Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

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pdj
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby pdj » 05 Oct 2012 10:36

Hi Vivek,

I have read your scenarios with great interest and firstly I must complement you about your writing skills. Very impressive and much better as well as more realistic than the Tom Clancy's of the world.

I , however, have been very disappointed to see you starting scenarios and never finishing it. No doubt when to finish a scenario ,in fact , whether to finish it at all are entirely your prerogative. More often than not you start a scenario and just disappear. The reactions that you get criticising you are a direct result of you choosing to post the scenarios here in the first place. I guess this is the price one has to pay for being a BRF celebrity. I actually do believe you ought to finish something you have started, especially as you have yourself chosen to do it in the public domain. It is an implicit commitment that you have made - it is not enforceable but I believe it is a commitment none the less.

Another option for you would be to circulate your scenarios/ stories amongst the BR community that you know (as alluded to in your last post). Once you are done you could post the entire scenario here. If you choose to publish it instead I am sure most of us would buy the book / e-book.

-pdj

vila
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vila » 05 Oct 2012 17:44

Dear Vivek,

None would be happier if proved wrong :D . In the first scenario the MKIs are yet to be engaged with Chini SUs and in the second the Arjuns are waiting in Askai Chin. The comment was just my assesment not as a criticism.

vivek_ahuja
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:18

Let's see if I can bring up some momentum here to finish what I had started.

I am re-posting some of the old posts from each sector of the war scenario so as to provide continuity. For further continuity on each sector, suggest you go to the blog here (http://mach-five.blogspot.com) and read the chronological order of events. I will add new posts here on top of re-posted info to build up some momentum initially, and then move entirely into the new posts altogether.

-Vivek

vivek_ahuja
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:19

DAY 6 + 1630 HRS (L)

SASER
SOUTH OF DAULAT-BEG-OLDI (DBO)
LADDAKH, INDIA


Brigadier Adesara was a tired man. Six days of continuous combat in the shallow high-altitude valleys of the DBO sector under his command had drained both his units and his men. It had also drained the Chinese. And so it was a battle of force reconstitution. Whichever side fed more units into the area would win the battle at this point. Both sides were drained in terms of their high technology units. But the Chinese numbers were higher, and DBO could not hold for too much longer under the strain…

This was why when Major-General Mohanty had called up Adesara from his DIVHQ at Shyok, advising him to expect some reinforcements at the AFARP near Saser, Adesara had personally come over to Saser to see the nature of the reinforcements coming in to his command. Colonel Sudarshan was also with him, and both men were standing in battered uniforms near the command trailer of the single Pinaka MLRS battery at Saser. This unit’s vehicles had also become worn out after days of continuous use. An additional battery was on the way from Shyok now to reinforce the artillery units under Adesara, but they were a good few hours away. For the moment, Adesara would have to make-do.

“Gentlemen, welcome to hell!” Adesara said with a weary smile as he and Sudarshan walked over to approaching group of young tank commanders. The latter group wore the shoulder patches of the 43RD Armored Regiment on top of their clean uniforms. They were understandably nervous, Adesara thought, since the ground under their feet was now continuously rumbling and the thunderclaps of the explosions north in the DBO valley were only too clear with the echoes ringing down the valley. Major Kulkarni looked around to see his men and attempted to hide the fear, partially succeeding in that effort. He wanted to make a good impression too, but his confidence and arrogance had disappeared as he had seen the lines of field hospitals and ambulances in his journey from Leh to Saser. His heart was pounding loud enough to be heard over the sounds of combat coming from the north…

“Sir, 43RD Armored is reporting to DBO. What are my orders?” Kulkarni said with a salute which was returned by Adesara and Sudarshan near the Pinaka command trailer’s entrance. Sudarshan was about to speak when the sounds of incoming aircraft interrupted his very first word. As Kulkarni and his junior officers jerked into cover, a couple of Jaguar strike aircraft streaked overhead, disappearing as they flew south beyond the mountains. One of the two aircraft was trailing smoke from its port wing as it flew over. While Kulkarni and the others stood back up, dusting their uniform, Adesara looked at Sudarshan and shook his head. Sudarshan smiled in silence and then looked to Kulkarni:

“You will get used to it, son. Those were our boys returning from another strike package in the 4TH Mechanized Battalion sector. We are taking a beating out there and the 10TH has been decimated and folded into the 4TH. Your boys are going to reinforce the 4TH and attempt a breakthrough. Let’s go in here…” he pointed with a stretched arm into the command trailer before Adesara and the others walked in. The cabin was cramped with so many people inside, but it had a digital map screen on one of the computers and that was what Sudarshan needed at the moment…

“So here’s the situation, Kulkarni. The Chinese have been attempting a drive to take DBO for five days now. We are holding them in place, and they are holding us in place. Frankly speaking, the battlefield east of the DBO airstrip is a mess of burned out BMPs, T-72s and T-99s and ZBDs and littered with dead bodies of hundreds of Indian and Chinese casualties caused by Chinese field guns, our air and rocket strikes. The IAF boys are proving to be the key in our efforts at the moment. What they have done is…” Sudarshan zoomed the map out to show the entire Aksai-Chin sector on his screen… “is that they have eliminated several S-300 batteries along this highway belt and thinned out the others. Their main threat in our sector comes from the battery at Qara-Tagh-La, north of here. So what that does is it prevents them from striking this Chinese Divisional MSR coming to DBO which those ******** are using to feed a continuous line of infantry and mechanized units into the sector.

“Our own MSR is here, at Saser, but it’s a long winding path from our nearest logistical node at Leh. The Chinese nodes are closer and hence the problem at hand for the fight in the DBO sector. Sir?” Sudarshan looked at Adesara, who continued, zooming the map display back to the DBO sector:

“My own problem is here. I have to hold DBO at all costs. There are no fall back positions. So what I need to do is eliminate the enemy combat initiative by cutting off and destroying his in-sector units, putting his newer units feeding into the sector along their Qara-Tagh-La MSR on the defensive. My Chinese counterparts are attempting to do the same. They attempted to bypass the DBO airstrip defensive line on the first day of the war and hoped to drive up to Saser, cutting off my command and seizing the initiative in Laddakh. They didn’t count on Colonel Sudarshan’s 10TH Mechanized Battalion and its compliment of NAMICA anti-tank vehicles to stop the enemy dead in their tracks. However, we lost a good portion of our NAMICA vehicles and all of my T-72 force in the next three days of combat.

“I had sent what remained of the 10TH and the 4TH into a enveloping operation to cut off the Chinese DBO sector units from their MSR after we had blunted his initial assaults. That, however, failed on account of our light armor units attempting to force their way through their T-99 forces. We have support from a couple of LCH gunships under 199HU based here at Saser and Wing-Commander Dutt. They are taking their toll on the T-99s, but there are not enough gunships to go around, and certainly not enough to go offensive.” Adesara said and then sighed and dismissed the frustration in his head with a dismissive nod. Kulkarni and the others looked at each other before the Brigadier spoke again:

“Frankly, gentlemen, I have had it with the Chinese armor advantage in this sector. I want the 43RD Armored to reach the 10TH Mech FEBA and push through here.” He jabbed his finger on the point shown on the digital screen as 10TH Mech positions in the sector. “And I want you to push through north of there to what we are calling as Point-Victory-2 here. That is where you will be in a position to interdict the Chinese MSR. Get there and hold position while what remains of the 3RD Mechanized and 5TH Infantry Brigade eliminates the remaining Chinese forces caught between your units and mine.

“Gentlemen, let’s be clear about this: 4TH Mechanized is a fast moving unit. I want to release it to do what it does best. I want the 43RD Armored to slug it out and destroy the Chinese T-99 force threatening the DBO FEBA. Find and kill all enemy tanks you see out there. Don’t worry about Chinese Arty or Air. We have both under control. Worry about the ground based anti-tank firepower the Chinese have. It’s because of this kind of high-threat slugfest that I requested an Arjun tank force rather than a mobility based T-90 force. Don’t let my confidence down. The Aksai Chin is sitting here asking for freedom, gentlemen. I have additional units coming to this sector, including the 8TH Mechanized, but I want the 4TH Mechanized to start its movement along the Chip-Chap river valley by daylight tomorrow. The Arjuns are NV capable, aren’t they? Make use of it. Clear my AO off all red armor units!” Adesara said with force. Kulkarni looked up from the maps and faced the two senior officers standing before him in the dimly lit command trailer:

“Yes sir!” He began to stuff his page of notes into his uniform pocket and then all five junior officers of the 43RD snapped off a salute which was returned crisply by the two senior commanders. As the men began piling outside the trailer, Kulkarni caught up with his men and walked with them back to the line of parked Arjun tanks on the side of the gravel road. An LCH returned from the north along the valley and began to land under the directions of the ground-crew near the 199HU FARP landing pads. Kulkarni looked in silence as he saw W/C Dutt step outside his cockpit and caught his glance. Kulkarni looked at the helicopter showing black stains from flying though endless smoke clouds and the random patched up bullet-holes on the side of the helicopter, some of which were new. Kulkarni nodded his respect to the Air Force pilot before he walked to the leading Arjun tank in front of him. His gunner was standing outside on the chassis near the driver’s hatch…

“Pretty scary, sir. These boys here have been fighting for years by the look of their faces!” Sergeant Sherawat said to Kulkarni.

“You got that right, Amit. Their equipment is pretty worn out too.” Kulkarni replied as he climbed up the chassis and stepped above the turret. Amit piled up quickly as well and slid into his hatch. Kulkarni turned around to see the twenty four Arjun MBTs lined up behind him and then put on his newly designed tank helmet and comms. The gunner was already in position by that time and so was the rest of the crew. Kulkarni switched on his comms:
“Rhino-One to all Rhino Elements. We are now in the FEBA. All units on Red-Con status! Over” he lowered his mouthpiece and turned to face the gunner and loader behind him: “Load APFSDS round!”

“All units: this is Rhino-One. Expect enemy armor! Prepare for combat! Watch for friendlies as we approach the FEBA. Engage and destroy all enemy tanks you see. Keep an eye out for the T-99s. It’s a deadly enemy and do not underestimate its night-fighting capability. We are better trained and equipped. This may not be Rajasthan, but this is still our Arjun Tank and this is still the 43RD Armored Regiment! Move out!”

As the lines of Arjun tanks rolled out of Saser and entered the battlefield, night had crept in, and all that remained of daylight was the pink-red sky to the west, silhouetting the mountains. Brigadier Adesara was standing with Sudarshan as several AXE multi-terrain vehicles rolled up to take them back to their respective CPs. Sudarshan looked over at the black silhouetted outline of the Arjun tanks against the flashes of light and fire from the north and said to Adesara as he walked to his vehicle:
“About damn time!” Adesara responded with a grunt:

“Indeed. Break through to that MSR, old boy. It’s time to retake the initiative in this ground war. ”

vivek_ahuja
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:21

DAY 6 + 1750 HRS (L)

FORWARD EDGE OF THE BATTLEFIELD
EAST OF DAULAT-BEG-OLDI (DBO)
LADDAKH


“Is it operational?”

“Negative sir. Thermal shows erratic white spots. Could be fires inside”

“Roger. Bypass it. Be careful from now on.” Major Kulkarni said as he backed away from his commander’s sight and rubbed his eyes before peering through it again. They had just spotted a burnt out BMP-2 vehicle of the now demolished 10TH Mechanized unit as they approached the frontline. Kulkarni had called for a stop to allow his unit to regain a line-abreast formation after traversing the rugged terrain from Saser to the southeast of DBO. Now they were behind the 4TH Mech lines, and the 43RD was conducting a Passage-of-Lines (POL) through the former unit and take position on its projected Line of Departure (LOD) in the FEBA towards the Chinese positions…

“Driver! Traverse forward!”

