), integrated observation equipment and ELM radars.

The war game of the armoured, artillery and infantry corps, launched to assess the integrated fire power, allowed air-force fighters such as MiG 21, MiG 23 and MI-35 choppers to chip in.

The Russian-built T-90 tanks, inducted in 2002, were for the first time pressed into action in an exercise. Armed with a 125-mm gun, guided missiles and biological and chemical warfare systems, the tanks demonstrated their destructiveness by hitting pinpointed targets.

These were supported by BMP II infantry combat vehicle, Sarat, which was imported from Russia and is now being manufactured here.

The corps of engineers, mechanised infantry and armoury demonstrated PMS makeshift bridges that can be floated on a river for tanks and vehicles to cross the barrier.

General Vij said the army was looking for a self-propelled artillery gun that can negotiate and engage targets. The laser-guided Krasnapol shells, fired from 155-mm guns, have shown good results in the plains, but are yet to be tested in higher altitudes, he said.

The army, the General added, was putting in place a mechanism to meet the increasing demands of journalists, especially from the electronic media, for information.

He explained the logic behind the army going for an improved public relations exercise. The media, General Vij said, is fast-paced these days and often wants quick answers, the demand for which cannot be matched by the force. So it is time to set up a new mechanism, he said.

He may have been referring to complaints by reporters on the defence-ministry beat that the army has not been forthcoming on information sought.


Army flexes its firepower
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2004/20040302/main3.htm

Army flexes its firepower
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Mahajan (Rajasthan), March 1
The Army today showcased an array of new weaponry and skills at conducting joint operations with the Air Force during Exercise Divya Astra at its field firing ranges here today.

Depicting a mock battle scenario, the Army and the Air Force joined hands to neutralise and capture an enemy stronghold through a mechanised assault supported by heavy weapons and ground attack aircraft.

The use of heavy weapons such as the GRAD multi-barrel rocket launchers which have devastating effect, 155 mm Bofors howitzers, newly acquired T-90 battle tanks, BMP armoured personnel carriers along with infantry weapons such as the recently acquired anti-material rifles, automatic grenade launchers and sniper rifles was displayed. The IAF used its MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft as well as the Mi-35 helicopter gunship.

Among those who witnessed the display were the Army chief, Gen N.C. Vij, GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen J.J. Singh, and a host of senior Army and Air Force officers.

After a combat team made contact with the enemy, the commander called in fire support to neutralise enemy defence, artillery guns and rocket launchers The tanks opened up, saturating the enemy area with devastating fire.

Finding enemy defences strong, the commander called up air support in which a formation of four MiG-21 pounded the target with rockets. This was followed by a wave of four MiG-23s sweeping over the target, dropping conventional “iron” bombs. The final air assault came from the low flying Mi-35 gunships who unleashed their rocket power. All this while T-90s and BMPs continued to engage the enemy with their guns and missiles.

With the enemy defences was put out of action, a mechanised column of tanks and infantry combat vehicles, with their guns blazing on the move, launched the final assault to capture and physically occupy enemy territory.

The army also displayed its latest surveillance and combat equipment. Among them was the long range recce and observation system for day and night observation. Consisting of a night camera, video surveillance system and a laser ranger, it can track targets up to 18 km. The ELM 2140 Battlefield Surveillance rardar, with a range of up to 40 km and the portable hand held thermal Imager which can detect targets up to 6 km were also shown. All these devises are of Israeli origin. Other recently acquired equipment, including automatic grenade launchers, sniper rifles, anti material rifles, were also displayed.

Sappers also demonstrated their ability to secure bridgeheads and construct bridges to spearhead assaults. A 60-meter wide canal was spanned within half an hour using truck mounted pontoon bridges capable of carrying tanks.



Big increase in infantry firepower: General Vij
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Mahajan (Rajasthan), March 1
While declining to comment on the prospect of a war with neighbouring countries, the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, today said the ongoing modernisation programmes had resulted in a phenomenal increase in the firepower and observation of the Indian infantry.

“I do not want to comment on this issue amidst the ongoing peace talks, though theoretically, there is always a space for war between any two countries,” he said while interacting with media persons during Exercise Divya Astra, a firepower demonstration organised at the field firing ranges here.

Pointing out that the theory consequently leaves scope for ongoing modernisation, he said the induction of new equipment had led to a 50-fold increase in the Army’s surveillance and neutralisation capability over the past two years.

The modernisation as projected today, he said was related to conventional warfare which required the use of maximum possible force, rather than counter insurgency. Counter-insurgency operations, on the other hand, required the use of minimum possible force, though force multipliers such as electronic equipment and air mobility assets yield good results in such operations, he added.

The chief said the Army was also in the process of procuring self propelled artillery guns which would be able to keep pace with advancing armoured columns during an offensive and enhance the capability to neutralise enemy defences.

