War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

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ramana
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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 19 Jun 2008 19:27

It was always understood as after the Olympics due to various PR imperatives. The elections would be added complication.

So what Victor is saying in the immediate future the best option is to give a good drubbing to any PRC incrusions.Everything is long range planning.

Paul does that division still have its capability?Sec'bad is so far from any hills that it would need a lot of time acclimatising. Better retain it for a strike on Pindi via Srinagar!

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby amol » 19 Jun 2008 19:57

One more aspect that we should take into account is the strength of our government and defense computers and communications networks. The chinese have been busy hacking and attacking defense and government computers all over the world the last few years. Any conflict would surely see an increase in such attacks on our networks - with little risk of it being seen as a step up in escalation.

How strong are our networks? What measures are we taking to prevent disruption? Do we have capabilities to retaliate? Also, any disruption of the commercial/business networks would be sure to bring Premji & co rushing to Dilli and putting pressure on the govt to de-escalate.

IMHO, before talking about bogging down the PLA by inciting Tibetian locals, we should consider the much more realistic possibility of lizard and it's pet piglet trying to bog us down instead.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Arunkumar » 19 Jun 2008 20:07

After the beijing olympics are over on august -24 , there is another
big ticket PR exercise for China in the month of october i.e the launch of shenzou-7 to perform that nations first space walk.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby satyarthi » 19 Jun 2008 20:15

India to raise Finger Area incursions with China: Minister
The proper way to "raise" such issues is not in Beijing or on border posts in Sikkim. I think if China intrudes into sikkim, India should raise the issue with the truckers passing through the Xinjiang-Tibet highway in Aksai Chin. After all Sikkim is as much OUR territory as Aksai Chin is, so same difference. Even better place to raise the issue will be in Shahidulla or Xaidulla in Xinjiang, further up the highway, since Dogra kashmiri kings had set an army post there.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 19 Jun 2008 20:49

the fact that we have never bothered to keep a large fleet of Mi26 and have paltry few
airframes serviceable today tells its own tale.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sugriva » 19 Jun 2008 22:12

Singha wrote:the fact that we have never bothered to keep a large fleet of Mi26 and have paltry few
airframes serviceable today tells its own tale.


Drawing a parallel with WWII
India == Russia
China == Germany

Expect 2nd front against China to be opened by "bhestern countries" only when we fight and
liberate Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia and Indian forces are knocking on the doors of Chengdu.

After that we have Cold War II.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Gerard » 19 Jun 2008 22:55

One more aspect that we should take into account is the strength of our government and defense computers and communications networks.


Hackers can't touch babus and their paper files.... :D

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby John Snow » 19 Jun 2008 23:00

Singha wrote:the fact that we have never bothered to keep a large fleet of Mi26 and have paltry few
airframes serviceable today tells its own tale.


In this context


China's Wenchuan "Quake Lake" Emergency Heavy Lift Operations
As the result of the massive magnitude 8.0 earthquakes that ravaged regions of Sichuan on 12 May 2008, many rivers became blocked by giant landslides, which resulted in the formation of "quake lakes"; massive amounts of water pooling up at a very high rate behind the landslide-formed dams which will eventually crumble under the weight of the ever increasing water mass,[2]endangering the lives of potentially millions of people if the water is to build up, and then break downstream. The most precarious of these quake-lakes is the one located in the extremely diffcult terrain at Tangjiashan mountain, accessible only by foot or air, in which at least one Mi-26 heavy lift helicopter belonging to a branch of China's civil aviation service is used to bring heavy earthmoving tractors to the affected location[3].

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 20 Jun 2008 01:25

Singha wrote:the fact that we have never bothered to keep a large fleet of Mi26 and have paltry few
airframes serviceable today tells its own tale.


I have read somewhere on this board that the utilisation of the 'paltry' Mi-26s itself is much much much less than 100%. So whats the use of having dozens of Mi-26s? apparently the number of specialised tasks are not there for them to be utilised 100%.

Also note that the Mi-26s are much more expensive to operate than the other helicopters.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Sanju » 20 Jun 2008 01:39

According to wiki after Russia (45) and Ukraine (17), India is the largest Military operator (12) of Mi-26. China doesn't have any, but has for civilian use and firefighting use. China has a fleet of 250 Mi-17 - with licensed co-production as of this year -2008.

"In March 2007, the Russian Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC set up a joint venture “Sichuan Lantian Helicopter Co. Ltd.” in Chengdu, Sichuan Province to repair and manufacture the Mi-17 series helicopters for both Chinese and international customers. In May 2008, Russian RIA Novosti reported that the Mi-17 production at Lantian had already begin. The plant will build 20 helicopters in 2008, using Russian Ulan-Ude-supplied kits. The production is expected to reach 80 helicopters per year eventually. The variants to be built by Lantian will include Mi-171, Mi-17V5, and Mi-17V7."