“Roger!” was the reply and the Arjun tank lurched forward with a thunder followed by nine other tanks in the first wave of the 43RD Armored RHINO-Force. Passage of lines was always the difficult part of the operation. During that process, you were close enough to the enemy that you could not afford to not be trigger-friendly. But you were closer still to Friendly Forces that one mistake and you could light up a friendly unit in a heartbeat. The process became difficult still during nighttime, when visual acquisition was restricted to native passive night vision and thermal scopes, either of which offered a murky picture at best inside a live battlefield lit with massive small and large, temporal and steady sources of light and heat emissions…

“Rhino-Two to –One: I have three, say again: three, BMP-2 silhouettes at five hundred meters at eleven to my position. Over” the R/T squawked. Kulkarni rotated his sights to see what the designated targets were.

“Roger! I have them. Confirmed BMPs in natural defilade: looks like they are active and alive! I also spot infantry in defensive positions. Looks like we are approaching 4TH Mech lines. Rhino-One to all elements, break formation and bypass in force. 4TH has our backs. Let’s see if we can get them on the horn. Out!”

“Roger. Nice to see friendlies out here still alive. Two out.”

Kulkarni once again leaned back from his scopes and checked his battlefield management system to confirm unit positions…
Right where they should be... He thought. He then brought his R/T speaker attached to his helmet closer to his mouth before speaking:

“Steel-Central, this is Rhino-One. Approaching FEBA and conducting POL with friendly forces. Rhino is preparing to advance to Point-Victory-2 and Red-MSR. What the latest on enemy armor dispositions between LOD and Point-Victory-2? Over” Kulkarni said, and then saw on his BMS that Colonel Sudarshan had a Nishant RPV overhead even as he had asked for Intel. Hopefully, what he got would be what the controllers for the RPV saw and hence in near real-time. He was going to need a very clear picture of the enemy force before he ordered his force to roll out. The battlefield between his force and the objective was littered with burnt out hulks of dozens of Indian and Chinese vehicles from six days of fighting. It was hard to tell how even the RPV drivers could spot a live tank in defilade position from a dead one in a picture littered with dead vehicles. Besides, the Indian forces weren’t the only ones doing RPV recon of the battlefield. This was going to be a crucial battle and the Chinese knew it. They were probably expecting it.

This is going to get messy…

“Rhino-One, Steel-Central. RPV recon inconclusive: too much visual interference! Intel from the 4TH Mech suggests depleted battalion of T-99s on the frontlines, probably in hull down positions, we confirm at least three moving vehicles in reserve behind the lines and infantry with anti-tank weapons taking up positions opposite your LOD…”

They know we are coming…Kulkarni realized before he spoke: “Roger! Rhino Force is now approaching LOD and awaiting artillery strikes to commence advance to Point-Victory-2. Your call, Steel-Central”

“Rhino-One, orders remain unchanged. Seize Point-Victory-2 and eliminate Red armor at objective. Seize and hold the objective! Steel-Central out!” Colonel Sudarshan’s voice signed off the link, leaving Kulkarni to do only one thing:

“Rhino-One to all Rhino elements: Advance! Advance! Advance!”

vivek_ahuja
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:24

DAY 6 + 1810 HRS (L)

FORWARD EDGE OF THE BATTLEFIELD
EAST OF DAULAT-BEG-OLDI (DBO)
LADDAKH


The thunderous roar of ten Arjun main battle tanks amongst the battered remains of the 10TH and 4TH Mechanized Battalions of the Indian Army reverberated through the peaks around Daulat-Beg-Oldi in the dark of the night on the sixth day of the war. Under command of Major Kulkarni, the ten tanks out of the twenty vehicles inside the AO advanced in near unison from the LOD and began traversing the relatively open terrain between them and the Chinese forces…

In the skies above, a Chinese UAV shared the skies with an Indian Nishant RPV, and armored force commanders on both sides prepared for battle, viewing the feed from their eyes in the sky. For the Indian commander, Colonel Sudarshan, there was not much to do other than to nod to a young Captain sitting on the bank of radios inside his command trailer who picked up the R/T speaker and transmitted the “Go” code for AFARP position at Saser where the Pinaka MLRS unit was based, having reloaded and waiting the go-ahead. Within seconds, the skies around Saser filled with dozens of backlit smoke trails as the 214mm rockets streaked into the sky, arced downwards and aimed for the ground around the Chinese positions. The massive fireballs from the cluster munitions drop amongst the Chinese infantry positions waiting to ambush the Indian tanks with missiles was devastating. The smattering of fireballs amongst the rocky gravel of Laddakh did not go unnoticed on the thermal scopes of the Nishant’s EO systems. Colonel Sudarshan watched in silence as the distant rumblings coming from the east confirmed what he was seeing on the screen in front of him. He sighed and once again looked at the Captain waiting with the R/T speaker in his hands:

“Bring them in.” was the calm order from the Colonel, betraying the true nature of what was to follow…

“Oh shit! My whole freaking view just did a white-out, sir!” Kulkarni’s gunner said as he reeled back from the sights. They had just witnessed the impact of the rockets on the horizon in front of their advancing line of tanks. The thermal scopes sorted out the white balls and adjusted coloration to bring the view back under control in a few seconds after which both Kulkarni and his gunner were back at their sights:

“Steel-Central, this is Rhino-One: BDA inconclusive at our end. Too much optical interference! Can you confirm? Over”

“Roger, Rhino-One. Enemy infantry taking heavy fire and currently suppressed. Two ZBDs on fire and one T-99 crew abandoning vehicle: cause unknown! Stand by!”
“Roger that!” Kulkarni said without looking away from his sights.

“Rhino-One, inbound flight of four Jaguars on anti-armor tasking available with LGBs. Redirecting to Point-Victory-2 for armor suppression mission. Ensure friendly armor ID transmitters active. Skies above filled with friendly air units: do not engage! Confirm last message! Over”

“Rhino-Force copies all! Thermal ID beacons active. Line of ten Arjun tanks forward of LOD: do not engage this force! That’s us. All armor units north of this line are viable targets! Over” Kulkarni said, and shared a look with his gunner: it was a scary thought thinking about a laser guided bomb headed down amidst the smoke and dust so close to his location. The artillery was safer in a way: at least they aimed for terrain and location rather than aim. Kulkarni lowered his R/T mouthpiece and peered through his scopes to see a line of fires and debris obstructing his view for the most part. They were now bypassing the last known advance lines of the 10TH Mechanized in the first few days of the war. Beyond was open terrain all the way to the objective.

There was no hiding behind cover now…

vivek_ahuja
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:27

DAY 6 + 1815 HRS (L)

SKIES ABOVE THE BATTLEFIELD
NORTHEAST OF DAULAT-BEG-OLDI (DBO)
LADDAKH


“Weapons un-caged. Ready to fry!” the pilot said as he checked his instruments and pulled back on the stick to bring the twin-seat Jaguar from the Tuskers Squadron above the peaks and suddenly in view of the massive live battlefield around DBO. This crew, and others like it from three separate squadrons of Jaguars now involved with the battles in Laddakh, had been to this battlefield countless times in the days before. Their aircraft were now stained with black soot and grime from five continuous days of combat flying. The crews themselves had aged quite a bit under the strain of operations and it was beginning to show. The statistics for combat losses for the strike Jaguars in the early days of SEAD missions had caused several losses in all three squadrons. Afterwards, the losses had died away as the Chinese forces in theater lost their aerial protective umbrella under the continuous low-level strike missions.

Now, barring the S-300 systems deployed at scattered locations in the Aksai Chin and the Qara-Tagh-La region, the skies were clear for high altitude strike missions in the DBO, Demchok and Pangong-Tso regions. The Indian Air Force could not go beyond the FEBA right now with those S-300s still active, but the FEBA itself was clear of all enemy air forces. The CAF had taken a beating in the skies in the first few days of the war and had now resorted to DCA missions above Tibet, protecting their valuable KJ-2000s and H-6 missile carriers that were now resorting to stand-off missile strikes for the previous two days of the war…

The localized aerial superiority was visible to the pilots of the four twin-seat Tusker Jaguars. As the pilot waited for his Wisso to spin up the weapons and begin target acquisition, a flight of three Mig-29s on OCA tasking cruised a couple thousand feet above the strike formation, guided with airborne intelligence from the A-50I further to the south. The Jaguars had taken off from their forward deployment base at Srinagar AFB and had been waiting for their turn to deploy over the battlefield while other strike aircraft egressed from their low-level missions armed with rockets and napalm. Having tanked off from a waiting IL-78 loitering over Srinagar, the flight of four had now entered the skies above the battlefield:

“Thermal EO active! I have acquisition. Friendly units have lit up their ID markers!” the Wisso said from the back seat as the pilot scanned the skies. He could see the ineffective lines of tracers being fired by the Chinese forces lighting up the sky below him. All of which did not matter at the altitude they were on.

“Thank god for good communications, huh?” the pilot said dryly. There had already been blue-on-blue attacks in this war. In the most egregious case, not twelve hours ago, a Jaguar from the Tuskers had lit up a couple of friendly BMP-2s at the Pangong-Tso shores in a messed up and chaotic situation amidst a running firefight between Indian and Chinese light armor units. These things happen, and everybody accepted it, but it didn’t make it any more acceptable!

“Roger that, sir. Okay: I have an enemy tank with a long barrel in hull down position north of our guys. Suggest we go for a LGB drop!” the WSO said.
“Okay. Weapon transferred and un-caged. Released to local control. Aircraft stabilized. Drop on your go.” The pilot replied in turn. The WSO switched on the targeting laser and had a positive reflection from the metallic turret of the T-99 below.
“Target is lit!”
“Roger.”
“Drop in three…two…one. Drop!”

The aircraft gained a few dozen feet of altitude as soon as the heavy weapon fell off its pylons, causing the pilot to take instant action and the WSO to correct his mark, which had shifted slightly. The pilot looked to his left and right and saw other aircraft releasing weapons as well. Three LGBs were now on the way down with split second delays, followed by a ten second delay on the fourth…

“Steady on the marker!” the pilot cautioned his WSO.
“I have it! Steady and holding. Impact in three…two…one...”

The thermal EO screen washed with white coloration as a split second later, following by an inverted black cone of mud and soot that flew upwards from the impact point. The targeted tank was destroyed. A second later the second and third balls of smoke and fire rose into the night skies. There was no explosion from the fourth bomb, having malfunctioned during its release from the parent aircraft.

“That’s a splash on target!” the WSO exclaimed.
“Roger. BDA?”

“Boss, I dropped that thing right through the commander’s hatch or something down there. If that tank is still alive, feel free to change my name!”
“Point taken!” the pilot said with a chuckle: “Okay, find me a new target. We still have another one to drop.”
“Okay. Beginning acquisition…”

“Eagle-Eye-One to all elements in TAC-One. We have yet another inbound flight of J-10s on possible OCA tasking headed to the AO. Suggest all ground-tasked elements to egress immediately. Will advise as situation develops. Out” The brief R/T burst message from the Phalcon AWACS to the south was enough to cause the Jaguar pilots to begin scanning the skies around them, even though there was no immediate danger. Nevertheless, the pilots saw the three Mig-29s above them dropping their external tanks and lighting up afterburners as they went for their kills. The skies were getting dangerous once again…

“You heard the radar boys, buddy. Find me a target or we are bugging the heck out of here in thirty seconds. I am not waiting around to see who wins that fight between our Fulcrums and their Juliet-tenners!” the pilot said urgently.

“Hold on, boss! I can find a target here. Our boys need us to take out these targets before their assault. Give me fifteen seconds over here!” the WSO replied back.

“Roger. Fifteen and counting before we are RTB to the south. Make it count!” the pilot said, and lowered his helmet mounted NVGs to peer at the silent greenish view of the skies to the north over Tibet, hoping to see what the Fulcrum drivers were up against. He spotted three small flashes of light departing from the backlit lights of the Fulcrums, showing release of long range air-to-air missiles. As the missiles headed north, the fulcrums lit up the sky and broke their line-abreast formation while dropping chaff and flares…

Oh shit! This is not good… the pilot of the Jaguar strike formation thought to himself as he checked his watch to see about those remaining seconds…

vivek_ahuja
BRF Oldie
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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:31

DAY 6 + 1820 HRS (L)

RHINO FORCE POSITIONS
SOUTH OF POINT-VICTORY-2
LADDAKH


As the floor of the tank shuddered under the shockwave from the massive explosions amidst the Chinese lines caused by the guided bombs dropped from the Air Force strike aircraft in the skies above, Kulkarni smiled as he watched the show from his sights. But he had other things to take care of already, and couldn’t really absorb the full fun of the punishment being meted out to the Chinese forces opposite him…

“Rhino-One to all Rhino elements: engage all visible targets! You are weapons free! Let them have it!”

