Indian Army News & Discussions - 11 June 2014

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krishnan
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby krishnan » 24 Jan 2015 09:30

is it common to have those guns in the front ??

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 24 Jan 2015 10:08

krishnan wrote:is it common to have those guns in the front ??


That's how our forces prefer them.
http://m.ak.fbcdn.net/sphotos-f.ak/hphotos-ak-prn2/1401858_172598602936777_1275665961_o.jpg

Also brits and aussies.
http://i.imgur.com/REeV8.jpg

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby krishnan » 25 Jan 2015 08:14

Image

deejay
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby deejay » 25 Jan 2015 10:48

Thakur ji, thank you. lovely photos. All of those vehicles were TFTA but the OFB machine was the Shock 'n awe model. Cheers.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 25 Jan 2015 13:51

deejay wrote:Thakur ji, thank you. lovely photos. All of those vehicles were TFTA but the OFB machine was the Shock 'n awe model. Cheers.


Yes, OFB seems to have chosen the best design available in the market. The best part about the flyer design is that it is scalable as per user needs.
Image
It can be built very light like "Spider LSV" in service in Singapore..
Image
..or a big vehicle like General Dynamics Flyer built with commonality with HMVV.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Sanju » 27 Jan 2015 19:46

Col. MN Roy - who received Yudh Seva award on Republic Day goes down killing terrorists in J&K! :(
May God grant strength to the brave soldier's family to bear this tragedy. We salute you for your supreme sacrifice!

In the list it is shown as Col Munindra Nath Rai where as the Hindustan Times article says it as Col. MN Roy.

Edit: They have fixed it in the article. It now reads as Col MN Rai.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby jamwal » 27 Jan 2015 19:57

Thakur_B


Axe in use by Israel ?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 28 Jan 2015 05:26

jamwal wrote:Thakur_B


Axe in use by Israel ?


The manufacturer produces a few variants of the design and lists IDF as his customer.
The Axe
The AXE is new designed Fast Attack Vehicle for the Israeli Army. It features high mobility, lightweight and high payload vehicle.

Fast Attack Vehicle Features:
6-9 soldiers seats
High angle of approach and departure
Can be armored for protection
Unique high mobility capability
High payload
Lightweight
Storage space; water; fuel; ammunition and personal equipment
Petrol engine or diesel engine
Automatic transmission
Independent susspension
All wheels
Power steering
Differential lock arb

http://www.ido4x4tech.com/military-vehicles.htm

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby KiranM » 30 Jan 2015 17:44

LtGen Katoch's take on India's parachute deployment capability: Airborne Operations

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Sid » 30 Jan 2015 18:33

KiranM wrote:LtGen Katoch's take on India's parachute deployment capability: Airborne Operations


Well no one likes to be superseded due to order from higher command. Given the circumstances I am not so sure there could have been a better outcome. Equipment and training level at that time (during first Blue-star) were not in our favor. Plus militants had a retired military general strategizing for them.

One thing that we must learn from American SF is their use of excessive firepower to overwhelm their enemy. No excuses/no bars, its kill or be killed.

Constraints like "do not wear shoes in place of worship" or "not carry bigger explosives/rockets" when enemy clearly had ample time to fortify their positions does not bode well for our chaps. Ultimately after excessive loses they did used excessive force (jeez Tanks). Lot of lives could have been saved if those machine gun posts were sanitized early on.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 01 Feb 2015 10:55

KiranM wrote:LtGen Katoch's take on India's parachute deployment capability: Airborne Operations


Great article, thank you for posting.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby SaiK » 03 Feb 2015 23:46

http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/NEWS/news ... wsid=21643
do we know the operating range of these devices?


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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Vipul » 04 Feb 2015 01:00

IIndian Army aims to become 100 per cent digital, for Cloud storage system.

Indian Army is aiming for a highly encrypted Cloud storage system for itself, similar to that of Google, to store data as it is working towards becoming a "100 per cent digital" force.

Army sources, however, said the infrastructure for a Cloud storage system already exists but has not been made operational because of the present policy. "A policy review is under consideration". Once Cloud system becomes operational, it would store all non-classified information of every Indian soldier which can be accessed by authorised personnel as and when needed, they added.

The Army has already initiated a full-fledged digitalisation programme under which every unit and each soldier would become digitally savvy. Each Indian Army unit will have data capability with high bandwidth connectivity. Apart from these, the Army is also working on a data-radio set that can transmit video from a border post in LoC or the Line of Actual Control to the headquarters here live, they said.