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ramana » 20 Jun 2008 01:40

A couple of related articles from USI journals

China's Military Modernisation: Prespective

and

Nuclear Weapons, Deterrence and the Armed Forces

and from the second article
Threat perception

Threat from Pakistan and China. Pakistan is likely to intensify the proxy war in J&K that could lead to a limited conflict. In such a contingency, a spatially expanding, limited conventional war would be the best option. Although Pakistan is a nuclear state, it is safe to presume that it would not utilise such an option since we reserve the right of a second strike capability. China, on the other hand, would continue building up their economic, political and military might for next 20 to 40 years and would pose a viable major threat thereafter.


and on tri country deterrent doctrines:

Nuclear Deterrence

India’s ‘minimum credible nuclear deterrence’ doctrine and ‘no first use’ policy are based on the concept of deterrence by denial, rather than deterrence by punishment. Should deterrence ever break down, India will have to pay an enormous price for a nuclear first strike by an adversary before launching massive punitive retaliation. Across the entire spectrum of conventional conflict, the first use of nuclear weapons by India does not make sound strategic sense.

China’s nuclear deterrence doctrine has been in synchrony with its conventional warfighting doctrine. It was initially based on self-defence during the era of ‘people’s war’. It gradually shifted to one of minimum nuclear deterrence during the 1960s and 1970s and now it appears to have stabilised at limited nuclear deterrence, which includes nuclear coercion. China’s limited deterrence may be defined as a concept of ‘having enough capabilities to deter conventional, theatre and strategic nuclear war, and control and suppress escalation during a nuclear war’. But the US ‘Nuclear Posture Review’ (NPR) report is triggering a new storm. The NPR’s ethos of strategy, encompassing speciality use of nukes and China’s ambitious modernisation point to a greater, not lesser role for nuclear weapons in the years ahead.

As Pakistan’s military rulers have so often emphasised, Pakistan’s rationale for its nuclear weapons is not only to deter the threat of India’s nuclear weapons but also to counter India’s conventional military superiority. Ever since the inception of its nuclear programme, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have been in military custody and the country’s civilian rulers have had no control over them. It is, therefore, no surprise that Pakistan has adopted a first use nuclear doctrine. Its military and political leaders have repeatedly stated that Pakistan would resort to the early use of nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict to prevent its comprehensive military defeat at India’s hands and to ensure that its survival as a viable nation state is not threatened. India’s superiority in conventional arms and manpower would have to be offset by nuclear weapons.


and on India-China deterrence angle

India – China

Though China’s conventional forces far outnumber those of India China’s problems in inducting, deploying and logistically sustaining large forces in Tibet, benefits India to enjoy a reasonable defensive capability at present and, therefore, does not need a first use nuclear strategy to deter a conventional Chinese offensive backed by nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles deployed in Tibet. However, India’s existing defensive capability is being quickly eroded as China is rapidly modernising its armed forces, raising rapid deployment divisions and improving the logistics infrastructure in Tibet: If India continues to neglect the upgradation of its conventional military capability and military modernisation by investing the grossly inadequate sum of less than 2.5 per cent of its GDP for defence, as it is doing at present, the nation may again have to suffer the ignominy of large-scale military reverses, should China choose to fight even a limited border war after completing its military modernisation.

So this is what is driving the modernization panic in India.

I think we have to scour the USI and IDR to see if there are any articles on challenges of mtn warfare.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 20 Jun 2008 02:02

HariC wrote:I have read somewhere on this board that the utilisation of the 'paltry' Mi-26s itself is much much much less than 100%. So whats the use of having dozens of Mi-26s? apparently the number of specialised tasks are not there for them to be utilised 100%.

Also note that the Mi-26s are much more expensive to operate than the other helicopters.


Yeah...about that claim of not using the Mi-26s fully: its not because the number of specialized tasks are not there, its just that the Indian Armed forces have never really practiced on really large scales using Mi-26s very frequently. The last time this was done was in the 1980s when Operation Chequerboard was underway. The large number of troops being inducted were greatly helped by the Mi-26s being used then. And I can assure you the four helicopters were used thoroughly.

Besides, situations have changed regarding the ground war itself, with more and more focus on deploying light motor vehicles and BMPs and stuff. You can't do that in the Laddakh region with anything other Mi-26 sized helicopters.

The statement asking the need for having dozens of Mi-26s is like saying that they serve no military purpose at all. There are different times and needs for these things, and you cannot dig a well when you are thirsty.

The lack of such helicopter fleets reflects on the defensive nature of the IA posture more than anything else.