Six of the ten Arjun tanks under his command had acquired targets despite the smoke and fires inside the Chinese positions. The line of tanks lit up as their main guns fired, followed by the rattling sounds of machinegun fire as each tank went into autonomous killing mode. This terrain was not meant for anything larger than small unit maneuvers, which meant that it was a slugfest. Whichever target presented itself to any tank under Kulkarni’s command would be engaged, destroyed or trampled over under the massive mass of the Arjun tank.

The Chinese forces facing Kulkarni were already reeling from the incessant artillery and precision high altitude air-strikes by the Indian Air Force aircraft. Their commanders had been screaming for some air cover and General Chen at Kashgar had surged forward several flights of J-10s to run interference and cause the Indian aircraft to abort their strike packages. On the ground however, Colonel Sudarshan’s plan called for no lull in between the airstrikes and the advance of Rhino Force tanks so that the Chinese units could not regain their defensive composure. Blitzkrieg at its finest…

The Chinese infantry in the two hillocks bracketing the valley that cut into their MSR along a north-south axis had taken heavy losses. Their positions were still covered in clouds of smoke and dust caused by the Pinaka strikes. Those that had not been killed outright were still reeling from the thunderous shockwaves that had ripped through their bodies in a matter of seconds, burying dozens in their man made foxholes and others with blood pouring from their ears and optics and weapons covered with gravel and dust. Between their two hillocks sat the Chinese armor units defending the entrance to their MSR. This position was designated as Point-Victory-2 for the Rhino Force Arjun tanks, and as the Chinese infantry commander on the western hillock watched after recovering his NVG systems, he could see a line of ten Arjun tanks rolling down the valley, their turrets rotating left and right as they engaged what remained of his positions.

His first response was to call his armored force commander, but that thought died away as he saw pillars of fire amidst the dozen or so T-99s available to him. The ZBDs were doing no better. Several of them were moving past the burning chassis of the vehicles ahead of them to get a clear line of sight and engage the Indian tanks. But to no avail. The Arjuns outgunned and outmatched the optics of any Chinese vehicle in front of them. They were picking out and eliminating any Chinese vehicle that managed to pull past the wreckage around them even before that said crew could see who was shooting at them. Several Chinese T-99s did manage to fire off their main guns once the Arjuns got closer, but the massively superior armor of the Indian tanks prevented catastrophic damage on the vehicles. Two Arjun tanks came to a stop after being hit by Chinese T-99s. One had its turret blow-off panels fly off under a fireball that directed the impact energy away from the crew compartment. Three of the crew of that tank piled outside the tank as its engine compartment caught fire. In return, other Arjun tanks simultaneously fired at the two Chinese T-99s that began to retreat from their hull-down positions and sent fireballs flying underneath their turrets, destroying each tank in catastrophic explosions. There were no survivors in either tank. No chance.

As the horrified Chinese commander realized what was happening, he picked up the radio and changed unit frequencies to forward a warning order to the rear-echelon units and his reserve ZBD force. The latter force began to mobilize seconds after the call came through. By that time, however, the eight Arjuns were bypassing the destroyed Chinese Armor battalion and entering the area occupied by a massive Chinese convoys of trucks and supply convoys. The 43RD Armored had broken into the Chinese Division’s very vulnerable rear areas, cutting off the Chinese forces facing Brigadier Adesara’s units from the rear. As each Arjun tank began firing streams of tracer rounds into the soft skinned vehicles and ammo-filled trucks, the Chinese soldiers began abandoning their vehicles and began running in all directions. Some attempted to fire rocket propelled grenades at the Arjun tanks, which shrugged off the attacks on its Kanchan composite armor plates. In turn, they responded by cutting down the offenders with bursts of gunfire. As Major Kulkarni’s Rhino Force reached the other side of the valley, they were surrounded by dozens of burning trucks and fires coming from light armor units. The Chinese logistical train feeding the ground offensive against Daulat-Beg-Oldi had been destroyed…

“Rhino-One to Steel-Command: Objective achieved. Point-Victory-2 has been taken. Chinese DIV-MSR has been destroyed. Bring up the 4TH and the Infantry to hold this position.

43RD Armored is advancing eastwards and is in tactical pursuit of retreating Chinese forces. Rhino-One out!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 09:49

DAY 6 + 1905 HRS (L)

RHINO FORCE POSITIONS
POINT-VICTORY-2
EAST OF DAULAT BEG OLDI


“Say that again? Over” Major Kulkarni turned away from the commander’s optics and pressed his helmet earpiece closer to his ears with his hands. The chaos of combat was drowning out the incoming radio traffic inside the cramped turret of his Arjun tank…

“Rhino-Force, this is Steel-Central! Do you read, over?” the R/T screeched. Kulkarni squinted as he strained to understand what was coming through. In the background his gunner was shouting targets and requesting gun ammo from the loader, who was shouting the requests back to confirm. The cordite smell and smoke inside the tank was nauseating. The shudder of the tank interior with each gun shot fired and the rattle of the co-axial machinegun just added to the cacophony.

“Yeah! This is Rhino-One! I read you! Steel-Central, we are in heavy contact with enemy dismounts on Point-Victory-2! Enemy infantry attempting flanking maneuvers of Rhino Force from surrounding hills! Get the rest of my force up here and push up the 4TH Mechanized to reinforce! Over!”

“Rhino-On…This…Central! Can you confirm!” the R/T screeched again just as the tank shuddered on recoil.
“Negative! Negative! I do not copy! Say again Steel-Central!”

The R/T screeched with static.

“Oh shit!” Kulkarni lowered his mouthpiece in frustration and then saw his loader staring at him in silence. He had to keep his composure, if not for himself then for his unit. He reached for his R/T mouthpiece and changed frequencies:

“Rhino-One to all Rhino elements! We cannot hold this ground. Enemy infantry is going to swarm us and overrun us. We are falling back. I say again, initiate tactical retreat to the base of the valley entrance. Go! Go! Go!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 10:18

DAY 6 + 1907 HRS (L)

AIRSPACE ABOVE RHINO FORCE POSITIONS
POINT-VICTORY-2
EAST OF DAULAT BEG OLDI


The Nishant UAV pushed forward by Colonel Sudarshan was now over Rhino force tanks. From its EO pod, the diminutive bird could see everything below, in all visual and IR spectrums. The image it saw was being linked with Sudarshan’s HQ north of Saser, about a few kilometers from Brigadier Adesara’s HQ. Sudarshan and his comms officers were standing inside the command trailer for the UAV unit, watching the live feed even as the comms people were attempting to make sense of the tactical situation and reestablish contact with Major Kulkarni’s force slugging it out in the rear echelons of what had been the Chinese Divisional MSR for the assault on DBO.
Until it had been decimated by Rhino Force an hour ago, that is. Now the Chinese were attempting to take it back with infantry units using the cover of the surrounding hills to get around the Arjun tanks in the valley below. Once they moved around them, they could pick the Indian tanks with anti-tank missiles fired into the vulnerable areas of the tanks.

Not acceptable… Sudarshan mused. Rhino Force had accomplished what he and Adesara had asked. They had broken into the Chinese MSR and destroyed the Chinese Armor force screening the flanks. Now Adesara was pushing his Gorkha units along with all remaining BMP-IIs into a frontal attack on the surrounded Chinese forces east of DBO. The problem is, in these situations, who was surrounding who was questionable at the moment. The Chinese force stuck between Adesara’s forces to their east and Rhino Force tanks to their rear to the west was certainly feeling the pain. But the Chinese commander was no fool. He was rushing additional units from the east of Rhino Force to squeeze it out from the MSR and allow him to re-establish contact with his beleaguered units on the front-lines.

And so far it was appearing that he was succeeding. The 4TH Mechanized Battalion was rushing forward to link up with Kulkarni’s tanks and prevent the Chinese from breaking through, but it was not pushing fast enough. Kulkarni had clearly ordered a tactical retreat as the Nishant’s IR imagery showed the white blobs of heat, each of which was a surviving Arjun tank, as moving southwards back from the MSR they had just captured an hour ago. And contact was proving chaotic over the radio waves…

“What’s the status on the 4TH Mechanized?” Sudarshan barked without turning away from the UAV’s feed. Behind him a young Lieutenant looked up from his R/T sets to face the Colonel:

“They are having trouble with passage of lines on Rhino Force, sir! Its total chaos over there: Rhino is taking fire from all sides: small arms, mortars, anti-tank rockets. You name it and they are getting hit with it. 4TH Mech is unable to bypass Rhino and establish a base of fire. And Air Force Jaguars are reporting more Chinese light armor rushing into the valley from the north-east along the MSR from Qara-Tagh-La. They are attempting to interdict and buy us some time!”

“Good god!” one of the Captains near Sudarshan exclaimed. Sudarshan gave him a dry look and looked back at the Lieutenant:
“Can Rhino hold until Brigadier Adesara’s forces can break the Chinese frontline units east of DBO?”

The Lieutenant shook his head in the universal sign of negativity.

“Well then, there is only one thing left to do.” Sudarshan said dryly and picked up a R/T headset nearby and looked back at the young Lieutenant: “You go ahead and tell Rhino and the 4TH to break it off and pull back to two clicks and hold positions. And then get me Steel-Teeth HQ at Saser! Do it.”

Sudarshan turned away as the two officers next to him jumped at their new task and began sending out orders. He looked back at the Nishant EO feed and gritted his teeth as he saw a mass of small white blobs scattered over the peaks around the valley where Rhino was pulling back from.

He could not hold the MSR, but he would make sure that the Chinese couldn’t either…

“Sir! Steel-Teeth Ops on the R/T!”
“Steel-Teeth Ops, this is Steel-Central. I want suppression fire for friendly units making a southbound tactical retreat from Point-Victory-2 by two clicks. Red ants all over the northern hillside. I need some serious pest-control on Victory-2 in five mikes. Shut down the red MSR until DBO sector is secure. Free-fire cluster mine barrage on MSR following suppression barrage! Steel-Central out!”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 10:50

DAY 6 + 1917 HRS (L)

RHINO FORCE POSITIONS
POINT-VICTORY-2
EAST OF DAULAT BEG OLDI


Major Kulkarni pushed open the turret of his tank even as the driver pushed the reverse drive to maximum speed and the vehicle rumbled over the rocky gravel and snow. His loader was out as well and had already grabbed the mounted machinegun on the top before releasing a burst of fire on enemy infantry taking cover around the burnt out Chinese logistical trucks. Kulkarni took in a breath of cold air and looked on either side to see three other Arjun tanks to his left and one more to the right retreating as well. One more Arjun tank lay about a kilometer to the south in hull defilade and providing command and control eyes and ears for Kulkarni alongside 4TH Mech BMP-IIs. The clangs of noise coming from small arms fire bouncing off the hulls of the scarred tanks was ear shattering all around.

Kulkarni looked above and saw a night sky lit by orange glow and the horizon all around filled with orange-yellow tracer fire. The ground rumbled and the he could see the orange afterburner glow of IAF Jaguars taking the fight to the enemy around him…

“Rhino-One, this is Steel-Central! Over!”
“Steel-Central, this is Rhino-One reading you five-by-five!” Finally! He didn’t add.

“Rhino-One, we have you IR visible! Order Rhino to activate IR strobes on all surviving tanks right now! We cannot distinguish FEBA accurately for suppression fire! Over!”
No shit! Kulkarni thought: “Rhino-One to all Rhino-Elements: Switch IR strobes now, now, now!”