"The Army has already initiated programmes to connect every soldier to its secluded central data bank through hard-wired links," sources said, adding that a digital literacy programme has been initiated. Presently, all Army battalion headquarters are connected through the Wide Area Network (WAN) which provides secure communications between units through a desktop-to-desktop messaging application.

Asked if Chinese equipment would be used in the digitalisation programme, sources said, most were being done indigenously.

"Any foreign component undergoes strict security checks," they said, adding that while Indian Army is already digital to a large extent, it is aiming for being "100 per cent digital".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in October told the Combined Commanders' Conference: "When we speak of Digital India, we would also like to see a Digital Armed Force".

He had asked the Services to give serious thought to upgrade technological skills for effective projection of power by men.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prem Kumar » 04 Feb 2015 03:44

Digital/Computer savvy soldiers would also be able to join Technology firms post-Army. I hope they have formal training programs or contract with NIIT like training institutes to get diploma-level education

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prem Kumar » 04 Feb 2015 03:47

Sid wrote:
KiranM wrote:LtGen Katoch's take on India's parachute deployment capability: Airborne Operations
Lot of lives could have been saved if those machine gun posts were sanitized early on.


The supreme irony was that the Akal Takht was destroyed eventually even though the initial SG plan was abandoned fearing damage to the Akal Takht! After loss of so many lives .....

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prem » 04 Feb 2015 10:46

Navdeep Singh ‏@SinghNavdeep
Kudos to @smritiirani for initiating work on an official book on stories of military heroes, martyrs and achievers. Motivating. Well done!

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 05 Feb 2015 04:17

A few generals are probably chuckling as well

http://www.stratpost.com/star-warriors- ... s-generals

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby srai » 05 Feb 2015 05:35

Karan M wrote:A few generals are probably chuckling as well

http://www.stratpost.com/star-warriors- ... s-generals


:rotfl:

Image
Image

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby skaranam » 05 Feb 2015 06:34

krishnan wrote:Image


from which book is this extract?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 05 Feb 2015 07:51

skaranam wrote:
krishnan wrote:Image


from which book is this extract?


The General in question - Lt Gen Nathu Singh Rathore - Its probably a true incident. I don't know which book this was originally cited in (Rohit or Vaibhav would know better) but many references on the net, FWIW.

http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org/bl ... 39406.html
http://bharatkarnad.com/2012/01/19/a-general-mess/
http://reportmysignal.blogspot.in/2010/ ... -they.html

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby rohitvats » 05 Feb 2015 08:56

Karan M wrote:The General in question - Lt Gen Nathu Singh Rathore - Its probably a true incident. I don't know which book this was originally cited in (Rohit or Vaibhav would know better) but many references on the net, FWIW.

http://archives.mirroroftomorrow.org/bl ... 39406.html
http://bharatkarnad.com/2012/01/19/a-general-mess/
http://reportmysignal.blogspot.in/2010/ ... -they.html


I can't see the pic posted by skarnam but Lt.General Thakur Nathu Singh was a legend; three things about him stand out:

1. He was highly nationalist and rebellious even during this service in British Indian Army; openly defied customs and at times, orders. He owes his continued service in BIA to some senior British officers who knew him and appreciated his qualities as a forthright officer. BTW, he wanted to quit BIA but was counseled by some prominent freedom movement leaders not to do so. They opined that it is a matter of time that British left India and when that happened, India will need experienced officers to man it's Army.

2. He turned down the position of COAS in favor of Cariappa - the Nehru government was keen to have him as first Indian COAS and this was communicated to him by then Defense Minister. But he turned it down saying the Cariappa was senior to him and should get the post.

3. Nehru has raised concern about lack of experience in Indian officers of BIA in higher defense management (I think the highest Indians had risen to was rank of Brigadier) and hence, the need to retain services of British officers for a longer period. To this, the good General had retorted that since Nehru also never had experience of being PM of a nation or held any such post, should India also import an experienced politician for the job?

IIRC, his score in the Strategy paper of Staff College still remains unbeaten!

If people are interested, please read the book: Leadership in the Indian Army, Biographies of Twelve Soldiers

It has very good account and anecdotes about men who helped shape the Indian Army.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby putnanja » 05 Feb 2015 09:16

All hail the UPA govt ...