The Mountain Corps being set up is said to have integrated Helicopter support. Let's see what that support turns out to be, else those units will be just glorified Infantry Divisions.
Last edited by vivek_ahuja on 20 Jun 2008 02:06, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 20 Jun 2008 02:05

Sanju wrote:According to wiki after Russia (45) and Ukraine (17), India is the largest Military operator (12) of Mi-26. China doesn't have any, but has for civilian use and firefighting use. China has a fleet of 250 Mi-17 - with licensed co-production as of this year -2008.


That number is actually just four helicopters, not twelve.

And that fleet of Mi-17s cannot help very much in the Laddakh regions.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 20 Jun 2008 02:11

AN32s represent a fraction of the operating costs of the MI26 and are performing the task of resupplying the forward area posts commendably.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 20 Jun 2008 02:27

Paul,

I wasn't talking about resupply Ops. I was talking about actually airlifting troops into the high altitude regions.

Mi-17s (<17500 Feet) and AN-32s can airdrop supplies to troops already deployed, but the Mi-17 for example cannot land in those regions because its hover ceiling limit is much lower. It can fly over but cannot attempt to hover. If it does land, it cannot lift off again because it lacks the power to hover even in IGE conditions.

But the Mi-26 has been deployed to DBO (>16000 feet) for IA support ops and has been used previously for deployed troops on the ground at high altitude regions. After that the Mi-17s can take over to resupply the soldiers with airdrops.

Operating cost is an issue. But is it higher than compromising the mobility of your units at times of war? My assessment is towards the latter, but then again, beggers cannot be choosers.

This is why I said I was highly interested in seeing what the IA sees as its future in terms of chopper support for the Mountain Strike Corps.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 20 Jun 2008 02:30

Paul beat me to it.

The reasons that we dont see Mi-26s in huge numbers in a combat role in high altitude areas are

a) Operating Costs: How many Mi-17s will it take to do the same thing that one Mi-26 does and how much would it cost?
http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pI ... 02009.html

Utilisation of the chopper, however, remains low on account of its massive operating costs. The estimated operational cost of the twin-engined chopper, including manpower costs, is over Rs 12 lakh per hour. As compared to this, the operating cost of the IAF's workhorse -- the AN-32 medium-lift transporter -- is Rs 1.5 to Rs 2 lakh per hour.


Factor in acquisition and training costs and it may be higher. At some point the AF needs to take a call on its priorities - this would be a deal breaker for them.

b) Vunerability against manpads.

c) Capability of lifting heavy loads in high altitude areas. Trucks, vehicles, troops - i can understand. But I would like to see them haul 10 ton BMPs over mountain ranges.

And that fleet of Mi-17s cannot help very much in the Laddakh regions.


They have been operating quite well in Siachen, I dont see why they will have a problem in Ladakh?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 20 Jun 2008 02:47

Answering my own question.

Mi-17 Operating costs $2,850 (as per http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/showt ... p?p=122634 2007 Post)
Mi-26 Operating cost $30,000 (not factoring in inflation from 1999)

Thats 10 Mi-17s transporting twice the load that a single Mi-26 can do at the same cost.


Mi-26 Purchase Cost : (Rs 45.43 crore / 2 1988 Prices) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... hf-126.htm
also found this "The price of the Mi-26 is supposed to be around ten to twelve million US dollars " (Which year? condition?)


Mi-17 Purchase Cost: (2.5 to 4.5million) http://www.asiatradingonline.com/russia ... r17vip.htm

factor in vunerability - flexibility - availability of airpower and serviceability.


The disadvantage with Mi-17s is that more medium helicopters willrequire more aircrew. But since the Mi-17 fleet is big, sourcing the manpower and aircraft will not be an issue.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 20 Jun 2008 02:51

HariC wrote:The reasons that we dont see Mi-26s in huge numbers in a combat role in high altitude areas are

a) Operating Costs: How many Mi-17s will it take to do the same thing that one Mi-26 does and how much would it cost?
http://www.indianexpress.com/res/web/pI ... e02009.htm

Factor in acquisition and training costs and it may be higher. At some point the AF needs to take a call on its priorities - this would be a deal breaker for them.

b) Vunerability against manpads.

c) Capability of lifting heavy loads in high altitude areas. Trucks, vehicles, troops - i can understand. But I would like to see them haul 10 ton BMPs over mountain ranges.

And that fleet of Mi-17s cannot help very much in the Laddakh regions.


They have been operating quite well in Siachen, I dont see why they will have a problem in Ladakh?


I guess I am repeating myself here as regards to why you cannot use Mi-17s in the same way you can use Mi-26s. Refer my previous post.