He said recent exercises had revealed that the Army now possessed very good observation capabilities as well as the ability to neutralise an adversary in as little time as possible through the conduct of ground offensive in conjugation with air power.

On the induction of the laser-guided Krasnopol artillery shell, which had generated controversy in certain circles, he said its accuracy at high altitude was being established, though it had been done for low and medium altitudes. He also ruled out any problems with the night fighting equipment of the newly inducted T-90 battle tanks.

On the ongoing works to fence the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, General Vij said out of a total stretch of 590 km, about 320 km had been fenced so far. By summer the fence would pose a very “big problem” for those on the other side, he remarked,

The use of night vision devices for surveillance along the border, he added, was having remarkable effect.

Desert storm: Army banks on divine weapon
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_594434,0008.htm

Desert storm: Army banks on divine weapon
Vishal Thapar
Bikaner, 2 March

With all guns blazing, the Indian Army on Monday publicly signalled a doctrinal shift in the use of firepower - from containment of an enemy to his complete annihilation.

A firepower demonstration, codenamed Exercise Divya Astra (Divine Weapon), was organised under the media spotlight in Rajasthan on Monday.

The exercise at the Mahajan field firing range was held to showcase the edge the Army's massive modernisation drive has given to its destructive potential.

Aided by ground attack aircraft of the Indian Air Force, the Army gave a glimpse into the entire spectrum of its firepower capability and its intention to relentlessly pulverise the enemy in a conventional war scenario.

Army Chief General N.C. Vij, who witnessed the demonstration, emphasised that the demonstration was not intended to send a message to anyone but acknowledged that it represented preparations for conventional war.

"Hypothetically, there's always space for conventional war. That's why armies exist. I don't want to talk of war at the time of peace talks (with Pakistan). But preparedness diminishes chances of war. This exercise is part of our training. It is not to convey a message to anyone," General Vij said, stopping short of terming it the Indian version of 'Shock and Awe'.

A tactical battlefield scenario was simulated to demonstrate the Army's prowess and the confidence its modernisation has given it. A T-90 main battle tank-led team pinned down an advancing enemy formation and then launched an assault with a formidable artillery back-up, including multi-barrel rocket launchers and 155-mm howitzers, taking the battle to the enemy's depth areas.

Simulated forward company positions of the enemy were pulverised from the air, while also being engaged by the infantry firebase. The exercise was able to effectively convey the terror of the modern-day battlefield.


Army’s divya astra rumbles in desert
http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=42161
Army’s divya astra rumbles in desert
JYOTI KAMAL

MAHAJAN FIRING RANGES (RAJASTHAN), MARCH 1: The Indian Army and Air Force today put up a massive firepower demonstration of the new long-distance multiple weapon firing ranges here. Amid deafening explosions and clouds of dust kicked up by tank columns and infantry combat vehicles, MI-35 attack helicopters, MiG-21 and MiG-23 jets swooped in to unleash a deadly salvo of precision-guided ammunition.

‘Divya Astra’ showcased the latest equipment and weapon systems in the Indian Army, an exercise only in training and not a signal to any quarters, said Chief of Army Staff General N.C. Vij. He did not want to talk of war in times of peace. ‘‘Insurgency operations are in an all together different spectrum. Here what we have shown is the maximum use of firepower. In insurgency it is the reverse and there is minimum use of firepower as we want to minimise collateral damage,’’ said the Army Chief.

On the Krasnopol precision-guided ammunition fired from the 155-mm Bofors guns, the Army chief said it has to be verified at high altitude. Krasnopol is guided onto the target by a laser designator operated by an observer close to the target.

Capping the firepower display were the GRAD BM 21 multi-barrel rocket launchers. On command from the fire control officer, the six trucks with back mounted GRAD launchers, each consisting of 40 tubes with 122-mm rockets, lined up to unleash a hailstorm of steel and explosives. Waves of rockets went streaking out and crashed into their targets several kilometres away.

Among the weapons and equipment on display were the infantry weapons including automatic grenade launchers (AGLs), under barrel grenade launchers (UBLs), the Dragunov sniper rifle and the Carl Gustav 84-mm rocket launcher. Growling 1,000 horsepower T-90 tanks and BMP-II infantry combat vehicles formed the armoured and mechanised component.

The Army also demonstrated long range reconnaissance and observation system, integrated observation equipment and radars. The Israeli-made Searcher UAV also demonstrated its capabilities by taking high-resolution pictures of ‘‘enemy activity’’ from very high altitude.

The Air Force provided close support to the Army by bringing in MiG-21 fighters which let loose S-24 bunker buster rockets.