For China, Army Has New Troops. But No Funds

...
According to sequence of events pieced together by this writer after talking to sources in the know, the Manmohan Singh government sanctioned the raising of new Corps -40,000 soldiers- meant as a deterrent against China along the northern frontier without catering for its funding.
...
As the proposal gathered steam, two notes were prepared for the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), India's highest-decision making body on matters of security. One file contained details of the overall concept and justification for raising the Mountain Strike Corps and the other, file sought additional funding, over and above the sanctioned defence budget to equip the new Corps.

In an inexplicable move, the CCS under UPA II gave its approval for raising the Mountain Strike Corps but withheld clearance for additional or specific funding!
...
...
A year later, there is no sign of specific funds being earmarked for the Mountain Strike Corps, forcing the Army to 'cannibalise' its war wastage reserves (WWR) --stores that are earmarked for emergencies for sustaining the troops in the event of a war.

According to a report in The Tribune in late December 2014, Army Vice Chief, Lt Gen Philip Campose admitted the use of WWR for equipping the Mountain Strike Corps.

"We are not getting additional budget. A certain amount of about Rs. 5,000 crore has been set aside saying that this is meant for the Mountain Corps. But this is not over and above the budget. So, we need money over and above the budget if we are able to make up all the stores and weapons which we have pulled out from the War Wastage Reserves for the initial raisings," he is supposed to have told Parliament's Standing Committee of Defence.
...

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 05 Feb 2015 09:19

MMS Govt seems to have made Nero & co look like seasoned professionals. In any other country, he would have been thrown in jail for willfully acting against national interests time and time again.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby srai » 05 Feb 2015 10:32

putnanja wrote:All hail the UPA govt ...

For China, Army Has New Troops. But No Funds

...
According to sequence of events pieced together by this writer after talking to sources in the know, the Manmohan Singh government sanctioned the raising of new Corps -40,000 soldiers- meant as a deterrent against China along the northern frontier without catering for its funding.
...
As the proposal gathered steam, two notes were prepared for the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), India's highest-decision making body on matters of security. One file contained details of the overall concept and justification for raising the Mountain Strike Corps and the other, file sought additional funding, over and above the sanctioned defence budget to equip the new Corps.

In an inexplicable move, the CCS under UPA II gave its approval for raising the Mountain Strike Corps but withheld clearance for additional or specific funding!
...
...
A year later, there is no sign of specific funds being earmarked for the Mountain Strike Corps, forcing the Army to 'cannibalise' its war wastage reserves (WWR) --stores that are earmarked for emergencies for sustaining the troops in the event of a war.

According to a report in The Tribune in late December 2014, Army Vice Chief, Lt Gen Philip Campose admitted the use of WWR for equipping the Mountain Strike Corps.

"We are not getting additional budget. A certain amount of about Rs. 5,000 crore has been set aside saying that this is meant for the Mountain Corps. But this is not over and above the budget. So, we need money over and above the budget if we are able to make up all the stores and weapons which we have pulled out from the War Wastage Reserves for the initial raisings," he is supposed to have told Parliament's Standing Committee of Defence.
...


I have been wondering how on earth the IA was raising a new Mountain Strike Corps without any budget increase. As is, the IA has major funding requirements for various modernisation programs from MBT to ICV to Artillery to Air Defence to Helicopters to infantry ... pretty much includes its every operational arm. A huge chunk of its budget goes into salaries, pensions, and maintenance of current equipment. With additional raising of troops (some reports have mentioned as high as 60,000 personnel) and all its associated equipment, this portion of revenue expenditure burden to budget will only increase. One can foresee the IA being manpower-heavy but poorly-equipped force; contrary to current worldwide trends.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby deejay » 05 Feb 2015 12:00

srai wrote:
Karan M wrote:A few generals are probably chuckling as well

http://www.stratpost.com/star-warriors- ... s-generals


:rotfl:

Image
Image


:rotfl: Yeh toh heights hai. Amazing culture of Homo Sapien Deluxe we have been developing. How to stand out in a crowd? Perhaps the decision making is a reflection of the attitude prevalent in higher positions.

BTW: I see this more and more across spectrum - Politicians, Bureaucrats, Military and soon we will have Corporate Honchos and Filimwallahs walking placards.