As all tanks went IR active, the overhead UAV EO could make out the rough alignment of Kulkarni’s tanks as they retreated. And the same went for the Chinese as well…
“Incoming!” Kulkarni’s loader shouted as he scrambled inside the turret and slammed the hatch closed behind him. Kulkarni did the same. A second later the interior of the vehicle shook as enemy tube artillery slammed into the rocks a few meters in front of the retreating tanks, throwing mud and gravel all over the Arjun vehicles. Several more rounds slammed into the ground as well. But with the kind of heavy armor that the Arjun tanks had, what was needed was a direct hit on the thin top armor. Not impossible, but just too damned unlikely. Nevertheless, it was enough to rattle the crews inside…

“Steel-Central, we are being hit by indirect tube Arty! No casualties yet but that won’t last long! Suggest you do whatever you have planned ASAP! We are lit up on enemy IR over here!”

“Confirmed, Rhino! Stand-by for suppression fire!”


****************
“Can somebody figure please figure out a damned way to take out those Chinese UAVs hovering over our forces east of DBO? What the heck is the Air Force up to?” Sudarshan barked out to his Air Force Liaison officer, a Squadron-Leader standing in his combat fatigues.

“They are looking at it now, sir. They UAVs are too small to detect conventionally, but Wing-Commander Dutt and his 199HU is looking at some options.” He said in response.

“Get them on the phone and figure out where they are with their plans. I can’t plan a single move over here with my armor units with the Chinese watching us on a near continuous basis. I want only our UAVs up there above our boys! You get the idea?” Sudarshan said testily and got a nod in response as the IAF officer scrambled outside the trailer to get in touch with 199HU.

****************


The Saser valley once again became a cacophony of flashes as the Pinaka MLRS battery, code-named Steel-Teeth; fired a massive barrage of rockets into the locations occupied by Rhino Force less than an hour ago. The large rockets were filled with high explosive sub-munitions and they impacted several seconds later into the Chinese MSR and sent another smattering of shockwaves through the already burnt out tanks and trucks left there by Rhino Force tanks. The Chinese infantry forces attempting to use them as cover were instantly decimated and a thick black smoke cloud extended above the valley into the night sky above.

The now empty launcher vehicles of the battery quickly moved to the rearm drop-off points located nearby and resupply crews ran over and began loading the second battery of rockets. These were filled with small proximity delayed mines designed to choke off avenues for the enemy when deployed over an area. While the new rockets were being loaded the empty, smoking canisters from the previous barrage were pushed aside by heavy bulldozers to make room for another re-arm point drop-off: these being high explosives yet again as the counter-battery radars at DBO attempting to determine the high-arcing trajectories of the Chinese tube artillery slamming into Rhino Force and the 4TH Mechanized positions.

As Sudarshan watched from the entrance of his command trailer, he saw the increasing collection of spent canisters and the fast depleting stock of ready-to-fire rounds. Resupply convoys were bringing in more ammunition for this lone Pinaka battery at Saser, but with all such things in this war, the actual usage of the rockets and targets to hit were far outstripping the ability of the Army to resupply forward deployed units.

And when the rounds were expended, so would be this war…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby pralay » 23 Oct 2012 11:22

Welcome back vivek sar:D
This looks like Dashera Dhamaka :D

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby anand_sankar » 23 Oct 2012 13:07

Navratri food and Vivek Ahuja, the day is made :)

Welcome back mate!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Hari Sud » 23 Oct 2012 19:58

Vivek

This time finish what you have started.

Any reader who has collected all the posts of this specific scenario in .pdf or .doc format; please do let me know. I shall get them into a book format and under Vivek`s stewardship publish it either on Lulu or Authorhouse publications. Then everybody could purchase the book. Anything less than 200 pages paperback is pricey. Hence we need significant number of posts to be put together to become a book.

There would rarely be a talent like Vivek in next few decades. His work need to be preserved. These are battle scenario which are different from all the publications on the 50th anniversary of 1962 debacle where media had been blaming the politicians. The flip side of the equation is that the Indian Army gave a poor account of itself in NEFA (Arunachal). The 1962 debacle would not have happened had the Indian Army blocked the Bailey Trail and prevented Chinese from appearing behind the SELA Pass lines.

Vivek has painted a scenario where Indian Army and Air Force of today's era is giving a good account of itself. Remember, today's India's military hardware is better than Chinese which is reverse engineered mostly copies of Russians. India has the original which always performs better.

Before we publish, Vivek has to finish the scenario. He has to go until ceasefire with both sides licking their wounds and Chinese getting the message that 1962 cannot be repeated again. That will ensure permanent peace. If we cannot indulge in real battle; a realistic scenario is alright. It lets Chinese know that India is well prepared and also it is good for national morale.


Hari Sud
Toronto

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby anand_sankar » 23 Oct 2012 20:03

@Hari_sud, good proposal!

@Vivek_Ahuja, would love to purchase the entire scenario as a PDF in the future as a collector's item. It is fair that you get some remuneration for the fantastic writing, and the hours of research and thinking you are putting into this work.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby RamaY » 23 Oct 2012 20:08

^+1 Harisud ji.

I am really interested in how Vivekji puts his Epilogue of this Indo-China conflict.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Hari Sud » 23 Oct 2012 21:08

I like the good response so far.

Vivek!!! are you listening.

I forgot to mention that books self published using American or Canadian self publishing system are priced in dollars. These become very expensive to ship to India and paid in rupees.

I published two books so far and these are priced at $25 and $40. Add shipping to India and you are talking approximately Rupees 4,000 or more. It is pricey. Hence for the Indian market a local publisher has to be found.


Hari Sud
Toronto

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 23 Oct 2012 21:36

@Hari Sud,

I agree with the proposal. And I do appreciate the effort from all the members here. I figure I am about a month's worth of writing away from finishing this scenario correctly (assuming about 3+ pages a day worth of posting). So let's plan accordingly.

Bala_Vignesh is helping us to determine a viable publisher in India based on prior conversations with him. Of course, any additional help that other BRFites can offer is definitely useful.

All in all, depending on size of page etc, we might be looking at a book about 300+ pages at least (standard novel size, font and template). Going in larger, non-novel format would reduce the number of pages and perhaps bring the pricing down. Lulu will do a 200+ page book in novel sizing for about $20 (this was publish-to-order concept and hence costly. I suppose if we go for a larger publication order beforehand, the price would come down). I have used that for a missile design book in the past.

-Vivek

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby ashdivay » 24 Oct 2012 01:19

vivek_ahuja wrote:DAY 6 + 1917 HRS (L)

RHINO FORCE POSITIONS
POINT-VICTORY-2
EAST OF DAULAT BEG OLDI


Major Kulkarni pushed open the turret of his tank even as the driver pushed the reverse drive to maximum speed and the vehicle rumbled over the rocky gravel and snow. His loader was out as well and had already grabbed the mounted machinegun on the top before releasing a burst of fire on enemy infantry taking cover around the burnt out Chinese logistical trucks. Kulkarni took in a breath of cold air and looked on either side to see three other Arjun tanks to his left and one more to the right retreating as well. One more Arjun tank lay about a kilometer to the south in hull defilade and providing command and control eyes and ears for Kulkarni alongside 4TH Mech BMP-IIs. The clangs of noise coming from small arms fire bouncing off the hulls of the scarred tanks was ear shattering all around.

Kulkarni looked above and saw a night sky lit by orange glow and the horizon all around filled with orange-yellow tracer fire. The ground rumbled and the he could see the orange afterburner glow of IAF Jaguars taking the fight to the enemy around him…

“Rhino-One, this is Steel-Central! Over!”
“Steel-Central, this is Rhino-One reading you five-by-five!” Finally! He didn’t add.

“Rhino-One, we have you IR visible! Order Rhino to activate IR strobes on all surviving tanks right now! We cannot distinguish FEBA accurately for suppression fire! Over!”
No shit! Kulkarni thought: “Rhino-One to all Rhino-Elements: Switch IR strobes now, now, now!”

As all tanks went IR active, the overhead UAV EO could make out the rough alignment of Kulkarni’s tanks as they retreated. And the same went for the Chinese as well…
“Incoming!” Kulkarni’s loader shouted as he scrambled inside the turret and slammed the hatch closed behind him. Kulkarni did the same. A second later the interior of the vehicle shook as enemy tube artillery slammed into the rocks a few meters in front of the retreating tanks, throwing mud and gravel all over the Arjun vehicles. Several more rounds slammed into the ground as well. But with the kind of heavy armor that the Arjun tanks had, what was needed was a direct hit on the thin top armor. Not impossible, but just too damned unlikely. Nevertheless, it was enough to rattle the crews inside…

“Steel-Central, we are being hit by indirect tube Arty! No casualties yet but that won’t last long! Suggest you do whatever you have planned ASAP! We are lit up on enemy IR over here!”

“Confirmed, Rhino! Stand-by for suppression fire!”


Actual video footage from the UAV for this battle is coming up soon !

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby kit » 24 Oct 2012 02:16

Vivek and Hari .,

Why not try self publishing ? Some sites like pothi.com allow you to upload your book and name your price for your book.We at BRF are more than aware of your efforts, so you do have a customer base.As for marketing what better than BRF ?!

Kit

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby ashdivay » 24 Oct 2012 09:32

GNN IBN
Special Report

We have received a video from Indian Army of the massive Armour battle that took place in Leh. We wish to point out this a Thermal Imaging Video recorded by a Indian UAV flying over the battlefield. Video shows Indian Tanks and APC's advancing towards PLA lines.

Click to watch the video. http://youtu.be/t0R9qX0Sugs

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby nash » 24 Oct 2012 10:58

ashdivay wrote:GNN IBN
Special Report

We have received a video from Indian Army of the massive Armour battle that took place in Leh. We wish to point out this a Thermal Imaging Video recorded by a Indian UAV flying over the battlefield. Video shows Indian Tanks and APC's advancing towards PLA lines.

Click to watch the video. http://youtu.be/t0R9qX0Sugs


its different and good

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 24 Oct 2012 11:09

DAY 6 + 2020 HRS (L)

SASER
LADAKH, INDIA


The dust storm picked up as soon as the LCH approached the cleared patch of land serving as the landing zone. In the dark of the night, the helicopter approached with all visual nav-aids switched off and only a pulsing IR beacon to serve as guidance on the forward mounted FLIR pod. Wing-Commander Dutt released the collective and adjusted the tail rotor power to bring the LCH around and facing north when he felt the slight bump of the landing gear touching the ground below. A second later the hydraulic legs of the undercarriage pushed up with a slight swishing noise and bore the load while the engine powered down. The ground crews from his unit were already rushing around the helicopter to make it ready for the next mission. Empty weapons pods were being released from the pylons by one set of crews while another brought in another set of ready-to-fire rounds. Depending on mission type, the weapons carried during each sortie were different. But for the last twelve hours, all they were carrying were the Helina Anti-Tank missiles to help staunch the massive Chinese armored thrust towards Dault-Beg-Oldi.

Dutt’s crew chief was now knocking on the side glass of his cockpit and a couple seconds later had it opened. Cold air and a bit of falling snow rushed into the cockpit as the warm air inside rushed out, making both crew members shiver despite the thick padded coats they wore above their flight-suits. Dutt removed his oxygen mask with a tired gesture that did not escape the notice of his crew-chief: an experienced Air Force Warrant-Officer who had experience of combat during the Kargil war.

The men flying the two LCHs from 199HU were exhausted to say the least. They had now been fighting for days without break. Same went for the ground crews working day and night to get the helicopters ready for war as soon as they returned. The helicopters were also showing the strain of continuous combat. The engine exhausts were grimy and the side of the fuselage behind them was blacked with soot. Identical situation for the chin-mounted cannon barrel. It had fired more rounds in the last two days than it had in the last two years. It would need replacement soon, and Dutt’s operations officer at Saser had made the urgent requisitions from HAL at Bangalore. But that might take days to arrive down the congested and heavily clogged logistical arteries from Leh to Saser, even if HAL managed to pull off a supreme effort do so in this time of need. In the meantime, the war would go on. And so would the men and machines of 199HU. Until something or someone broke under the strain…

Dutt unbuckled himself from his cockpit and with the help of his crew-chief, managed to step outside the cockpit and hopped onto the icy gravel of Laddakh. His WSO was doing the same. Further away, he saw the empty helipad where his second helicopter would normally be parked, but it was off on another desperate mission to prevent a small platoon of Gorkhas under Adesara’s command from being overrun east of DBO airstrip: yet another day in this war.