Essentially, the Mi-17 cannot land in regions that it flies over as far as Siachen and Laddakh are concerned. The hover ceiling for this bird is lower than the mean elevation ASL for the Laddakh region. Leh and Thoise are around 11000 feet, and within the capability of the Mi-17 to hover IGE. Above around 13000 feet it conducts only airdrops like AN-32s and such. But the Mi-26 can actually haul troops as high as DBO (16000 feet).

And nobody is suggesting exposure of Mi-26s in a combat role. But in the strategic movement case it is unbeatable. If the IA ever decides to have a offensive posture WRT the PRC, it is going to need more of these helicopters.

Also note that at those altitudes, a Mi-17 is just as vulnerable to MANPADS as a Mi-26. With the engines running at full throttle or TGT limits, and low RPM, both are equal sitting ducks regardless of size.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby vivek_ahuja » 20 Jun 2008 02:56

HariC wrote:Answering my own question.

Mi-17 Operating costs $2,850 (as per http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/showt ... p?p=122634 2007 Post)
Mi-26 Operating cost $30,000 (not factoring in inflation from 1999)

Thats 10 Mi-17s transporting twice the load that a single Mi-26 can do at the same cost.


At sea level only.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby sunilUpa » 20 Jun 2008 03:01

Didn't IA issue RFP for heavy lift helicopters recently? Chinnock and Mi-26 were the contenders, I think.!

(We need to open a thread just track RFP/RFIs). It's becoming hard to track all these RFPs)

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby ManuJ » 20 Jun 2008 04:58

sunilUpa wrote:Didn't IA issue RFP for heavy lift helicopters recently? Chinnock and Mi-26 were the contenders, I think.!

(We need to open a thread just track RFP/RFIs). It's becoming hard to track all these RFPs)


Yes, RFP was for 12 heavy lift helicopters...or maybe not. Googling brought up references of an impeding RFP, but not of an issued one.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 20 Jun 2008 08:09

our 80 heli Mi17V outright purchase deal ran into the usual price escalation problem.

indigenous 10t heli is not even sanctioned. the other RFP is only for LOH.

PRC is now going to churn out 50 Mi17V per annum under license :(( thats ennough
to comfortably resupply one division with some reserve)

I wonder if buying a couple dozen CH-53 super stallion from US reserve stocks
(refurbished) will solve this problem? I have seen photo of it handling downed
aircraft like toys. the US is likely to have 100-200 stashed away in some
boneyard that can be refurbished and start delivering within a year using
third party contract shops supervised by OEM ...the usual Munna approach


inspires hope: http://www.minihelicopter.net/CH53Super ... allion.jpg

parts will be much easier to obtain than Mi26 for sure.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Deans » 20 Jun 2008 11:56

India vs. China War planning in both countries, would typically have these basic assumptions:
1. China will be the aggressor.
2. The war will be fought in Indian territory.
3. PLA will enjoy quantititive superiority in both manpower & equipment.

Given these parameters any conflict will be a vairant of 1962 i.e - India will be on the defensive and any loss of territory will be perceived as a defeat (casualty ratios wouldnt count).

The only way of winning is therefore:
1. To take the war to the Chinese - which for me, was the biggest takeout from the scenario of Vivek (fighting the air war over Tibet instead of India and opening a new front in Myanmar)&
2. Inflicting disproportional and high profile casualties (which Shankar's senario so vividly demonstrates).

The mere fact that the war is being fought on Tibetan soil (which would imply the PLA is on the defensive) would be a big blow to Chinese H&D. That would be a more realistic war aim rather than the liberation of Tibet.
Even here, the fight inside Tibet would realistically be only on 1 front, with IA holding in
other sectors.

Fighting the war inside Tibet has to be coupled with:
- Destruction of high value economic targets (like the railroad), preferably by sabotage - so as not to invite retaliatory missile strikes on Indian cities. If India is willing to take some pain,
this can be extended to the destruction of major dams (like 3 gorges) which would hit China far more than the loss of any dam in India.
- Unrestricted submarine warfare aimed at Chinese Oil imports. (Tom Clancy's SSN gives
an idea of the damage that can be inflicted). China can retailiate but the loss to them would be far higher than India's.

This type of scenario, in my view, would only be credible if there is a radical change in India's war fighting doctrine. While I have no clue what this policy is now, I believe our planning would need to be China centric i.e - recognising that the principal adversary is China and not Pakistan. Only this would ensure that IA/IAF get the kind of resources they need to fight an offensive war against the PLA.

In this context, the armed forces role vis a vis Pakistan would move from winning an all out conventional war to:
- Allow Pakistan to implode from internal contradictions, without any fallout in India.
(faciliate this process by providing help to any liberation movement).
- Seal the border and have the capability to punish TSP hard for any terrorist attack.
- Be strong enough to deter Pakistan, in case of an all out war with China.

