The arrival of south african attack choppers allowed the allied battle co mmanders to involve the small but very potent indian armoured brigades integrate into a seamless air-land battle doctrine based on net centric warfare with due assitance available from the israeli phalcon and japaneese sentry awac .Ofcourse this is more easily said than done . Other than US which have studied this concept in detail and to some extent implemented during gulf war 2 and india ,australian armed forces have prioratised this rather unconventional mode of land warfare into its operational tactical doctrine .
According to Lt General Peter leahy in 2030 australian army will be constituted as a force that operates largely from air .Defined as hardening and networking the army initiative the HNA sceme is designed to deliver land power thru a combined arms team of infantry armour artillery to a battle space defined by networks and interdependence. Of the capabilities that enhance any armies capability in the air are of corse armed recon helicopters
and troop lift helicopters along with tactical unmanned aerial vehicles .The leopard brigade still lacked the troop air lift capability but since most of the ground troops deployed were ensconed inside t-90s and bmp 3s mobility or troops protection in a mobile war environment will not be a probelem thought major srikanth.
Modern day battle space is bounded by exponentially increasing lethality of weapon system available to the enemy which may be state force like in namibia or a non state or insurgent forces as in operation in kashmir,afganistan ot iraq. The availability of advanced weapon systems including anti aircraft and anti armour poses the greatest challenge.Under the circumstances the best option for the blue forces is to seek out and create a linear battlefield where the superior training and fire coordination will play a pivotal role rather than engage the enemy i complex tarrain or in cities like windhoek . That is why indian forces were putting max effort to flush out theangolan armour out of fish river canyon and push them into open dessert country of namibia.Srikanth listed out his battle field objectives to his team which obviously included the south african air force pilots
1)availability of fire where and when you need it
2)There is a need to hold ground
3)achieve superior situational awareness
4)harness the power of networking
5)balance command and control functions
6)understand both precision and discretion in use of force
7)develop trust in joint warfare
Identifying the needs of army from indian and saaf
9)integration of land and air attacks
10)fire support ,air lift and use of uavs
11)avoiding blue on blue killings land air interdependence -precision precision with discrimination
From theory to practice was more difficult and time consumming . Basically following operational doctrine and tactical plan of action was agreed upon and went for implementation .
Total tank stenght with leopard brigade was 104 t-90s . 65% of the same will go on offensive aginst the bottle necked angolans first light tomorrow .
The rest will on mobile reserve directly under command of srikanth to be pushed into battle wherever enemy resistance is too strong or unexpected reverses faced .
The second brigade was ordered to abandon the old russian style hammer and anvil atack plan and orderd for a flanking attack on the angolan armour from north west but in tight synchronisation with leopard brigade and the south african /indian airforec striek aircraft .For easy identification from air an orange fluroscent flag would be stuck on each indian tank .
The south afriac squadron of gunships will be used in first long range missile strike and may be another round but then revert to armed recon role providing real time target aquistion and battle damage assesment during daytime since sti;l the angolans possesed a large quantity of shoulder fired sams they can be deadly against low flying large gunships if caught in range particularly in heat of battle . They will be used as point defense weapons only if the situation is critical . The choppers will be deployed in two groups of four each and 4 will be held back in reserve against battlefield attrition .
The BMP 3 S 12 number will be deployed like hyena packs for close in attack on the flank and mainly in night with anti tank missiles so that they cannot be targetted by thier missile profile .
The bofors 155 and bm 21 122 mm will close in from the rear and mostly work independently except when critical fire supprt is required by the t-90s (highly unlikely or the bmp 3 more likely) 6 155 mm guns and 3 bm 21 launchers will be kept in reserve for just such a contingency .
All air to ground communication will be thru phalcon and the phalcon will also have the tactical authority to call in additional fire support or redeploy the armour formation to meet any changing scenario.Brigadier patel will the overall battle commander with rear admiral bhasin for the time being relegated to the role of managing air strike sequencing and weapon selection with brigadier joshua from phalcon.
In between lunch was served - the south african have brought with them (ofcourse un offcially four 200 lb kudu carcass freshly shot just outside thier air base ) and cooked indian tikka style with lot of chilli and massala and served burning hot with green chilli pickles and hot chapatis . Dessert was warn yoghurt and onion slices a poor immitation of classic raita but the south african pilot relished evry bit . It was then time agin to go back to planning as the seniot indian airforce pilots started dropping in ferried by the navy seakings from various south african and namibian air bases and then came the art commanders and it was full house for some time .The generals came in last almost when the sun was inking in the distant horizon in a mad dash of red and gold . As they cleared each and evry point one by one the old battle horses seemed to have the predatory glint in thier eyes once again