Later during the exercise, Army engineer regiments laid out a high strength bridge across the 65-metre wide Indira Gandhi canal within minutes. Three T-90 tanks at a time rolled across the bridge, testing its strength.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Vriksh » 03 Mar 2004 01:09

I don't think that we should discuss anything that gives a hostile nation any leg up to IA doctrines and capabilities. All we should limit ourselves is the kinds of weapons used etc.

Infact that our response time is 2 weeks is something that should be a secret and active camoflage of this time to strike is essential for our safety.

Never more shall India be a defender on attacks on our soil. It is time that our enemies start living in fear on what IA can or cannot do.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Anaath » 03 Mar 2004 01:35

YIP’s sage views are very enlightening. Perhaps a BRM article will follow.

Extending his hypothesis, it seems as though some of the Stavka Operational Manouvre Group concepts are being applied. The testing of a 100-gun grouping and the reinforced emphasis on Arty. (guns and rockets) as a whole reveal some doctrinal inspiration from the old Red Army(and Wehrmacht).

High time too!

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 03 Mar 2004 01:54

I'd like to post some interesting articles from newsinsight.net.

http://www.indiareacts.com/archivefeatures/nat2.asp?recno=66&ctg=defence

Test of fire

If the Indian Army succeeds with the 100-gun concept, it could change the rules of engagement with Pakistan.

By Our correspondent

18 January 2003: The Ambala-based headquarter II corps (one of the strike corps) has been tasked to carry out an exercise over the next couple of months which, if successful, could result in a paradigm shift in the Indian Army’s firepower strategy

Known as the 100-gun concept, it finds its origin in the military doctrine of the erstwhile Soviet Union. The concept aims at effecting maximum destruction on the enemy’s military and key civilian assets before the infantry can physically move in and capture territory.

Labeled as being rather expensive, this concept was buried by armies across the globe after the Soviet collapse. The concept involves 100 or more artillery guns to provide support to three infantry battalions as opposed to the Western doctrine of 64 guns for three infantry units.


The problem with the Soviet doctrine was that if the enemy were to open more than a couple of fronts, moving artillery pieces and other firepower assets would prove not just expensive but also cumbersome and predictable. In fact, opening several small fronts by way of swift manoeuvres lay at the heart of NATO’s strategic doctrine against the Soviets.

This concept, however, has found new life in India. During the Kargil conflict, between 100-120 guns on an average supported three infantry units. This was complimented by air power, namely laser-guided bombs. Together, the firepower component in Kargil was able to inflict a telling damage, officials said, on enemy positions making it easier for an infantry assault.

Recently, during Operation Parakram, the strategy of degradation operations in the Northern Command involved complete and thorough destruction of the enemy’s war-making capabilities, officials added.

Here too, a combination of artillery and air power formed the centrepiece of the strategy.

According to officials, the future India war scenario will be sectoral in nature, given the political compulsion not to escalate the conflict beyond a particular region. This would allow India to shift firepower resources, say, to the LoC from other sectors. This, in turn, would reduce the guns-to-men ratio enabling the implementation of the 100-gun concept.

[color=red]Moreover, since the capture of territory is ruled out due to political compulsions, the destruction of enemy assets has emerged as a key marker of success in war these days, officials added.</font>


Insiders also say that the successful execution of this exercise could impact future procurement of artillery and armour and increase the stress on air power. But this change would require more than a few successful exercises – and not before the Indian military is convinced that Pakistan won’t counter the 100-gun concept in novel ways.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 03 Mar 2004 01:57

http://www.indiareacts.com/archivefeatures/nat2.asp?recno=46&ctg=defence

India to degrade Pak military along LoC

The Indian Army has innovated a fighting plan to take on Pakistan without escalating the war.

By Our Correspondent

24 May 2002: Fitting political ends to military means is never easy. When India decided to mount a diplomatic assault on Pakistan assisted by proactive posturing by its armed forces, there was little clarity on what military options India could realistically exercise. Permutations and combinations had to be worked out by the generals in order to present before the government a viable military alternative.

Five months into the most elaborate military build-up, Indian forces have devised a few options based on an innovative firepower strategy. Like every other war strategy, this one too is aimed at shaping the battlefield to India’s advantage through dominance of artillery and air power. However, the ground rules in this case are different. With the government more interested in a limited offensive in Kashmir, the military had to take into account how the various political constraints would translate on to the battlefield.

Degradation operation, as it has come to be known, is what the Indian military has come up with. The objective is to disable the opponent’s ability to fight a “cohesive, responsive, and defensive” battle in the areas of Indian offence. In other words, the degradation operation would precede any military offensive.