(Even the mango man wears a topi announcing "Mein hoon Aam Aadmi" )

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby prahaar » 05 Feb 2015 12:36

The above examples indicate a high degree of sycophancy syndrome amongst a section of the officers who may want to endear themselves to the bosses. Also the bosses who do not enforce a stop on such actions create an environment where everyone wants to out-do the other. Sad to see these pictures as they belittle the noble work done by millions of serving and retired service personnel. The stories about the haughtiness of certain high ranking Army officers I have heard from a certain gentleman from Army accounts is saddening. He was almost Khemkaesque.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Rahul M » 05 Feb 2015 12:55

should be easy to pass an order banning use of insignia except on official vehicles and only certain parts of the full uniform.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Thakur_B » 05 Feb 2015 19:45

Army is going to finally go ahead with Light Specialist Vehicle; home ministry and other services may join in on the fun to increase the size of orders.
http://www.spsmai.com/exclusive/?id=163 ... st-Vehicle

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby jamwal » 05 Feb 2015 23:31

Indian Army, Microsoft to share Windows source code
http://www.deccanherald.com/content/457 ... ndows.html
Information Technology giant Microsoft has agreed to share its proprietary Windows source code with the Indian Army, which is scouring the market for a secure operating system to expand its digital footprint.

“Microsoft has agreed to give the source code. Selection of a secure operating system is on,” said an Army officer, who was part of the Army team that is putting in place a robust IT infrastructure for the 11 lakh strong Indian Army.

Sharing of the Windows source code – proprietary and closely guarded – was a matter of contention as the US firm had refused to part with the code to Indian government agencies in the past.

With the entry of the Linux in the Indian market more than a decade ago, Microsoft had stated it was willing to discuss source code sharing issues with the Indian government. In 2010, the US company signed a commercial contract with Russian Intelligence Service to share the source code of Windows 7 operating software.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Prem Kumar » 06 Feb 2015 03:53

putnanja wrote:All hail the UPA govt ...
For China, Army Has New Troops. But No Funds


MMS gave the approval to Army under the Right to Mountain Corps Act

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby SaiK » 06 Feb 2015 05:31

<del.>

shouldn't we be at least #3?

this kind of childish "10 strongest armies ....." posts have no place on BRF outside threads like military misc.
2nd warning, banned for a week.
- Rahul.
Last edited by Rahul M on 06 Feb 2015 10:27, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: OT

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby rkhanna » 06 Feb 2015 09:49

MMS gave the approval to Army under the Right to Mountain Corps Act


Lets stop Whining about the past. Why hasnt this been done in the last 6 months?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Karan M » 06 Feb 2015 10:16

money.. lets face it. current GOI is broke. and pending requirements are high.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby member_20067 » 06 Feb 2015 10:21

SaiK wrote:del.


terrible --- fan boy types ranking --really random--- Pakis might be pulling their hair as they did not even get a mention.. :)
Last edited by Rahul M on 06 Feb 2015 10:30, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: quoted post deleted.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Rahul M » 06 Feb 2015 10:58

I felt we went about the complete wrong way in forming the MSC. at a time when the 7th PC is looming, mindless expansion of manpower the army is only passing on problems to the future. manpower costs are going to balloon and eat into modernization funds.

the long term solution would have been mechanization or at least motorization (using armoured trucks) of ALL infantry battalions which are mostly posted on the western border. given that the motorized battalions are usually smaller than infantry battalions by about 1/3 or more, this would have freed up at least a coy per btn, which could then be used to create the building block btn's of the MSC.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby vaibhav.n » 06 Feb 2015 12:04

:D

Rahul,

My absolute favourite whipping issue with the IA. They are still I suspect working on 90's plans. Really need another Infantry Regiment to be mechanised probably Grenadiers or the likes. This whole high tempo shallow penetration Cold Start runs completely counter to the current behemoths we have in the Strike Corps shortened deployment timelines notwithstanding. I am yet to figure out if 2 Infantry Divs are required and if an Strike Corps with only an single Armoured and Mechanised Div can also do the job. Saves us the headache of raising new formations for China Ops. As it is they were supposed to have bolstered Armoured holdings with the Pivot Corps for early break-in ops. On both fronts we are most likely to face short sharp action before pressures build up to end the conflicts. I have heard unteem times from the brass that Paki DCB are the primary headache and Infantry is needed in larger numbers to secure them before Armoured units can be unleashed. I am at a total loss with these arguments.