There were other helicopters here, though. Further away, a couple of armed Dhruvs were parked. And further away still he could see the blurry outline of a single Mi-17 through the slight snowfall. Dutt extended his hand out and saw a few flakes of snow fall on his hand before the sudden chill hit him. He shrugged it off and stared into the night sky above. He could not see any stars. The weather was not cooperating…

“What’s the forecast for the next few hours?” Dutt said to his Met-Officer as he and his WSO walked away from their helicopter towards the metrological trailer. The top of this vehicle was covered with antennas and weather measurement devices, in addition to comms for more detailed information to be passed from Leh regarding the weather. The Met-Officer walked with them and then stopped near the entrance. He had the relevant information memorized beforehand:

“Not good. Sharp snowfall later tonight will close everything down till tomorrow morning. I suggest moving these birds…” he gestured to the parked Dhruvs and the Mi-17. “…under cover and make sure everything is secured before the snow gets heavier. After that we should be good to go again tomorrow morning just before noon.”

Dutt was not happy to hear that. The ground war would not wait for the weather to clear. The only advantage the Indian side had was the local air power. Without it...
Before Dutt could answer, however, an AXE vehicle pulled up next to the trailer with a sudden screech and all three men jerked to see what was going on. The IAF liaison officer at Colonel Sudarshan’s HQ jumped out of the vehicle and ran over to Dutt.

“Oh shit. This can’t be good.” Dutt’s WSO said dryly as the other man approached.
“What the hell is good around here anyway these days?” Dutt replied.

“Sir, urgent request from Colonel Sudarshan. We need to move Operation Sickle-Swipe forward right away. Rhino force is retreating south of the Chinese MSR under heavy enemy Arty fire. The Chinese have UAVs overhead and are directing the artillery. These guys…” he pointed to the line of Pinaka MLRS launchers arrayed around their deployment zone further south in the Saser valley. “…are pouring hell out there to keep the MSR closed, and we are working to take out the Chinese batteries hammering Rhino. But we need to take out the Chinese eyes above our guys out there right now!”

Dutt turned to his Met-Officer: “How long do we have before the snowfall cripples out flying capability?”
“Another hour. Two at the max”
Dutt stared at his WSO with a raised eyebrow and then gestured everybody into the trailer.

Once inside, the men spent a good ten minutes discussing the modalities of Operation Sickle-Swipe: the proposed takedown of Chinese tactical UAVs above the DBO sector. Soon after, the operations officer directed the removal of all weapons on the pylons of the single LCH available for the job. Even the rounds of ammunition were reduced along with fuel only for this mission and back. The resulting helicopter was much lighter than the baseline armed profile. The bottom line was that the crew needed every bit of available helicopter collective to provide the maximum Rate-of-Climb (ROC) in order to initiate the flight profile for taking down small tactical UAVs/RPVs.

A few minutes later Dutt and his WSO walked out and headed for their helicopter while the liaison officer ran back to his waiting AXE vehicle and drove back to Sudarshan’s HQ further north into the DBO plains. Dutt saw his crew-chief waiting for him by the cockpit with his flight helmet in hand and two bottles of energy juice in the other for both Dutt and his WSO. Dutt smiled at the gesture and took the bottle and gulped down the contents. His WSO did the same. A minute later the two men were strapped into their cockpits and the helicopter engines began to spool up. The main rotor slowly began gathering RPM along with the tail rotor while the WSO checked his weapons systems, now devoid of actual weapons except for the chin cannon, which he swiveled left and right on cue from his helmet mounted optics.

When the ground crew and the AFARP traffic controller cleared his helicopter for immediate dust-off, Dutt pushed the throttle and collective to maximum and the helicopter leaped off the pad under an artificial cloud of dust and light snow. They headed north, bypassing the other returning LCH on the way south for re-arming from its mission. In the greenish hell-scape of the night vision goggles mounted on their helmets, the snow reflected strongly. The rocks however, did not. This offered the checkered terrain setting around that could disorient the crew and removed depth perception: very dangerous while flying in mountainous terrain on slight engine power margins.

But for all that the LCH was designed to fight and survive in these conditions. The digital camouflage adorned by Dutt’s helicopter prevented decent IR acquisition to allow targeting for anti-air missiles. Radar cross-section from the trim helicopter up-front was small and against the background clutter, was almost impossible to acquire. Visually, well, that couldn’t be helped. But Dutt and his crews followed the tactics used by attacker helicopter pilots worldwide: terrain masking. Pop up to acquire and light up a target, then bug out under cover before unguided anti-air artillery could be released upon them.

Tonight, this would not be of concern. They were not going after ground targets. Their target was not below them but rather a thousand feet above. Of course, flying at the altitudes of the Himalayas, there is very little power to spare during the engine’s continuous operations to allow nice ROCs to higher altitude. This was not lost on the crew and hence the reduced weapons package. The lighter the helicopter became, the more collective he had to pull his helicopter up into the skies above. Theoretically, anyway…

“Five minutes to AO. Spool it up, old boy!” Dutt said over the R/T to his WSO.
“Roger.”

Dutt looked around to the left and right and then above to see the cloudy night sky threatening to bring them down with bad weather. He hoped he had the time to get this job done and get home before the weather closed in. Of course, the cloudy blanket above him was misleading. He knew that above that cloud cover was the clear star-lit night sky where the war was being waged between the two Air Forces of India and China. And almost on cue, a Mig-29 streaked under the cloud cover as it dropped flares and then punched afterburner to climb back out through the muck again…

“Damn! I wonder what the hell is going on up there!” Dutt’s WSO said as they saw the bright flashes of the flares dropped by the fighter fade away into the snowy hillsides.

“Nothing good. Hold on.” Dutt said and then switched frequencies.

“This is Sickle-One to Eagle-Eye-One. What’s the word on the skies above DBO, over?”

A hundred and fifty kilometers to the south, the Mission Controller on board the Phalcon AWACS was having yet another hectic night. The Chinese Air Force was making yet another attempt to dislodge the IAF from the dominating position they had acquired over the Laddakh battlefields and other most of south-western Tibet. Tonight they were surging forward flight after flight of J-10s and had even resorted to surging forward flights of J-8IIs: a clear sign of desperation given their position. This of course, did not count the regular stand-off launches of cruise missiles from H-6s over northern Tibet at Leh and Srinagar airbases. All in all, the surviving Mig-29s from Leh and long range support from Ambala based Su-30s were in the thick of it tonight…

“Uh…the skies are neutral for now, Sickle-One.” Dutt heard the delayed and cryptic response from the AWACS and suddenly did not feel very secure anymore. The skies were not blue tonight. They were neutral. At least they weren’t red though…

“Yeah. No kidding, Eagle-Eye-One. I have our Mig-29s popping through the cloud cover dropping flares and punching back out above my head here. I need to know if I should be worried about red-air interdicting my strike packages here! Do you copy? Over” Dutt responded, his heart-beat now climbing as they passed lines of BMP-IIs below and closed to the valley south of Point-Victory-2 and Rhino Force.

“Eagle-Eye copies all, Sickle-One. Will advise on aerial situation in case red-air threat elevates. For now, DBO FEBA is clear for the mud-movers. Eagle-Eye out” the R/T squawked off.

“Well, that was encouraging.” Dutt’s WSO noted drying over the intercom. Dutt shook his head as he shifted his focus back on the combat at hand:
“Nothing we can do. Let the fly-boys above do their thing. We got our own troubles here. You ready?”

“Ready as can be, boss. Switching to FLIR and I have weapon control. Let’s see if we can spot the elusive birds. On your mark!”

Dutt looked around and then forward to see that they were now a few seconds out from Rhino Force tanks below. He could see the lines of heavy Arjun tanks maneuvering in the valley below but no longer taking enemy artillery fire. Further north he could see that the Chinese MSR was burning and littered with wrecked trucks and charred remains…

“Looks like Steel-Teeth did their job and took out the Chinese Tube Arty hitting our boys below. Good for us too since I don’t’ have to fly through falling enemy shells anymore. Let’s see what’s up there.” Dutt said and switched his R/T to Sudarshan’s HQ this time:

“This is Sickle-One on target above Rhino. I hope you have withdrawn your RPVs back to the south because we are going to clean the skies clear over here.”
“Roger, Sickle-One. Skies are clear of friendly RPVs. If you see anything up there, it’s not one of ours. Take it out!” Sudarshan’s voice boomed over the comms and then switched off.

“You heard the man! Let’s rock and roll!” Dutt said and pulled the helicopter cyclic to bring a very high nose up attitude on the LCH. The helicopter now starting losing forward speed quickly and the velocity vector began to reverse on the azimuthal plane while also slowly climbing. But this maneuver brought the FLIR EO pod facing the skies above and at the cold night sky. Against such a thermal background, anything manmade would be visible to Dutt’s WSO via the FLIR view...

“Acquisition. Single UAV! Approximately one thousand feet above us!”
“Can you engage?” Dutt asked as he struggled to control the high nose-up attitude on the LCH. The velocity vector had completely reverse now in the horizontal plane. They were moving backwards and accelerating.

“Roger! I have the target! Engaging!”

The helicopter shuddered as the chin-cannon barked several time, lighting up the LCH for all to see below with the orange-yellow muzzle flashes. The rounds streaked across and were visible on the FLIR. They clearly missed the high flying drone above them.

“Shit! We are not stable enough for accuracy here!” the WSO complained to Dutt.
“Roger that, but I am struggling with the weather here, buddy. I can’t give you more stability than what you have right now!” Dutt replied back.
“Then we need to get closer!”

“Roger.” Dutt replied and pushed the LCH nose back down and maxed out the throttle and collective. With the mostly empty loads, the helicopter leaped upwards and gathered high initial rate of climb and then began to see it bleed off as they gained altitude. The outside density above the valley hills reduced substantially. This was offset somewhat because of the cold weather conditions but not enough. The gain in altitude however was substantial and Dutt wanted to ensure he wasn’t doing this above the Chinese lines. So he brought in some cyclic and sent his LCH in a climbing spiral under the Chinese UAV above. All through this, the nose of the helicopter remained pointed down and so the FLIR and the WSO in front had no visuals on the drone above.

After a few seconds of groaning climb, Dutt realized he had pushed the LCH as far as it could go without risking an engine or transmission failure. He adjusted the cyclic and terminated the spiral. The nose was then brought up yet again. This time, the nose did not have to go as high as before….

“Target acquired! Two hundred feet and escaping from us to the north!”

“Looks like the Chinese crew know we are out here now to take them out! Don’t let them escape! Engage! Engage!” Dutt shouted over the R/T to his gunner up front.
“Roger!”

The helicopter shuddered again as Dutt’s WSO let loose a long burst of fire at the rapidly fleeing drone. The vast majority of the rounds missed and bracketed the drone in three-dimensional space. But a few caught the port wing and exploded, sending the UAV spiraling out of control into the snow covered peaks below…

“Yes!” Dutt exclaimed.

Suddenly the skies around the LCH were lit up by lines of yellow tracers crisscrossing each other and flashes of explosions rocked the helicopter all around.