Officials say that this operation would be carried out along specific zones on the Line of Control. It would entail participation by the Indian Air Force, the artillery, armoured corps in certain areas, missile and rocket units, and hi-tech target acquisition equipment like unmanned aerial vehicles. The idea, strategists say, is to acquire coordinates of specific military locations on the Pakistani side that are of crucial importance to Pakistan to stage a defensive battle. These could be potential forward assembly areas, gun positions, supply routes, existing bases, and other tactically important points.

Unlike a normal artillery assault on enemy position, this kind of warfare involves complete destruction of large military zones equal to or exceeding 50 square kilometres. The method has been termed “fire assault”. According to this concept, artillery guns, missiles, rockets, fighter aircraft and, in some cases, tanks would all fire in sync to completely destroy a particular area. Such should be the level of degradation, an official explains, that it would take sufficient time for the enemy to regroup. More significantly, the logistical arrangements would be “crippled”.


What has made such an operation possible, officials say, is the level of troop mobilisation in Jammu and Kashmir these days. “We are present in such large numbers that we can undertake such an operation within a few hours notice,” an official said. “The calculation is that such an assault would not only degrade the potential of Pakistan to fight a proper defensive battle, but also cause irreparable psychological damage.”

While most of this operation is based on the use and application of artillery including missiles and rockets, a crucial role has to be played by the air force. According to officials, tanks would be used only in some areas in Akhnoor sector in the southern portion of the LoC, but the air force would have to combine with the artillery in almost all zones. This has resulted in some transformation of the operational role of the air force. It would not be destroying enemy airbases but specific locations.

Usually, the air force would undertake such operations only after it has gained air superiority by destroying enemy airbases. Since this would involve strikes outside PoK risking escalation, officials have decided that the air force must restrict itself to a tactical role like fighting the battle in conjunction with the artillery. The flip side of this is that fighter aircraft could get involved in frequent air battles with enemy aircraft. But officials say the risk is worth taking in the larger interest of an Indian offensive.

Any troop offensive into Pakistan-held areas would follow the degradation operation. Officials say that the period after the degradation operation and before launching a troop offensive could be a few hours. The government would have a small window to call off the operations. Once ground troops get committed, officials say, there is little possibility of calling off operations without attaining specified objectives.

“If Pakistan were to respond favourably after the fire assault, the government can decide to stall the troop offensive,” an official said. “But mind you, the window would be very small.”

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 03 Mar 2004 02:01

http://www.indiareacts.com/archivefeatures/nat2.asp?recno=50&ctg=defence

Army changing artillery profile for new war

India is acquiring new weapons to fight a war with minimum casualties.

By Our Correspondent

1 August 2002: The Indian Army is in the process of initiating far-reaching changes in the profile of its artillery. An integrated and intricate system of missiles, rockets, guns and armoured mounted guns has been planned for the next five years. And inspiring this transformation is the changing perception of future battles.

The 21st century battlefield, according to experts, is transparent where warring sides are well-informed about each other’s capabilities and the element of surprise lies in the way forces are used by commanders than in the utilisation of “hidden” potentialities. Another concern necessitated by the politics of the day is the need to achieve a military objective quickly and without suffering many human casualties.

These two broad parameters have heralded the arrival of a battle for total decimation and annihilation. It is not enough, a senior official says, to merely know the enemy’s capabilities but to also “finish off” the opponent’s ability to fight a coherent battle. It is in this context that the artillery has assumed tremendous significance. Faced with this challenge, the Indian Army is all set to acquire a profile that would give better chance to shape the battlefield on its terms.

Already, the army has set up one artillery division under the Western Command and the process to set up another is on in the Southern Command. This new division is to have two gun brigades with three regiments each. It will have a missile group comprising the Prithvi variety and a rocket-cum-target acquisition wing. The introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), officials say, has led to the integration of rocket systems with target acquisition mechanisms for the first time in the history of the Indian artillery.

At the start, the army has initiated a process of changing all its gun systems to 155-mm bore. Till now, field guns were of both 130 mm and 105 mm with Bofors being the sole exception. But in days to come, the army will have guns predominantly of a uniform bore with select pieces of 105 mm being retained only to be used sparingly in mountainous terrain. A new variety of 155-mm guns mounted on the chassis of tanks – called the Bhim – is being slated for induction into the three armoured divisions and two independent armoured brigades.

Tenders have already been floated to purchase new 155-mm guns in self-propelled and towed/ wheeled variants. Trials were to begin on 15 July 2002 but have been stalled due to commitments under Operation Parakram. “We want a mixture of both towed and self-propelled guns to suit our needs in different conditions,” explained a senior official. “And the mounted variety like the Bhim would help us tremendously in gaining complete control of the battlefield in the deserts and semi-desert areas”.