In the medium team, this would enable some basic restructuring of the IA & IAF, to take
on PLA. I believe the priorities would be:

- 1 of the 3 strike corps would be China Centric - i.e deployed in Sikkim/Arunachal and
have a heavy compliment of Copters (lift and attack).
- Prepositioned artillery brigades in all sectors where PLA is expected to concentrate.
This will mean their redeployment from the west.
They would also have first call on MLRS systems.
- Mountain divisions get priority in issue of new equipment.

- Significant increase in AWAC's, Refuelling tankers and Airlift capability of the IAF.
- Strengthening the capabilities of the Tibetan exiles in the IA and intell gathering network
in Tibet.
- Quick and preferably political solution to insurgencies in the North East, to that the rear
is `clean' in the event of war.
- Rapidly strengthening the transport networks in the north East.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Lalmohan » 20 Jun 2008 13:33

i'm going to try to think ahead a bit... I agree that liberating Tibet as a whole is not realistic - WW3 would be the outcome, or atleast a massive destruction of India by Chinese nukes, and possibly some counter strikes

Aksai Chin is more realistic...

having taken back Aksai Chin, what would we need to do to hold it?

to some extent Cold Start deals with cordoning off pakistan and letting them stew in their own goat fluids

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby HariC » 20 Jun 2008 19:16

vivek_ahuja wrote:Essentially, the Mi-17 cannot land in regions that it flies over as far as Siachen and Laddakh are concerned. The hover ceiling for this bird is lower than the mean elevation ASL for the Laddakh region. Leh and Thoise are around 11000 feet, and within the capability of the Mi-17 to hover IGE. Above around 13000 feet it conducts only airdrops like AN-32s and such.


Actually , the Mi-17 can land at altitudes of 16000 feet and above. The IAF has been regularly landing at helipads at altitudes of 14000 feet in the NE. There is atleast one reference to a landing at 16000+ feet and other Mi-17s have been regularly landing at altitudes of 17000+ feet elsewhere.

But the Mi-26 can actually haul troops as high as DBO (16000 feet).


If it is only 'hauling troops' then it makes much tactical, economic , safety and logistical sense to use Mi-17s.

Tactical : Mi-17s have proved they can evade Manpads (kargil) - an Mi-26 will be sitting duck for a manpad launched by an SF team that infilitrates our lines.
Econmic: Already mentioned - Mi17s a quarter of a price, operates at 10% of the Mi-26 cost. Pilots need 0 hours extra training once they are out of helicopter OTU (whereas Mi-26 pilots will require special training - and at 10x cost of flying training on an Mi-17).
Safety: An Mi-17 being smaller and lighter has better agility in enclosed spaces and mountain flying. It also needs a much much smaller helipad to land than an Mi-26 with its huge rotor disk and footprint. Now if Mi-26s need an small ALG to land, you might as well use An-32s to ferry in troops
Logistical: Exactly how much can an Mi-26 ferry to a LG at 16000 feet? Turns out it is around 5000kg (ref the earlier article from Indian Express). At that payload capacity , forget about hauling BMPs, even hauling bofors are out of the question. It would merely be able to transport trucks and jeeps and men - and nothing more. And you can paradrop that stuff from an Il-76s. but is there a 'requirement' for a dozen Mi-26s to haul this medium cargo? Why not a smaller helicopter that fits in between the Mi-26 and Mi-17?

And nobody is suggesting exposure of Mi-26s in a combat role. But in the strategic movement case it is unbeatable. If the IA ever decides to have a offensive posture WRT the PRC, it is going to need more of these helicopters.


If what we need is strategic movement capability WRT PRC - try fixed wing aircraft with STOL capabilities - send a recce para platoon, secure a flat area, make it an LG, send in your An-32s, or any other STOLs. Mi-26s in large numbers just do not make any sense economically or tactically or on any of the points i mentioned above.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby PaulJI » 20 Jun 2008 20:52

Deans wrote:... If India is willing to take some pain, this can be extended to the destruction of major dams (like 3 gorges) which would hit China far more than the loss of any dam in India. ...


Destroying the Three Gorges dam would kill millions. It would be far more destructive than a single nuclear strike. It should not be contemplated except as retaliation for a major (e.g. the destruction of Delhi, or Mumbai) nuclear strike on India.

