Mukesh.Kumar wrote:Slightly OT and longish post (Part II) Alert ON.
Ok, now that we have established the conditions under which an airborne assault on GB is likely to be the best way to take back the region short of going through the whole gamut of taking over all of POK, a much more humongous exercise, let’s see what we are up against.
Pak’s ORBAT (and here I will include paramilitary and local police also given their access to arms and potential of creating nuisance in the first few critical hours), comprises of Northern Areas Command of five independent brigades (~15000), Gilgit Baltistan Scouts ~3000, and Gilgit Baltistan Police ~5000. Say, an approximate total of 25,000 troops including auxiliaries and PAF assets at airfields.
A slug fight to defeat these troops is not in our best interest. Our assault needs to shock, decapitate command structures and bewilder the enemy into surrendering. Going out on a limb, I would hypothesize a missile barrage and IAF bombing to take out command centers, communications and eliminate at least 50% of the enemy (mostly the army). In such a context, hypothesizing further an airborne assault by 30,000 troops dropped into GB within a couple of hours (at least taking over airfields and road nodes) focusing on Skardu, Gilgit, Sost, Gajkuch, Danyor, Chilas, Astore. Later troops can spread out to take over rural areas (thankfully, with sparse population, it may be possible to focus on rural areas later). Crucial success factor will be intelligence and having locals friendly to Indian interests (particularly among tribals).
Ok, now that we have defined the magnitude of the problem, let’s look into one aspect to explore further. We calculated 30,000 troops to be airdropped, airlifted to GB. That using Boeing C17’s or C130J’s represent 300 or 500 sorties respectively. Now, I would envision the airborne corps something like the Russian 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division
, operating in principle like Mechanized infantry who are transported by air (refer here
for why I envision this)
Once we add in equipment, the number of sorties easily doubles to 600 (this is an approximation but I used similar
from the Center 2019 Russian exercise numbers to come up with ballpark numbers). So, if we are operating only C-17’s, and assuming that on the first day each aircraft puts in three sorties, you would still need 200 odd aircraft dedicated to this task. This is assuming 100% serviceability, no losses. Just the air transport component would cost USD 44 bn (USD 55 bn for C130J’s). And this is much more than current capability (for comparison we recently carried out ourbiggest airborne exercise
for 500 SF personnel) . Where's the planning for this?
Throwing in all other costs, liberation of GB, this way would cost us at least USD 150 bn? I am sure this analysis, in some form or the other would have been presented/ gamed by military and political leadership. And till the time we come out with answers of how this can be done, where a USD 10 billion p.a. asset has to be acquired by spending USD 150 billion are answered, all our talk of freeing GB, much less Tibet, remains just that. Which political leadership or military leadership will plan this? Or commit money and time?Slightly OT and longish post (Part II) Alert OFF.