Further, several modifications are underway to ensure that the change in profile does not run into unforeseen problems of compatibility. The new indigenously-produced Kolastatra vehicles used for towing guns are being modified to tow all kinds of guns that the Indian Army will soon acquire. It is understood that trials are already on for this purpose. Also, an effort is on to convert some 130-mm guns into 155 mm. Kits for them have already been purchased from a firm called M.S.Saltum. Officials say six guns are ready and would be put through extensive trial. If the reports are satisfactory, sources say, the army plans to convert 30 such guns in the first phase.

A similar programme is on to develop new varieties of ammunition for 155-mm guns. It is learnt that a new kind of high-explosive ammunition called HEER-FB has already been developed. The army is said to have also signed a contract for the supply of laser designators needed to improve the performance of the Krasnopol variety of artillery ammunition. Plus, 2,000 more rounds of Krasnopol ammunition are expected to arrive early this month.

Meanwhile, the army is expecting a successful trial of the improved Pinaka rocket and this could be inducted soon. With the successful completion of trials of the Russian Smerch rocket system, its induction is expected to commence in a matter of days. This, officials say, would bolster the capabilities of both the artillery brigades. The destructive potential of the Smerch multi-barrel rocket system is being seen as crucial to not just shaping the battlefield but also to dent the morale of the opponent.

In order to improve target acquisition capabilities, the army is looking at purchasing some more UAVs, particularly the Heron variety for surveillance in high-altitude areas. A fast-track procurement process has been put in place for obtaining more Searcher-I UAVs. Talks are on to sign a new contract for the Searcher-II variety as well as an “add-on” kit that would improve the performance of Searcher-I.

This apart, several minor modification programmes are on to improve the performance of mortars, particularly their range. “Though many say the mortar is an obsolete weapon,” says a senior official, “we feel that it can be of tremendous use in mountains and semi-mountainous terrain. We don’t want to do away with them though they will only complement our new profile weapons.”

The object of all these new acquisitions, officials explain, is to enhance capabilities in such a manner that maximum annihilation and destruction of the opponent’s capabilities are achieved well before the battle involving human contact even begins. As a senior officer sums it up, “A successful artillery campaign could win us the battle well before foot soldiers of the two opposing armies engage each other. This would also open up tactical options for a field commander which is so difficult to acquire in a transparent battlefield.”

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby srai » 03 Mar 2004 02:17

IMO, Looks like IA is taking 2-pronged approach based on the recent conflicts:

1. Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq)
2. Operation Enduring Freedom (Afganistan)

Looking at these two one can see two diverse warfare doctrines being applied. Iraq operation utilized manuever warfare with armor, while Afganistan operation made use of the special forces. In both cases, C3I was an important asset.

IA's modernization plan has focused on these two areas ... even the recent DefenseExpo focused on these categories!

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Sunil » 03 Mar 2004 03:41

Some interesting saying to bear in mind.

http://www.usma.edu/dmi/MT/Branches/FA/Faquote.htm

The speed, accuracy and devastating power of American Artillery won confidence and admiration from the troops it supported and inspired fear and respect in their enemy -- Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower

Do not forget your dogs of war, your big guns, which are the most-to- be respected arguments of the rights of kings. -- Frederick the Great

Artillery conquers and infantry occupies. -- J.F.C. Fuller

Guns will make us powerful, butter will only make us fat. -- Hermann Goering

In many situations that seemed desperate, the artillery has been a most vital factor. -- Gen Douglas MacArthur

The harder the fighting and the longer the war, the more the infantry, and in fact all the arms, lean on the gunners. -- Field Marshal Montgomery

Nothing is more destructive than the charge of artillery on a crowd. -- Napoleon

The best generals are those who have served in the artillery. -- Napoleon

God fights on the side with the best artillery. -- Napoleon

I do not have to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did. -- Gen George S. Patton

The World War demonstrated the importance of Field Artillery. The majority of casualties were inflicted by the arm. -- GEN John J. Pershing

Artillery is the god of war. -- Stalin

Cannon to the right of them, Cannon to the left of them, Cannon in front of them, Volley'ed and thundered. -- The Charge of the Light Brigade

The work for giants...to serve well the guns! -- Walt Whitman

Renown awaits the commander who first restores artillery to its prime importance on the battlefield. -- Winston Churchill

Ultima ratio regum. (The final argument of kings)

- Inscription on french cannons, on order of Louis XIV

CANNON, n. An instrument employed in the rectification of national boundaries.
- Ambrose Bierce

"Where a goat can go, a man can go, where a man can go, he can drag a gun"
- COL William Phillips 1777

With Artillery, War is made.
- Napoleon

"The Guns, Thank God, The Guns. . .
- Rudyard Kipling

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Shashank » 03 Mar 2004 03:44


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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby JaiS » 03 Mar 2004 13:15

Divine weapon 'wreaks havoc on 'enemy'


Indian army displayed its recently acquired firepower at an exercise in Suratgarh base, about 100 km from the border with Pakistan.
Codenamed "Divya Astra" or Divine Weapon, the 90-minute exercise on the sand dunes of Mahajan firing range in Suratgarh, demonstrated the devastating firepower and strike capability of armed forces.