“Okay boss! I think we need to bugger out of here real quick! The Chinese are being sore losers down below!”
“No kidding! Hang on!” Dutt said as he brought the LCH on a southbound vector and dived for the cover of the peaks below. They lost several hundred feet of altitude in a matter of seconds and he pulled over the ground just enough to literally see the tank crews from Rhino-Force waving at his helicopter as it flashed over them and kept on flying south. There was no time for a victory roll tonight. The weather was already proving dangerous and their small fuel quantity was red-lining as well. Dutt went back to his R/T as he managed the flight back to Saser. His heart still beating loudly from the suddenness of it all…

“This is Sickle-One. Skies above Rhino are clear. I say again, we have eliminated Chinese UAV over Rhino and are RTB. You can bring back your RPVs over DBO FEBA! Over”
“Roger that! Well done, Sickle-One. Get back to base in one piece. Rhino Force and the 4TH Mechanized sends their regards! Out” Sudarshan said.
“And that is what I call a good night!” Dutt’s WSO said once the R/T had terminated.
“You think so?” Dutt mused.
“Why not? It’s like this, boss: I…” the sentence was cut short as three large tubes flew overhead below the cloud cover and headed south in front of bright yellow cones of light. They disappeared in the direction of Thoise.

“What the hell was that?” the WSO asked in alarm.

“Cruise missiles! Heading to Thoise! We have to warn Eagle-Eye!” Dutt said as switched his R/T. But the distant rumble and the orange glow above the peaks negated the need for that call. The missiles had struck.

“Shit! How did they miss them?”

“Probably there was nothing they could do. The Chinese must have been engaging our boys above to provide cover for their missiles. There are only so many things we can handle at any given time. Some targets are bound to get hit. God help those guys at Thoise!” Dutt said in remorse. Sure enough, the encrypted R/T frequency he had switched to for Eagle-Eye was now alive with chaotic and confused calls from a hundred different sources in the air and on the ground…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Bala Vignesh » 24 Oct 2012 14:26

Vivek sir,

[ramble]If you cut me off of my high action dose now, I am literally gonna fly up to Houston to find you and kick your mushraff.. :P.. [/ramble]

Amazing stuff sirji.. Real nailbiter now with those cruise missiles heading to Thoise..

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby kulhari » 24 Oct 2012 19:59

.................wow.... I am on the edge of my seat.........

Vivek saar, you are great. Looking forward to next installment,send it as and whenever possible.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby RamaY » 24 Oct 2012 23:15

Brilliant Vivek ji and Shankaruddin!

I patiently waited for few months so i can read the scenarios in multiple chapters. I am glad i could read 20-30 posts at one time... it is excellent stuff...

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby manish.rastogi » 25 Oct 2012 00:47

I bet drug addicts would stop taking their doses for vivek saarji's regular(hopeful) doses!!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 25 Oct 2012 13:07

DAY 6 + 2330 HRS (L)

EAGLE-EYE
PHALCON AWACS ORBITING OVER HIMACHAL PRADESH


The water in his hands slipped between his fingers as he continued to stare beyond it. When he looked up, he could see the tired eyes staring back at him from the mirror glass above the sink. He rolled up the shoulder sleeves of his olive-green flight-suit and then washed his face. But the thoughts did not leave…

Have I failed? Did I miss something?
Of course not! We did our best. We…I…threw everything we had at them. There were bound to be leaks. But damn it to hell!


The Mission-Controller (MC) stood straighter inside the small washroom of the crew-rest area on board the modified IL-76 aircraft. He rubbed his forehead with his hands as the events of the last few hours played back yet again in his mind: there must have been something that could have been done differently; something by which the results could have been less catastrophic.

“Nothing we could do, buddy! We did the best we could have.” The Group-Captain piloting the aircraft stood in the doorway to the tiny room. He threw the MC a small towel. He wiped his face and then pulled himself straighter as he walked out of the door and out of the crew rest areas. From where they stood, both men saw the dozen or so officers at their consoles in the cavernous interior of the aircraft.

“So why does it feel like we failed?” the MC asked the senior pilot.

“This is war. There are going to be casualties. Get used to it. Just try to make sure that you kill more of the commie ******** than you lose your own. And so far you are doing well. We lost three of our own tonight and brought down at least a dozen of theirs. Older J-8IIs, granted, but still the enemy. They threw their fighters as cover for their cruise missiles. They were willing to trade the lives of a dozen of their pilots in exchange for shutting down one of our logistical centers. The Chinese are committed. And so were we. There was no way we could have concentrated on the missiles with those buggers charging south at us. They had to be dealt with. And you got that done. But the missiles got through. And we lost Thoise. It is done and over. Let the historians sort it out. Get used to it. For now, adapt and improvise. For all our sakes”

The MC turned away and looked down at the men at their consoles in front of him and grunted his agreement. The pilot looked at his wristwatch and patted him on the shoulder before moving to the cockpit. The MC saw the older man leave and sighed.

“If only it were that easy”



KASHGAR
CHINA


“These losses are unacceptable, Feng!” Lt-Gen Chen slammed his fists on the table. Colonel Feng was not moved by this show of anger. He had bigger worries than an irate commanding officer. He stared at the digital map overlay on the wall showing current locations of enemy airborne radars and possible fighter detachments. The IAF base at Thoise, however, had been destroyed. The satellite images lying on the table in between the two men confirmed it. The black and white IR images showed the black pillars of smoke rising through a valley filled with a lingering dust cloud. In exchange, the CAF had sacrificed a dozen of their J-8IIs and a couple of J-10s; one of which had run out of fuel before it could reach the tankers over northern Tibet and the other that crashed on landing because of battle damage. It had been a costly exchange. And for Chen, the trade in lives for targets had not been acceptable. Feng, however, was not so sure…

“General, you asked me to find a way to break through the Indian aerial defenses and destroy their key airbases south of the battle lines. I did exactly that. Ever since your predecessor here foolishly threw away our regiments of J-11s and Sukhois in pointless head on attacks on the first day of the war, we have been pushed on the back foot with each passing day. I have no other options. If we don’t prevent the Indians from pouncing on our missiles as they cross southern Tibet, they will never get through. I had no choice! We should simply be glad that it was the older Regiment with the J-8s that got mauled and not the precious remaining J-10 Regiment.”
Chen pushed back his chair and got up, picking up the satellite imagery from the table as he did so. He glanced at the images again and this time his voice was calmer:
“So what’s the analysis on this airbase we managed to hit?”

Feng cocked an eyebrow and had a slight smile at the corner of his cheeks.

“Destroyed for all practical purposes. Preliminary analysis suggests massive destruction to base facilities and the tarmac areas. They may be able to operate a few helicopters from there from now on, but by the time they get the airbase functional again to operate transport aircraft, this war would be over.” One way or another…Feng didn’t add. Now was not a time to express doubt. Chen was no fool however.

“Indeed. The war will get over soon enough, if the rumblings from Beijing are to be believed. But if they are indeed true…” he tossed the glossy images back on the table. “…then the fourteen fighters we lost today to take out this base would be a total waste of resources, all things considered.”
Feng felt a shiver rise up his spine as he began to grasp what his General was saying.

“Meaning what?” he finally asked. Chen let out a derisive laugh.

“Oh come now, Feng. You and I can both see the writing on the wall even if CAF Supreme HQ cannot. We are close to losing this air war, if we haven’t done so already. We are throwing second line J-8IIs into the fight to replace losses in J-10s and Sukhois. And they are getting massacred, as is to be expected. These stand-off missile strikes are the only effective weapons at the moment that are delivering results. But how long will it be before the Indians mop up the final S-300 batteries at Qara-Tagh-La and south of here? Twenty-four hours? Forty-eight? After that? They will come after our stand-off missile launch aircraft and tankers over northern Tibet. There is no stopping that. We can delay it using innovative tactics as you have shown today. But the surprise element won’t last for long. They will adapt, as we would in their situation. Once that happens we have lost the initiative in this war.”

“You mean we would have lost?” Feng asked hesitantly, although he understood the realities only too well. But one could never be sure when a party fanatic might be listening, even in the higher echelons of the Chinese military. Chen walked over to the digital map of Tibet showing Army dispositions he was charged to protect.

“Is it really that hard to believe, Feng? What do you think will happen to our ground offensive once you and I are no longer able to push enough forces into the air to hold off Indian attacks on these logistical arteries here, in Tibet and Kashgar regions? Do you know the bloodbath that is taking place in Laddakh right now as we speak? Of course you do. We all do. Despite what NCNA puts out every hour, we know what is going on the ground. Give it another day and both sides will be running out of men and ammunition to throw at each other over there. The only ground offensive going well is the one through Bhutan. But it’s too insignificant in the grand scheme of things. What is Bhutan but a rump state in the mountains? We promised the CMC and the Chairman that we could bring India to its knees within days of conventional combat. Those days have now passed.”

Chen walked back to the table and picked up his peak-cap and also his personal sidearm which he put into his blue-white digital-camo uniform holster. Feng got ready to escort the General out as well. As Chen put his cap on and opened the door of the conference room, the outside light glistened off his stack of medals on the chest.

“But I can guarantee you one thing. Regardless of how tenacious the Indians are in their pursuit to defeat us in the next forty-eight hours, they will never defeat us.

We will NOT lose this war…”

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby rajrishi » 25 Oct 2012 15:03

This is my first post in BR after lurking for close to 5 years. Awesome storytelling. Gripping to say the least.

We want more......

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Aaryan » 26 Oct 2012 00:53

Vivek sir, I have an idea.. Why can't we combine ur earlier scenario with this one in order to publish.. We have to change few names and incidents.. Sir if u agree please mail me @rps.acb@gmail.com. I have full picture in mind..

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Bala Vignesh » 26 Oct 2012 01:06

Aaryanji,
May I suggest that instead you send your idea along with supporting arguments over to Vivek so that he can work out a Plan of action if required and work on it?? Seems the correct way to do it considering he is original author and can think of necessary modification that may have evaded you.

Just my shiny new 2 paisa..

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Shrinivasan » 26 Oct 2012 13:01

^^^ Awesome Vivek... Awesome. looking forward to more of the same...

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Aaryan » 26 Oct 2012 14:00

Bala Vignesh wrote:Aaryanji,
May I suggest that instead you send your idea along with supporting arguments over to Vivek so that he can work out a Plan of action if required and work on it?? Seems the correct way to do it considering he is original author and can think of necessary modification that may have evaded you.

Just my shiny new 2 paisa..



Sir i would have done that.. The only thing is that i dont have his mail id.. if any one can please provide me his mail id i will be very thankful...

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby Ghatotkacha » 26 Oct 2012 20:27

Really great writing Vivek.
All the minute details (visual and cognitive) made me feel like watching a HD movie with HD surround sound. And, felt as if I was in that Heli or on that battle-ground myself.

You do know how to bring reader to a scene in story.

Keep it coming!! Great job!

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby jahaju » 26 Oct 2012 22:34

Welcome Back Sir, Dussera gift was awesome.

Only Shankar Sir needs to be back to set the diwali spirit flowing.

“But I can guarantee you one thing. Regardless of how tenacious the Indians are in their pursuit to defeat us in the next forty-eight hours, they will never defeat us.

We will NOT lose this war…”


On the cusp of a nuclear showdown?

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Oct 2012 03:59

Aaryan wrote:Sir i would have done that.. The only thing is that i dont have his mail id.. if any one can please provide me his mail id i will be very thankful...


Feel free to drop me an email at vivek_ahuja123 at yahoo dot com

But yes, I had considered your suggestion on similar lines about a year ago. The main problem, as you can guess from the scenario posts themselves, is the massive merging of timelines, characters, events and details that would be needed to make this happen. It is, quite frankly, much easier for me to write and finish the current scenario completely than it is for me go back and merge the two. However, you may have some suggestion points I might have overlooked. By all mean, do share and let's see where it goes.

Regards

-Vivek

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Oct 2012 04:02

All,

As before, I am reposting a couple of posts from Day 6 of the scenario for continuity's sake. Please refer the timelines on the beginning of the post to avoid confusion (I will also demarcate the older timeline posts clearly to avoid confusion).

And as always, you can find the sequential order of posts from Day 5 on my blog (http://mach-five.blogspot.com/2012_04_01_archive.html).

Regards

-Vivek
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 27 Oct 2012 04:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Oct 2012 04:03

PREVIOUSLY....