Also, a dam of that size is not easy to destroy. I can't see how it could be done by India except with a nuclear weapon. What conventional weapons does India have which could deliver enough tons of high explosive, with sufficient precision, over that distance, into the heart of China? Remember how hard it was to destroy the vastly smaller & weaker Ruhr dams. The Mohne dam took 3 direct hits to the reverse face (i.e against the reservoir side: more effective than the face) plus one strike on the face of the dam, by 4500 kg bombs, before collapsing. The Three Gorges is (if built to the standards officially laid down) immensely stronger.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Paul » 20 Jun 2008 23:08

This type of scenario, in my view, would only be credible if there is a radical change in India's war fighting doctrine. While I have no clue what this policy is now, I believe our planning would need to be China centric i.e - recognising that the principal adversary is China and not Pakistan. Only this would ensure that IA/IAF get the kind of resources they need to fight an offensive war against the PLA.


I believe we are moving in this direction....It will take some time though.

A limited war or a series of manageable skirmishes will definitely help hasten this provided events do not spin out of control

Deans
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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Deans » 21 Jun 2008 09:21

PaulJI wrote:
Deans wrote:... If India is willing to take some pain, this can be extended to the destruction of major dams (like 3 gorges) which would hit China far more than the loss of any dam in India. ...


Destroying the Three Gorges dam would kill millions. It would be far more destructive than a single nuclear strike. It should not be contemplated except as retaliation for a major (e.g. the destruction of Delhi, or Mumbai) nuclear strike on India.

Also, a dam of that size is not easy to destroy. I can't see how it could be done by India except with a nuclear weapon. What conventional weapons does India have which could deliver enough tons of high explosive, with sufficient precision, over that distance, into the heart of China? Remember how hard it was to destroy the vastly smaller & weaker Ruhr dams. The Mohne dam took 3 direct hits to the reverse face (i.e against the reservoir side: more effective than the face) plus one strike on the face of the dam, by 4500 kg bombs, before collapsing. The Three Gorges is (if built to the standards officially laid down) immensely stronger.


True. I didn't consider that. The base of the dam is 100m wide!

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby rajrang » 22 Jun 2008 03:46

The last 8/9 months has seen growing indian toughness towards china (examples: reopening air bases in Ladakh, AP, moving Su-30s to Tezpur and elsewhere in AP, plans for two new offensive mountain divs, relocating mountain div from Kashmir to Sikkim, plans to invest heavily in border roads and infrastructure, massive naval exercises in the bay of bengal with major asian powers but excluding china). Is this causing the dragon to back off a bit and soften their attitude? See link below:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indi ... 152541.cms

To my knowledge this is the first time in many years that a relatively important chinese government official (Consul General in Kolkata) has stated with clarity that Sikkim belongs to India. He has even reassured India by giving proof for this - treaty signed in 1890 - suggesting that China had no choice but to accept this fact!

Maybe the dragon only understand toughness.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 23 Jun 2008 07:21

For the uninitiated, the ORBAT (Order of Battle) for an Infantry Division is something like this:

1. Infantry Brigades *3 @ 3 Infantry Battalions each. 9 Infantry battalions total.
2. Artillery Brigade * 1 @ 3 Field Regiments (each with 18 105mm IFG organised into 3 batteries of 6 guns each), 1 Medium Regiment(18*130/155 mm guns organized into 3 batteries) and 1 Light regiment (12*120mm mortars organized into 2 batteries)
3. 1* Engineer Regiment
4. 1 * Signal Battalion
5. 1* Ordance Unit
6. 1* ASC (Army Service Corp) battalion
7. 2* Field Ambulances (Medical Units)
8. 1* EME Battalion
9. 1* Provost(Military Police)
10. 1* Armored Regiment (not applicable for Mountain division)

The 15,000 number quoted is for entire division covering the teeth and tail both.



Rohitvats/others, could you give some insight into how the MANPADS and MANPATGMs are distributed
in an infantry divison ?? who provides the air cover ? does army air defence provide a regiment ? if so what would be its equipment holdings ?
other than the 120 mm mortar, there is also the 81 mm mortar. how many does an infantry divison have of these ?

any help will be much appreciated.

added later: Also what fraction of the 9 battalions are mechanised ??

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby rohitvats » 23 Jun 2008 10:15

@Rahul M:
MANPADS: these are held by light Air Defence Regimets (Light AD). Since India has limited number of AD assets, not all the divisions have integral AD assets. These are centeralized at Corps HQ level. Also, bulk of AD equipment is with either the Strike coprs or for defense of static high value targets likle airfileds, nuclear plants etc.
ATGMS Each battalion earlier used to have an anti tank or RCL Platoon. This has now been replaced with ATGMS. I'm not aware of ATGMS being held at Div HQ level.
81mm Mortars: These are held by the infantry battalions themselves. I'm not aware of the numbers.
Mechanized Regiments: The Infantry and Mountain Divisions have plain infantry regiments. Mechanized regiments are with the Armooured Divisions, Independent Armoured Brigades, Independent Mechanized Brigades (we have only one or two of these) and the RAPID Infantry Divisions.
The ORBAT of a these are as follows:
1. Armored Division: 1st Armoured Brigade - Armoured Regiments * 2 + Mechanized Regiments*2, Artillery Brigade
2nd & 3rd Armoured Brigades: Armoured Regiments*2 + Mechanized Regiment*1
2. Independent Mechanized Brigade: Mechanized Regiments*3 + Armoured Regiment*1, Artillery Regiment *1
3. Independent Armoured Brigade: Armoured Regiments *3 + Mechanized Regiments*1, Artillery Regiment*1
4. RAPIDS: 1st Brigade - Armoured Regiments *2 + Mechanized Regiments*2, 2nd and 3rd Brigades - Infantry Battalions*3 each, Artillery Brigade