Army chief General N.C. Vij witnessed armoured and artillery units wreaking havoc on an "enemy" camp, blasting it in an assault backed by jets from the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The exercise showcased some of the latest equipment and weapons systems the Indian army has acquired from Russia and Israel as part of its modernisation.

Besides Vij, the exercise was witnessed by the general officer commanding-in-chief of the Western Command, Lt. Gen. J.J. Singh and several senior army and air force officers.

Vij said the exercise was not meant to send any signal across the border, rather it was intended to showcase the modernization of the Indian army's firepower.

"This is our annual feature, it is not there to demonstrate any kind of message to them. It is not a demonstration or message to anyone, it is a part of our training," Vij told reporters.

Automatic grenade launchers, under-barrel grenade launchers, multi-grenade launchers, the Carl Gustav rocket launcher, the Grad BM 21 multi-barrel rocket launcher and the Dragonuv sniper rifle were on display.

The Russian-built T-90 tanks, inducted in 2002, were for the first time pressed into action in an exercise.

Armed with a 125-mm gun, guided missiles and biological and chemical warfare systems, the tanks demonstrated their destructiveness by hitting pinpointed targets.

These were supported by BMP II infantry combat vehicle, Sarat, which was imported from Russia and is now being manufactured here.

The shelling shook the earth at the Mahajan range, one of the largest used by the army for training exercises.

Shoulder-fired Carl Gustav anti-tank rockets not only hit targets at a range of 500 metres but also threw up illuminator grenades into the sky.

Used in the night operations, the illuminator grenades provide light equal to 650,000 candles, exposing the enemy.

Another attraction was the Grad multi-barrel rocket launcher mounted on a Tatra truck. Each launcher fired 40 rockets, hitting targets over five km away.


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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby JaiS » 03 Mar 2004 13:19

Now Indian Army bosses over water too


Suratgarh (Rajasthan), Having shown its supremacy in ground attacks and even devastating an enemy with its missile batteries, the Indian Army has enhanced its capability to tackle water obstacles. Showing grit and swiftness, engineer regiments of the army displayed during a training exercise near here how water features like canals are no longer a hindrance for an onslaught.

Choosing the 65-metre wide Indira Gandhi canal in the Thar desert to demonstrate their capabilities, soldiers showed various ways of tackling a canal.

An army spokesman said negotiating such obstacles is necessary because of several such strategic canals lined up along the border between India and Pakistan.

The engineers and soldiers built a variety of bridges, ranging from rope bridges to be used by infantrymen to pontoon bridges used by heavier vehicles like tanks and armoured vehicles.

One after another, nearly a dozen BMP-II infantry combat vehicles loaded with men and ammunition entered the cut edge of the canal to float across the water within seconds.

With only its top part showing, these amphibious vehicles roared their way through the water to climb up on the other edge.

The demonstration was part of an exercise codenamed "Divya Astra" or divine weapon, held on the sand dunes of the Mahajan firing range, 70 km from here. The exercise showcased the devastating firepower and strike capability of the army.

An army officer told IANS that the BMP-II vehicles are watertight and a canal-cutter is pressed into action to enable the vehicles to enter the canal smoothly.

Once across, the BMP-IIs can secure enemy territory to facilitate the laying of a pontoon bridge over canals for larger vehicles like tanks to cross over.

Army engineers showed deft swiftness to lay the bridge after huge Tatra trucks had unloaded pontoons in the water.

Pontoon bridges not only allow infantrymen to run across a water obstacle, they enable huge tanks to move across conveniently.

An army spokesman said a pontoon bridge is not only strong but can be put up within a couple of hours. It scores over conventional bridges that take months to make.

Preceding the bridge-laying exercise exercises was the swim across the canal by ground forces to capture the "enemy" area. These forces built a rope bridge enabling other forces to slide across.


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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby shiv » 03 Mar 2004 14:53

Recall this pic from Rupak?

http://sc.groups.msn.com/tn/69/80/BharatRakshakDefexpo/1/6.jpg

Someone had put up a picture of tanks crossing a bridge over a river - the bridge consisted of a series of these bridges. (Where's that pic anyway - it was an inline image in one of the threads?)

Anyhow I saw how the bridge was laid on DD - the truck backs into the water and drops the thingie - and bang-bang the two end unfold and the bridge floats. terrific stuff. A few more are added to add length and the tanks are ready to roll.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Aditya G » 03 Mar 2004 17:27

Shiv,

The pontoon bridge is only for infantry (or perhaps light vehicles).