DAY 6 + 1450 HRS

HOTEL-SIX PINAKA BATTERY
NORTH OF PARU DZONG
BHUTAN


Lt-Colonel Fernandes chewed out his last cigar about the same time as the officers inside his command trailer finished punching in the coordinates for the Battery’s three launcher vehicles. The latter were already deployed outside on their hydraulic stabilizers into the wet mud of the hilly clearing with their launchers pointed northwards at a high elevation. The single DIGICORA metrological radar unit outside had already auto-calibrated the launch trajectories with the weather conditions while the ballistic computers on board the launch platforms had pre-adjusted for the terrain. The frag-warheads were loaded and on standby.

The controls officer looked over his shoulder at Fernandes to indicate Battery Launch Readiness. Fernandes had a smile on his face and around the cigar in his mouth:
“Hit it, boy!”

Three seconds later the hills around Paru town reverberated with a low thundering noise and the citizens inside the town looked up to the north to see successive streaks of white lines rising from the ground and disappearing into the low cloud cover above their town…

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Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Oct 2012 04:05

DAY 6 + 1452 HRS

THE BATTLE FOR WINCHESTER-CHARLIE

THE WANG-CHU BRIDGE
NORTH OF THIMPU
BHUTAN


Several thunderclaps reverberated in the valley amidst brief orange fireballs as the entire ridgeline west and north of the bridge disappeared under a carpet of dust and smoke. All movement was terminated, at least as far was visible from Spear-One positions. The humongous mountain of smoke descended into the valley and covered up the village west of the bridge even as the shockwaves rocked the trees all around the valley…

“Oh shit! That was lovely!” Vikram shouted over the comms as Pathanya peered through the binoculars and spoke to Fernandes at Hotel-Six: “Good effect on target, Hotel-Six! Preliminary BDA suggests massive enemy KIA on ridgeline west of Winchester-Charlie! Hold second salvo. Will advise; Over”

“Roger. Standing by. Out” the link chimed out.

“Okay boys…” Pathanya said, lowering his binoculars and staring at the settling cloud of dust in the valley, a couple of kilometres from his positions east of the bridge: “…No time to relax. That strike was good, but now the enemy will spread out and manoeuvre. He knows somebody out here is watching his movements. Expect flanking moves to our northeast and southwest. Keep your eyes…”

“Incoming fire!” Ganesh shouted as a field artillery round slammed into the hillside just below their positions, followed by the screeching howl of more rounds…

“Go! Go! Go! Get to cover. Spread out!” Pathanya shouted as he quickly grabbed his comms set and SATCOM equipment and prepared to get into a rocky defilade position he had identified for just this kind of situations. The artillery rounds were slamming into the hillside east of the bridge, and the Chinese commander was walking his fire upwards, naturally expecting his opponents to be occupying the hill in force. His artillery barrage was saturation and HE area coverage, obviously hoping to suppress the Indian forces while he moved more of his men down from the ridgeline and into the village west of the bridge…

“Spear-One, this is Warlord-Central! What’s the hell is going on over there?!” the radio squawked amidst the roar of the explosions and the shrapnel flying overhead now. Pathanya grabbed the set lying in the dirt next to his rocky cover and brought it close to his mouth and covered the speaker with his hands to be able to get his words across over the background explosions around him:
“This is Spear-One, One-Actual! We are taking enemy suppression barrage east of Winchester-Charlie from high calibre enemy field Arty! Enemy attempting manoeuvre towards us! Requesting counter-battery fire from Hotel-Six on my location!”

“Say again! Spear-One! I don’t read you! Comms is One-By-Five! Over!”

“Damn it!” Pathanya shouted over the explosions before he calmed down. But before he could speak again, the Warlord chimed in: “Stand by, Spear-One!”
“Warlord-Central to Hotel-Six. Can you suppress enemy tube Arty fire on Spear-One? Over”
“Hotel-Six here to Warlord-Central! That’s a big negative. We have no country-battery eyes on Winchester-Charlie! Hotel-Six WLR has not been airlifted into Paru yet! We need to get eyes on Red-Arty before we do anything! I don’t have enough replenishment for my launchers to go around scatter shelling in the mountains of Bhutan! Over” Lt-Col Fernandes shouted back to General Potgam over at IMTRAT-COM at Haa Dzong. Pathanya was stuck amidst all this with his R/T to his ears and his eyes squinting at every near miss explosion rocking his hillside. And then there was that dreaded scream of a friend being injured...

“Oh shit! Ganesh is hit!” Vikram shouted from where he was, loud enough to be heard by pretty much everyone in the team above the sounds of the explosions.

“Medic!” Ganesh shouted with the pain clear in his voice. Pathanya dropped the comms set and ran out into the explosions over to the source of the call for help even as the team’s medic did the same. He had to run over the shredded tree trunks and the smoking craters created into the wet mud before he reached a cluster of rocks where Ganesh had taken cover. He lay on the ground between the rocks now, he leg covered in blood and the rocks nearby stained as well. His moans of pain sent shudders down Pathanya’s spine even as another explosion rocked the hillside and sent moulds of dirt flying all around them. The medic slid into the same position to avoid another incoming round and got down to work with Pathanya helping keep Ganesh down…

“Easy buddy! Hold on! Ravi is taking care of it.” Ganesh could only reply with a suppressed moan. Pathanya looked over to Ravi who shook his head and shouted over the explosions:
“We need to get him out of here now! I can’t do much for him other than killing the pain.”
“Do what you can. Stabilize him. I am going to go get some help!” Pathanya shouted as he got to his feet and ran across the ravaged hillside to his own position. He got there in time to see the R/T speaker half covered in mud and foliage but still working: the other line on the comms was desperately trying to get somebody to pick up the call…

“Warlord-Central to Spear-One! Do you read?! I say again: do you read?!”
“This is Spear-One! I read you five-by-five! I am taking casualties over here! I need that damn Red-Arty taken out! Over!” Pathanya shouted back into the speaker.
“Roger that, Spear-One! Hold Five. Warlord has redirected RPV coverage north of Winchester-Charlie. We are getting eyes on Red-Arty now. Hotel-Six will suppress. Over” Finally some good news…

Pathanya looked up but could only see the dark haze from the dust clouds enveloping the sky around him. But above his head, one of the Nishant UAVs under General Potgam’s command at IMTRAT-COM was now attempting to do the seeker role in a hunter-killer mission along with Hotel-Six Battery Control at Paru. The UAV was equipped with thermal imaging and showed the glowing white balls of fire exploding on the hillside at Winchester-Charlie and then further north the flashes of white emanating from the field guns of the Chinese commander. It didn’t take long for the latter location to be calibrated and projected back to the screens of the controllers inside Fernandes Battery Control trailer at Paru. The three launchers under the command of Hotel-Six quickly swivelled their launch tubes and adjusted for range, elevation, warhead settings and weather conditions before sending another streak of eighteen 214 mm rockets into the skies above Bhutan…


**************************

At IMTRAT-COM, Lt-Gen Potgam was watching the battle unfold from his own command trailers. The UAV feed was patched in to his trailer similar to the RPV-COM trailer with the latter having Ops control and the former having the Thermal EOP feed. Potgam watched in satisfaction as the a bunch of white tubes, showing up because of the residual structural heat from the launch, peppered the valley being used by the Chinese commander as his field Arty position north of the bridge. The smattering of white-black balls terminated the view and the EOP readjusted the optics. When it did so, the white balls of fire on Winchester-Charlie had stopped, and the northern Red-Arty Battery was dead…

“Good. Send my regards to Fernandes and his boys. Job well done. Now let’s see if we can get Spear-One some medevac support. Who’s on point?” Potgam asked his Ops officer next to him as they stepped outside of the command trailer at Haa Dzong.

“Flight of three ALHs and the one Lancer as before. They have returned from evacuating the Indian civvies from Paru to the Indian border and are being fuelled now. But the ALHs are pre-allocated for movement of personnel to secure Hotel-Six positions north of Paru. I suppose we could divert one helo from there to go to Winchester-Charlie and evac Pathanya’s casualties…” the Ops officer offered.

“That’s not going to be enough. That village west of the bridge is crawling with Commies by now. Any bird going in is going to take heavy fire. Besides, I doubt Pathanya is going to be able to find a decent spot to land on that hillside. Tell him to get his men to advance down to the bridge and set up a base of fire. We are sending in the evac bird. Send in the Lancer to provide security and draw fire during the rescue. Questions?” General “Warlord” Potgam said authoritatively.

“No sir!” The Ops officer said and ran off back into the C2 Trailer to divert the helos already heading over to Fernandes north of Che-La. Potgam turned around and saw the massive snow covered peaks of the great Himalayas north of his location. He hoped to see something, but all he saw was a pair of IAF Mi-17s from the barely operationalized airfield at Paru bringing in some under-slung load towards his converted FARP at the golf course.

New age of battle... He pondered in silence as the sounds of the distant thunder from the Chumbi Valley to the west and the Hotel-Six battery fire from the north reverberated in the background. I get to stand here and give orders while young boys like Pathanya and his team are taking fire on some goddamned peak. What the hell am I even doing in Bhutan anyway while Operation Chimera is kicking Commie ass in the Chumbi Valley FEBA?

Potgam walked back into his C2 trailer and picked up his personal comms R/T speaker to speak to his boss at Eastern Army HQ:

“Yeah. This is Warlord at IMTRAT-COM. Are you guys at Army HQ serious about saving Bhutan or not? I can end the commie threat to Thimpu in a matter of hours if you get me the reinforcements I need over here. I was promised Paras to help me hold on to Bhutan. I still have no clue where the hell they are or how long will it take them to get here, damn it!”

“We are working on it Warlord. Paru took a beating at the hands of the CAF bombers. Only a trickle of the planned force-reconstitution of IMTRAT-COM is taking place. We are looking at alternative MSRs. Will advise later. Give me a sitrep!”

“Holding on. General Dhillon is making do with whatever RBA forces he can muster in eastern Bhutan. I am supervising the Northern and Western Bhutanese Ops. The Chinese haven’t devoted that many troops to this particular theatre. I suppose they can’t spare to given the scale of operations in Laddakh and the Chumbi valley sectors. We get in the men I had been promised and I will end this battle here and now and move on to support Chimera Ops to my west. By the way: don’t bother looking at alternative MSRs around here. There are none. How about airlifting the Paras directly to Thimpu using the pads there near the Royal Palace and what not?” Potgam offered, running his hand through his balding white hair as he spoke.

“Is Thimpu secure?” was the Eastern Army Commander’s question.
“No idea. But we can do RPV recon real quick. I also have the main route to Thimpu from the north bottled up at the moment near a bridge called Wang-Chu. That is Winchester Charlie. Team of SF boys are providing my Arty with targets. Don’t know how much longer they can hold, though.”

“Your risk assessment?”

“I say we go, sir. Things are not going to get any better than what they are. Those SF boys could really use some backup over there.” Potgam said, nodding to his Ops officer listening in on the conversation to get the RPV redirected south from the bridge over to Thimpu…

“Your call, Warlord. I am redirecting the Paras over to IMTRAT-COM Ops control. Get them into Thimpu and secure that city. Those media ******** over there are spreading the panic by calling our absence in Thimpu as a sign of defeat. HQ in Delhi has been on my ass to ensure Bhutan’s safety. Maybe a fleet of helicopters descending with Special Forces will change their perspective. Get it done, Warlord. Over and out” and the link clicked off. Potgam turned to his Ops officer:
“Funny how that works. I bet they would have been sitting on their asses if I hadn’t called them. And now they want me to get it done.” Potgam finished off that sentence with a grunt.

“About time too, sir.” The Ops Officer said. Potgam was already walking back out from his C2 Trailer to get a breath of the fresh, cold air. As he opened the door, the whisk of cold air and the bustling noise of activity poured in. The two Mi-17s were hovering over the golf course now, releasing their precious cargo under the guidance of the ground crews there. Potgam stared in silence for a second before turning back in to face his staff:

“Yeah. The Paras wanted to get into this war. Now they are going to have their chance. That Chinese Divisional commander won’t know what hit him.”