Hope this helps

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 23 Jun 2008 11:16

thanks a lot rohit !!

could you also indicate how the carl gustafs (spelling ?) are spread out ?
are they also in the light artillery formations ?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 23 Jun 2008 11:46

BORDER ROADS ORGANIZATION
29 Task Forces

The Border Roads Task Force (BRFT) is designed as a self-contained formation. Originally, each comprised three Construction Companies, a Workshop, a Supply Unit and a Medical Unit. Currently, the BRTF is formed of two Road Construction Companies (RCC), one Store, Supply & Transport Company (SST&C), one Field Workshop, one Pioneer Company and a Medical Unit. The Road Construction Companies are supported by various specialized functional platoons: Formation Cutting Platoons (FCP), Permanent Works Platoons (PWP), Surfacing Platoon (SP) and Road Maintenance Platoons (RMP). Numerous casually paid laborers (CPL) are often employed to supplement manpower.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby abhischekcc » 23 Jun 2008 15:24

For the guys who whine India does not have decent airports near the Indo-Tibetan border:

http://www.aai.aero/allAirports/airports.jsp

Take a look at all the wonderful full-length airstrips mapped by our very own AAI.

There is no act of parliament which says that a civil airport cannot be used to land fighter A/Cs :mrgreen:

---------------

One conclusion I am getting to nowadays is that India will have an advantage in infrastructure in Tibet if war comes. That means that it will be Panda who will try to keep the length of conflict/hostilities down (as it did in 1962 by calling the war off). Any war that prolongs will be to India's disadvantage - especially if India is not the aggressor.

China as aggressor will also be a blot on the 'peaceful-rise-of-China' propoganda that the Lizard likes to spout at every occasion.

If anything, China's hands seem tied down very much.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 23 Jun 2008 16:11

folks, people speak of mountain divisions being smaller in manpower than plains divs. granted the
mountain div will lack the armour component, but counting the need for greater number of artillery,
a slower logistical chain (needing more trucks) and more manpower needed to attack the enemy in
difficult terrain, shouldnt they actually be bigger than a plains div?

if a plains div in IA is roughly 15000 , I am thinking nothing short of 25000 would be a robust
number for a mountain div esp if its to be a attack oriented div.

and not less than 50 medium helis of Dhruv class and 25 Mi17 type large helis for each such div,
backed by 30-50 light helis for recce and light attack.

thats a pretty costly air component, but roads and terrain being what they are, the fastest
way to move people and light goods around seems to be in the air.

a defensive formation can ofcourse not expect such a lavish airmobile outfit.

the sikkim-bhutan-tibet trijunction must be turned into a stalingrad type death trap.
if they commit forces into the funnel, must be bottled up at the bottom and attacked from
both sides of the top to make sure they dont ever attempt to pressure Nathu & Jelep La again.

we could probably aim at converting half of our 10+2(forming) mountain divs into attack formations
with extra artillery and airpower and stationing them equally divided between ladakh and sikkim-tawang
i.e. 3 in north, 3 in east. backed by 6 holding divisions ofcourse & addl reserves drawn from plains
infantry (we need to change another 5 plains infantry into dual role units by attaching and detaching
their armour component, x-training in all zones....)

this means new tank & mech forces in north sikkim "lakes area" which is alleged to be
tankable country. why dont we buy up mothballed stocks of soviet BTR-80 type armoured
cars something like 300-400 and a couple dozen CH53 from unkil to seed our efforts ?

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby rohitvats » 23 Jun 2008 17:07

The troop deployment is based on existing plus some assumed additional assets with the assumption that we would be fighting a more “conventional” slugfest war and not some sharp, intense and short border skirmish. For that scenario, different analysis will be required. The time period is assumed to be the period post monsoon but before the closer of the passes and starting of heavy snowfall.