You still need Sarvatra and Kartik to carry the armour.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Pranay » 03 Mar 2004 20:49


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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Y I Patel » 03 Mar 2004 21:32

AD, thanks a lot for the kind words! IMHO, a lot of political, technological, and economic factors point to a very interesting time for affairs pertaining to the Indian military. The pieces that you, rangudu and I allude to have to be synthesized in this overall context. So it may be best to let matters cook a little more, before a BRM piece gets written. Meanwhile, I am having a lot of fun meditating on the implications of rangudu's excellent series of links.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 04 Mar 2004 10:29

Who came up with the name 'pivot' corps? Cossack or Hussar, or better yet, Maratha corps would have been a better name :)

I hope that this '100 gun concept' translates into required level of firepower to cause irrepairable damage and degradation to cohesion and operational ability opfor down to the individual unit level, in real life.

Could the difficulty of moving artillery around might be helped by extensive use of SRBM's, and Brahmoskis?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby RayC » 04 Mar 2004 12:14

Originally posted by aditya.g:
Shiv,

The pontoon bridge is only for infantry (or perhaps light vehicles).

You still need Sarvatra and Kartik to carry the armour.
The PMP, PMS, type can carry armour and heavy vehicles.

Pontton basically means 'floating'. A Pontoon Bridge means a floating bridge.

The unfortunate part of all confusion is giving an Indian name to impress that we are producing indigenously. Like a MIG 21 is a MIG 21, call it by any name.

Infantry would use BAUTs and if the water obstance is short, the Aluminium foot bridge or the Improvised Water Expedients. It helps because the concentration of the enemy is on multiple points then and not on one restricted place like a bridge which can always be edffectively targetted. But this is only a side issue for interest.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Raja Ram » 04 Mar 2004 12:37

Right after Kargil, and through the Operation Poorna vijay series and the Op Parakram, IA has been fashioining several set piece strategies to tackle a series of escalating flash points.

The fact that Musharaff is at the table today owes a large bit to some practical experience from a receiving end perspective by the PA.

The use of force multipliers in terms of massed artillery fire directed by multiple sensing and surveillance capability (space based, UAV based, radio/sing int and improved crossed border humint through Defence Intelligence Agency assets), use of targetted airpower, night fighiting capability have all been used in a imaginative manner to hand out varying degrees of punitive actions to PA.

The present exercise is to demonstrate a sub-limited war under an overall limited war scenario. In my opinion, this exercise is to validate the tactics related to a non-intrusive (i.e. not crossing LOC/IB) punitive option. That is the window that is being referred to by the army source.

It also prepares the ground for an assault across the LOC/IB if the situtation escalates. These exercises seem to have a contextual reference point as well. The present Divya Astra provides a context of possible Indian action against PA if it goes back on its present set of commitments.Just to keep Musharaff honest till the talks begin.

The increasing procurement of technology and development of tactics are geared towards one single objective, the PA will face increasing costs and damage if it seeks to persist with its proxy war. More than their proxies, they will be the targets. That is the main import of these exercises.

The relative capabilities of the Indian Army is well on its way to acquire a decisive edge over their pakistani counterparts. In a couple of years, the gap will be too big for Pakistan to match. Musharaff knows that this is happening and hence his efforts to somehow slow the procurement of such technologies and build up capability by the Indian Army.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2004 13:12

Originally posted by shiv:

Anyhow I saw how the bridge was laid on DD - the truck backs into the water and drops the thingie - and bang-bang the two end unfold and the bridge floats. terrific stuff. A few more are added to add length and the tanks are ready to roll.
This is the bridge I saw being laid on DD

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/rids/20040301/i/r4234285020.jpg

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby shiv » 04 Mar 2004 20:24

As per DD news on the day of the exercise, it was action designed to take out an enemy camp.

In fact what they showed and the pics seemed to fit the bill. Jehadi camp across the border. This would be a good way to flatten it.

Such an exercise done out in the open is, in my opinion - spot on - just what the doctor ordered etc. It is an invitation for the honored tytasses to spend more on trying to catch up and less on feeding and schooling the 8 or 10 thousand who needed to get into schools on that day.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Y I Patel » 04 Mar 2004 20:26

Shiv what you are saying reminds me of a little incident that occurred during 02 or so... commonly referred to as Kargil 2...

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Rangudu » 04 Mar 2004 20:30

Guys,

I collected the pics of Excercise Divya Astra and made a pdf file.

Here it is

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby ramana » 04 Mar 2004 21:49

Conducting such exercises is good for the forces. My only quibble is why not name them innocuous sounding names instead of those given for it will give the uncles goons another stick to wave. The secular goons will have a field day about hinduized war exercise names.