Large formations have also proven unwieldy for Commanders during past conflicts in the Subcontinent.I suspect manpower increase is more easily executed at AHQ level, they ultimately prove heavy in the longer run. As is typical of Armies around the world they are more likely to go for relative gains rather than absolute ones.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby rohitvats » 06 Feb 2015 13:16

Rahul M wrote:I felt we went about the complete wrong way in forming the MSC. at a time when the 7th PC is looming, mindless expansion of manpower the army is only passing on problems to the future. manpower costs are going to balloon and eat into modernization funds.

the long term solution would have been mechanization or at least motorization (using armoured trucks) of ALL infantry battalions which are mostly posted on the western border. given that the motorized battalions are usually smaller than infantry battalions by about 1/3 or more, this would have freed up at least a coy per btn, which could then be used to create the building block btn's of the MSC.


Mechanization or motorization of army in west does not solve the requirement for east.

With MSC, IA was repeating the same template as in west - concentration of fire-power and the best of everything we can afford into one entity i.e. Strike Corps. Could we have worked towards increasing the fire-power, efficacy and mobility of existing divisions facing the Chinese under III and IV Corps? Coupled with improvement in infrastructure? And how much would this exercise cost? We don't have the answer this part.

And let us not forget that we will need the numbers. Unlike Chinese, who can pull most of their divisions from mainland into the Tibetan plateau, we cannot do the same with our western forces; we will always have Pakistan to confront with.

So, it is no easy choice.

PS: How are we saying that Motorized Battalion is smaller in size as compared to regular infantry battalion?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby Rahul M » 06 Feb 2015 14:03

vaibhav.n same here ! :D
the MSC could have been formed by lifting bits and pieces from the existing formations and adding a HQ + support elements (arty, helo etc).

sundarji's plan called for complete motorization way back, we haven't progressed at all on that front. I would really love IA to ask for a cheap, no-frills wheeled 6X6 APC (protection from 12.7 mm shells, v-shaped hull, 350-400 bhp engine, ability to take on additional armour. that's it ) to motorize its infantry btn's, barring the number required for mountain div's.

>> I have heard unteem times from the brass that Paki DCB are the primary headache and Infantry is needed in larger numbers to secure them before Armoured units can be unleashed. I am at a total loss with these arguments.

I agree, incredible logic.

I suppose the RAPIDs can be good candidates for IBG's (that's what you meant by early break-in right, cold start type ops ?)
if paired with Indep. Armd Bde's.
even better if they motorize the inf. bde's in the RAPID's. Regular inf. div's should similarly incorporate the div's tank regiment into a mech. bde and the other two inf. bde's should acquire wheels.
give them some decent truck mounted arty and these forces would be able to break the door in on their own.

conversion of more regt. to mech/motorized is needed by yesterday.
===============

rohit, BR's own page on inf. btn puts manpower at 909.
AFAIK we followed sov. structure (roughly) for the BMP btn's which had manpower figure of 525. 600 is a figure I vaguely remember seeing for the Indian context.
even if we assume IA's mech inf btn's are considerably larger (say ~ 650) it's still less than that of inf. btn. by about 1/3.

>> Mechanization or motorization of army in west does not solve the requirement for east.

let me clarify, I am not against the idea of MSC as such but the additional manpower increase. mechanized forces are usually less manpower heavy. such an approach for the inf. divs in the west could have freed up manpower to fill up MSC.
of course, the HQ support elements would still be needed. mechanization would have enabled us to move more manpower to the eastern front in the form of a new formation without reducing the number or bite of the units on the western front.
also, while the MSC is definitely needed, the III & IV corps formations are primarily defensive. that needs to change. they need to add some more teeth in the form of organic heliborne units, attack helo etc. even if it is only held as corps HQ reserve.
if that means a little less toys for MSC, I can live with it.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 11 June 2014

Postby chetak » 06 Feb 2015 14:21

Rahul M wrote:should be easy to pass an order banning use of insignia except on official vehicles and only certain parts of the full uniform.



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TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR ……..
AND MAKE A CHANGE

The most curious thing about the recent criticism of flag rank officers
on the social media on such a wide variety of issues -- some trivial like
flaunting stars on Mules, boats and lecture stands to the chief giving away
100 Crores worth of soldiers salaries to the PM for his personal post
retirement plans to serious issues like the perceived deliberate delaying
of NFU by senior officers — is the utter silence to clear perceptions by
means of official stands within the Army.