Damn straight!

vivek_ahuja
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2367
Joined: 07 Feb 2007 16:58

Re: Possible Indian Military Scenarios - XII

Postby vivek_ahuja » 27 Oct 2012 04:06

DAY 6 + 1530 HRS

THE WANG-CHU BRIDGE
NORTH OF THIMPU
BHUTAN


“Okay. Here’s the plan…” Captain Pathanya said to Vikram as he slung his rifle sling around his neck. Behind them, the rest of the Spear-One team had gathered up. The artillery fire from the Chinese side had stopped after Hotel-Six had annihilated the battery north of the ridgeline in a heavy salvo of counter-battery rocket fire. The hill they were on was still covered in smoke and dust clouds, lingering because they had no place to drift off to. The trees on the western slope of the hill had been decimated to their roots, and craters peppered the hillside, spewing acrid smoke in plumes. Pathanya and the others were choking from the smoke and dust, struggling to speak up…

Pathanya pointed his arm towards the dilapidated Wang-Chu village on the western side of the bridge. They had seen Chinese infantry taking positions inside the village, about to make an attack to seize control of the bridge. Hotel-Six was replenishing its rockets north of the Paru airfield and was temporarily unavailable. All Pathanya could count on for the moment in terms of support was the RPV recon from Warlord-Central and the inbound flight of two helicopters, one of which was an armed Lancer equipped for close range support:

“Those houses there are probably occupied by now by Red Troops. The bridge is wired to blow, but the frozen riverbed won’t stop the enemy infantry from rushing across. We can’t stay here now. We have to keep rolling backwards to Thimpu, harassing these guys all the way using Hotel-Six rocket Arty. And we also have to get Ganesh out of here and beyond that bend of road to the south where Delta-One and –Two are waiting to extract him on any open clearing we can secure.

“Keep your eyes peeled and move silent. We are going back down that slope without waking up the reds. One false move and they are going to open up with everything they got and we are going to get skewered. Understand?” Pathanya said, and looked around to see everybody nodding in silence. He then removed the rifle sling, pulled up his rifle and headed out from behind the rocks, slowly moving past the broken branches and tree trunks and stepping across the smoking shrapnel embedded into the wet mud of the hillside. Behind him, the other ten members of the team did the same. Three of them moving with Ganesh as they helped him descend the tricky slopes…

At least the ice and snow melted away…Pathanya thought as he realized why he wasn’t slipping on the same rocky terrain he had climbed up before. His eyes, however, were peering down the red-dot sight of his rifle as he watched the eerily silent windows of the houses across the bridge. He looked behind for a quick second to see the others coming down the hill as well, all of them moving without a sound. The Chinese probably didn’t know the exact location of the team that had helped Indian Arty wipe out their guns and a good portion of their men from the first wave that had descended towards the outskirts of the village. And Pathanya certainly didn’t relish being sighted by the guys now in the village who were probably pretty vengeful by now.

A few minutes later, Spear-One had pretty much descended right up till the road and the burnt out hulk of the RBA truck from before. The sun was beginning to dip now, as the day began to end. Normally, Pathanya and his men would have waited till nightfall to withdraw, slugging it out from their elevated positions if they had to in order to buy time. But Ganesh could not hold on that long, based on what the team’s medic had told Pathanya. And Delta Flight choppers could nto hang around indefinitely either. General Potgam had continuous requirement for helicopters in Bhutan right now and could not afford to allocate them indefinitely to a single SF team, no matter what the situation. Not enough choppers to go around so everybody had to share…

“Delta-One, what’s your position, over?” Pathanya said as he depressed the R/T transmit button on his comms. The reply came over the background of helicopter blades and engines:
“Standing-by south of Winchester-Charlie at three clicks; What’s your situation? over”

“Spear-One is attempting disengagement and withdrawal. All silent so far; ETA to primary LZ is ten minutes. Over” Pathanya said, and received the okay from Delta-Flight before switching comms to his team again. Vikram’s voice came online just as Pathanya and another of his men ran across the edge of the road and took cover behind the RBA truck spewing black smoke into the darkening sky above…

“Boss, I got optical reflections from that central two floor building. It’s the only elevated position in the village. I think the Reds have optics on us…”
“Shit! Get behind cover!” Pathanya said as he pulled out his own binoculars and peered around the edge of the frontal axis of the truck, looking into the village.

“Which building are you talking about? I see a white one with a half destroyed roof.” Pathanya said without looking away from his optics. Vikram was doing the same from his position behind a large boulder a few meters above the road and on the slope:
“Yeah. That’s the one. Second window from the right, second floor”

“Oh yeah. I have it now…yup: that’s weapons optics for sure. He’s scanning the hillside looking for us. Probably hasn’t spotted as near the base of the hill because he is looking further up towards the top.” Pathanya said as he lowered his binoculars and looked around for options. If they moved now, chance sof being spotted were high. But all said and done, the Chinese probably still weren’t sure who and where the opposing forces were. They were probably expecting a standard hilltop deployment of at least a Company size force. That would explain their Arty fire as well, which was area-saturation rather than precision, even though Pathanya knew very well that they had precision arty rounds on hand, going by the way they had targeted the RBA forces in the sector…

“Damn it!” Pathanya thought as he realized the openness of the next few hundred meters down the road that they had to go. Enough cover to allow a fighting withdrawal by a larger force, but not by ten men out of which four were combat-ineffective. He switched his comms back to Delta:

“You still there, Delta?”
“Roger that, Spear-One. What’s taking you so long? We are going to be running on fumes here pretty soon if you boys don’t reach the LZ!” the Major piloting the Lancer said as he watched the ALH hovering a few feet above the grassy terrain of the Bhutanese countryside to his left as he did the same.

“Delta-One, we have enemy optics conducting visual recon of the hillside and we are exposed. No enemy fire yet suggests enemy does not know our force composition or strength. However, that will change if we are spotted by that enemy OP in an elevated structure in the center of Winchester-Charlie. Over” Pathanya said over the R/T. The Army Aviation Major looked to his co-pilot in a silent gaze that said it all. Goddamn it…

“Spear-One. Describe the structure occupied by the Red OP team. Over” the Major said finally.

“Delta-One, Enemy OP is a two floor, white coloration building with a damaged roof and flat top. Structrue is in the center of the village and clearly visible when ingress is from the northeast. Over” Pathanya said, guessing what the Major had in mind…
“Roger that. Delta-One is detaching and bypassing Winchester-Charlie from the east. Expect ingress from the northeast. ETA…five minutes. Delta-One out!” the Major said and looked over to his co-pilot:

“All right, my friend. I am not a religious man, but god help both of us now!”

The Lancer increased power and picked up from the grassy field surrounding LZ-Alpha, leaving the ALH hovering over the field with its crew watching as the Lancer’s engines groaned and moaned under the sudden strain of maximized collective by the Major. The helicopter flew down the valley, flying east of the hill occupied by the Spear-One team. The Major looked to his left and saw the smoke bellowing from the western slopes of that hill. He frowned a bit at the corner of his mouth and then lowered his helmet visor as he adjusted the tail-rotor power and spun the helicopter around on a south-westerly axis. He and his co-pilot could now see the Wang-Chu village on the horizon as they hovered over the tips of the trees in the valley below. The sun was somewhat in their eyes but that couldn’t be helped since the target had only one approach route…

“Weapons armed. You have release. Throttle at max!” the co-pilot said as the Major looked out to try and spot the target building with his eagle eyes. He thought he spotted it: “Okay. I have target acquisition! Let’s roll!”

The Lancer dipped its nose and rapidly built up speed as it flew towards the Wang-Chu village from the north, coming up behind the Chinese forces at tree-top level. Pathanya spotted the Major and his helicopter coming down the valley a good few seconds before the Chinese did, and by the time they picked up their weapons and attempted to reorient themselves, the Lancer was flying a hundred kilometers an hour and already over the village…

“Weapons release! Fire! Fire! Fire!” the Major shouted over the R/T as the Lancer released all four of its gun-pod rockets which slammed into the white building in the center of the village, demolishing it in a bowl of dust and smoke but surprisingly little fire. As the last walls of the building occupied by the enemy OP team collapsed, the Lancer had already flown overhead amidst a crackling of gunfire from the Chinese infantry inside the village. It didn’t take long before the thuds of bullet impacts started off inside the cockpit of the Lancer. The Major and his co-pilot were busy taking their bird down to tree-top height to evade the fire when a burst of LMG fire severed the tail rotor drive on the exposed boom of the Lancer, sending the helicopter spinning around while moving at one hundred kilometers an hour…

“Mayday, Mayday! Delta-One has suffered catastrophic failure in attitude control. Shutting down power and attempting auto-rotation landing! Delta-One requesting SAR support at grid-Alpha-Quebec-tw…” the R/T transmit was replaced with a screeching static as the helicopter slammed into the trees well south of the village and close to the primary LZ of Spear-One…

“Oh dear god in heaven!” Vikram said from his position loud enough to be heard by all around him as they watched the helicopter disappear from their sights and a rumbling thunder occur a few seconds afterwards. Pathanya, however, was more composed:

“Spear-One! We are leaving. Egress to primary-LZ and link up with Delta-Two! Make the most of the cover provided by Delta-One’s sacrifice! Move!”

The team moved out a few seconds later while Pathanya stayed behind the truck to observe the dust cloud from the destroyed building and the dead Chinese OP team’s position. He could see the chaos inside the village as the Chinese soldiers attempted rescue operations for their wounded and buried. They seemed extremely energetic, however…

Maybe their CO was in that building. Good for us. Bad for them…Pathanya thought as he lowered his binoculars, picked up his rifle and moved out from behind the truck. As he ran, he switched comms: “Delta-Two, this is Spear-One. What’s the status of Delta-One? Do you have a visual of the crash site? Over”

“Delta-One is down and on fire, Spear-One. We have visual of the crash site close to LZ-Alpha. Can you divert some personnel for SAR? Over” the pilot of the ALH said over the R/T.

“Roger that! Any survivors?” Pathanya asked as he waved another of his men to follow him to the crash site made visible by the pillar of smoke coming from the trees near LZ-Alpha. He then ordered Vikram to see that Ganesh was evacuated properly and to secure the perimeter.
“Hard to tell, Spear-One. Over”

“Roger. We will take it from here, Delta-Two. Meet you at the primary! Out” Pathanya said as he and his colleague ran through the bushes and jumped over the rocky terrain covered in treacherous ice and snow as they moved towards the burning wreckage of the Lancer. When he got to the site, Pathanya was witness to the horror of the crash. The Lancer cockpit had been smashed into the trees, and its engine and gun-pods were scattered into the foliage all around him, smoke bellowing and fires raging from fuel splattered all around. Pathanya saw the crushed body of the co-pilot still strapped inside his seat in the crushed glass cockpit. The Major had fallen clear and his body was nearby, trailing a line of blood from where he had fallen…

“Oh my god! He’s alive! Quick!” Pathanya motioned to his colleague and they ran over to the Major and turned him over. He was bleeding profusely through his green flightsuit but his hands were still clenching his personal firearm. Both men picked up the Major and straggled over to the LZ where the ALH was waiting and Vikram and the other men were on kneeling around the helicopter, their weapons pointed outwards at any threat that might come their way. They loaded Ganesh and the Major into the ALH which promptly screeched back off the ground and dived behind the hills as it flew south towards Paru airfield and General Potgam’s security zone in southern Bhutan…

Pathanya looked at the blood on his arms and hands that had resulted when they had brought the pilot over to the ALH. He saw his nine remaining men staring at him in silence as he looked at the blood. His face then stiffened and he pulled out a cloth to remove the blood:

“What the hell are you guys waiting for. This war isn’t over! The Chinese are probably getting organized inside Wang-Chu. Vikram, blow the bridge. We have no further use in holding on to it. Any villagers north of Wang-Chu are now behind enemy lines.

As for the Chinese inside Wang-Chu: let’s see if Fernandes can loan a suitable reply of 214 mm presents for what they did to the crew of Delta-One…”


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