How about Earnest Resolve or some thing like that in sanskrit?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby AmitNangia » 04 Mar 2004 22:01

Originally posted by ramana:
Conducting such exercises is good for the forces. My only quibble is why not name them innocuous sounding names instead of those given for it will give the uncles goons another stick to wave. The secular goons will have a field day about hinduized war exercise names.

How about Earnest Resolve or some thing like that in sanskrit?
There is absolutely no need to consider the feelings of other entities while naming your excercises. I see every reason to give our excercises powerful, threatening names. If they appear hinduized, all the better. It's time to shed the cloak of docility and assert our identity.
Who cares what the Pukes, Pinkos or Uncle say or think.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby abhay » 05 Mar 2004 01:48

Looks like the Arjuns didn't take part in this exercise. Any News?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Ashutosh » 05 Mar 2004 01:52

Well, if I do my bean-counting, only Russian equipment was used for both land and air platforms?

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby shiv » 05 Mar 2004 08:28

Originally posted by ramana:
My only quibble is why not name them innocuous sounding names instead of those given for it will give the uncles goons another stick to wave. ?
ramana we really must not worry about such things. Quite apart from that it seems to me that these names are chosen precisely to achieve that effect.

Note that uncle and his goons have no compunction whatsoever to hurt Indian sensibilities whenever it pleases them - starting from proliferation, the kunduz airlift, paroning XQK etx.

The world listens only to the crude farters, not the polite coughers.

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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Prasenjit Medhi » 05 Mar 2004 08:53

>>How about Earnest Resolve or some thing like that in sanskrit?

What is so Hinduised about 'Celestial Weapon'?

Besides, Driddh Sankalp wouldnt sound so cool ..



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Re: Exercise Divya Astra: Shock & Awe

Postby Priyank » 06 Mar 2004 12:54

I feel the above article is important enough to be posted in full. If all that is said in it is true, then we are in for some very interesting times ahead.

http://www.indianexpress.com/full_story.php?content_id=42467

With a peace process underway, India’s top military commanders have returned to their drawing board and worked on a new war doctrine: the ‘cold start’ strategy does away with massing of troops, introduces eight integrated battle groups with elements of IAF and Navy as thrust formations, calls for hard strikes yet limits them to the point which should not invite any nuclear retaliation.

Army Chief General N C Vij has his reasons not to go public with the new doctrine but, for the first time since Independence, age-old concepts of mobilisation of forces and Strike Corps spearheading the attack are being junked.

In short, no longer will armed forces be mobilised to prepare for war. Global powers in the changed world do not allow it. Op Parakram is a prime example: the international community intervened once the Cabinet signalled mobilisation of forces, five days after the attack on Parliament in December 2001. It took 20 days to mass the troops.

Military commanders are now looking at the ‘cold start’ doctrine. Although it was drawn before the Indo-Pak border stand-off, it was fine-tuned only after Op Parakram, taking into account the reality of a nuclear neighbourhood.

While many in the forces may take credit for this doctrine, the then Western Army Commander Lt General Vijay Oberoi was one of the first to root for this strategy. Present Army Vice Chief Lt General Shantano Choudhary has refined the concept keeping in mind the existing nuclear environment.

Gen Oberoi, who retired as Army Vice Chief in 2002, presently heads an Army think tank called CLAWS. This doctrine, debated at the last tri-Services military commanders conference, will be on the agenda again during the commanders’ conference next month.

The new doctrine does not believe in dividing the forces into defensive or attack formations. India’s three Strike Corps — Mathura-based I Corps, Ambala-based II Corps and Bhopal-based XXI Corps — will be there only for training purposes. The war will be fought through eight battle groups with integrated elements from the IAF and Navy.

Backed by tank regiments, heavy artillery, missile regiments and the air force, the battle groups will go for limited but lethal destruction on enemy territory. The Navy with its carrier-based fighters will have the key role of supporting the battle groups. Ships will also launch missiles like the Russian Klub. The idea is to destroy, not to hold or capture territory.

This concept was first war-gamed during Exercise Vijay Chakra in the Thar desert by Gen Oberoi in 2001 and synergised between the three forces during Exercise Brahmastra later that year. (My comment - People might want to consider re-reading Yogiji's BRM piece on Poorna Vijay. BTW that date for Vijay Chakra should have been 2000 instead of 2001.) Still being war-gamed, a part of it was on view at Exercise Divya Astra in Pokharan this week.

This strategy was fine-tuned once the threat of nuclear war dawned on the security establishment. It was done by Gen Choudhary, then commander of the Jalandhar-based XI Corps, and his counterparts in IAF and Navy.

Measuring the force application during war time, they took into account the nuclear threshold of the adversary.

In short, don’t hit the adversary’s strategic points so hard as to invite a nuclear response or international intervention.
P.S. - Sorry about the extensive highlighting but I felt it was necessary.


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