Today, the senior lot are totally silent. The social media phenomenon
has left everyone stunned. Not a single senior military voice is heard
calling for introspection leading to thoughtful, substantive change and a
counter to their own character assassination. So much so that it has led
to a retired General Syed Ata Husnain to take it upon himself to organize a
seminar on this issue next month. Such a moral and intellectual collapse
of the flag rank officers is one of the worst disasters that can afflict a
military because it means it cannot adapt to new realities. It is on its
way to history’s wastebasket. The situation brings to mind an anecdote an
Air Force friend, now a military historian, liked to tell some years ago.
Every military, he said, occasionally craps in its own mess kit. The
Prussians did it in 1806, after which they designed and put into service a
much improved new model messkit, through the Scharnhorst military reforms.
The French did it in 1870, after which they took down from the shelf an
old-model messkit—the mass, draft army of the First Republic—and put it
back in service. The Japanese did it in 1945, after which they threw their
mess kit away, swearing they would never eat again. The US did it after the
loss in Vietnam.

Why?

The reasons fall in two categories, substantive and structural.

Substantively, at the moral level — Colonel Boyd’s highest and most
powerful level — our senior officers live in a bubble. They inhabit a world
where they hear only endless, hyperbolic praise and only what they want to
hear. They feed this swill to their seniors and in turn expect it from
everyone else. If they don’t get it, they become angry. Senior officers’
bubbles, created by vast, sycophantic staffs, rival Xerxes’s court. Woe
betide the ignorant courtier who tells the god-king something he doesn’t
want to hear.

At Boyd’s next level, the mental, our senior officers are just not
professionals. They are merely craftsmen. They have learned what they do on
a monkey-see-monkey-do basis and know no more. What defines a professional
— historically, there were only three professions: law, medicine, and
theology — is that he has read, studied, and knows the literature of his
field. The vast majority of our senior officers no longer read. A friend’s
son who is presently a Major in Army HQ told me the most he can now get
Brigs and Generals to read is about two paragraphs. Another friend, posted
at the Infantry School, says, “We are back to drawing on the cave wall.”

As culpable as our senior officers are for these failings, they are not
the whole story.

Our Senior officers are also victims of three structural failures, each
of which is enough to lay an armed service low.

The first, and possibly the worst, is that the senior officer
appointments are vastly too large for the organization — now augmented by
AVSC-II appointments all of which are in headquarters. A German Panzer
division in World War II had about 21 officers in its headquarters. Our
division corps and command headquarters are mega cities. Every briefing —
and there are many, the Indian Army loves briefings because they convey the
illusion of content without offering any — is attended by rank-upon-rank of
horse-holders and flower-strewers, all sitting like decorative pieces. A
reliable source tells me the junior officers call them Gamlas -- Flower
Pots (placed only for decorative value).

The pathologies that flow from this are endless. Command tenures are too
short to accomplish anything, usually about 12 to 16 months, because behind
each commander is a long line of fellow officers eagerly awaiting their
lick at the ice-cream cone. Decisions are pulled up the chain because the
chain is laden with surplus officers looking for something to do. Decisions
are committee-consensus, lowest common denominator, which Boyd warned is
usually the worst of all possible alternatives. Nothing can be changed or
reformed because of the vast number of players defending their “rice
bowls.” The only measurable product is entropy.

The second and third structural failings are related because both work
to undermine moral courage and character, which the Prussian army defined
as “eagerness to make decisions and take responsibility.” They are the “all
(Brig and above) or Nothing (Col and below) promotion system” and “all or
nothing” vesting for extremely lopsided perks and misuse of org resources
(including manpower). “All or Nothing ” means an officer must constantly
curry favor for promotion because if he is not promoted beyond colonel he
must live the rest of his life in ignominy. It is not difficult to see how
these two structural failings morally emasculate our officers and all too
often turn them, as they enter the magical flag rank, into ass-kissing
conformists. Virtually no other military in the world has these policies,
for obvious reasons.

Of these two types of failings, the structural are probably the most
damaging. They are also the easiest to repair. Fixing the substantive
problems is harder because those fixes require changes in organizational
culture. You cannot just order our senior officers to come out from the
closed system, fortified with hubris that they have placed around
themselves to protect the poor dears from ever hearing anything upsetting,
however true. The Govt cannot withhold pay from senior officers who don’t
read. Only our senior officers themselves can fix these deficiencies. Will
they? The problem is circular: not until they leave their bubble.

If Indian Army senior officers want to know, or even care, why they are
being trashed day and night on the social media they need only look in the
mirror. They seem to do that most of the time anyway, admiring their
now-tattered plumage.


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