1) The stated objective is as follows:

a) Western Sector (Ladakh and Himanchal): Offensive Defense: With the aim to blunt any Chinese misadventures, fight the war on the Chinese (Tibet) soil and claim the Aksai Chin.
b) Central Sector (Uttaranchal): Defensive Offense: maintain the status quo and try and gain as much favorable territory.
c) Eastern Sector (Sikkim, Bhutan and Arunanchal Pradesh): Defensive Offense: Blunt Chinese Offensive, destroy as much of their war fighting machinery as possible and grab territory as possible.

2) Assumptions: I’ve taken the following assumptions:
a) Timeframe: Conflict takes place 5 years from now
b) We’ve build the logistics for inducting and maintaining the proposed troop levels
c) We’ve conducted war games and exercises with the elements to be inducted in the likely theaters of operations.
d) India has a 4th Armored Division with either 10th or the 12th Corps. I’m assuming it to be 12th corps. Let’s call it the 34th Armored Division.
e) India has one Mountain Strike Corps with 2 Mountain Divisions and integral air assets. Let’s call it the 5th Mountain Strike Corps. Location will be some major rail head in eastern sector, preferably in Bihar. Will help in easy movement to the western sector in case of Indo Pak flare-up.
f) 3 Corps has been brought to strength with 2 new mountain divisions.

3) Troop Disposition:

a) Western Sector: The bulk of troops for this sector will arrive from the formation from the western and northern sectors with Pakistan. The present troop disposition is as follows (I’m re-using part of what I’d posted earlier and have revised some assumptions):

i) 14 Corps: 3 Mtn Div (Leh) and 8 Mtn Div – Kargil plus the Independent Infantry Bde (102) for Siachen. If I remember correctly, the 3 Div maintains two brigades up and one in reserve. As stated earlier Sino-India conflict is most likely to happen when the passes are open and allow the movement of troops and supplies. This means India cannot touch the troops in the 8th Div’s AOR save for a brigade at the maximum. Plus, earlier, the present AOR of 8th Mountain Div was handled by 121(I) Infantry Brigade with about 4 battalion worth of troops including one BSF Battalion. I don’t know what has happened to it. I’m assuming this formation is still around, may be as 14th Corp reserve. So that makes 2 brigades worth of troops available for the diversion to China Sector.

ii)15 Corps: 19 Div (Baramulla) and 28 Div (Gurais). Of these, the 19th Division has enough troops to qualify it as a Corp in itself but that also includes some paramilitaries. But the catch is the geography of its AOR and the nature of line of communications which require such heavy investment in troops. 28 Division similarly guards the backdoor entry into the valley. With RR looking at the counter insurgency grid, I assume some 2 brigade worth of troops will be available. In a pure defensive mode, I think we can manage whatever pressure the Pakistan might want to put during the conflict.

iii)16 Corps: 10Div (Akhnoor), 25th Div (Rajouri) and 39th Mtn Division. The 1st two have clearly defined and pre committed AORs and cannot budge. IIRC, 39th Mtn Division was the Northern Command Reserve. It was based out of Yol in Himachal; around 3 hours drive from Pathankot but has now moved to make way for 9 Corps. But not very far though. This is one Division which will be readily available for induction into the Western Sector (opposite Leh and Himachal). The fact that it is a mountain division doesn’t hurt either. Route of induction will be across the Rohtang pass in Kullu-Manali.

iv)9 Corps: 29th Infantry Div (Pathankot) and 26th Infantry Div (Jammu) plus 3 Independent Armored brigades (2nd, 16th – Pathankot and 3rd - Sambha). Headquartered out of Yol in Himachal, it was formed out of 16th Corps. During a Sino Indian conflict, this will be in the Chicken’s neck Area to take care of any Pakistani misadventure. I am taking one armored brigade for the Western sector – 16th (I) Armored Bde. It has enough armor (6 armored and 2 mechanized regiments) to take on the ARN in a defensive mode.

v)Sugar Sector: This is the name given to the Himanchal Sector of Sino Indian border (before any one jumps on me, this is not classified info as it may seem from the fancy name. Quite readily available if you were to Google). I do not have any concrete info on the dispositions but it can be any two of the following:

(1)Logistic Hub: for any induction and movement of troop through the Manali Leh route via the Rohtang pass. Something likes the 101 Communication Zone of the 1971 war but that of course, was more adhoc in nature. If it is a logistic hub/formation, good for us as it will help in ready induction of troops.
(2)Brigade Level formation with assigned troops. It’s headed by a brigadier. I know there used to be 54 sector in the army which was nothing but an armored brigade. Your guess is as good as mine.

vi)1st Strike Corp: This is where it gets interesting. 31st Armored Division (Hissar), 4th Infantry Division (Allahabad) and 23rd Division (Ranchi). Of the three, I expect the Corps to give up 23rd Division for the eastern Sector and pick up a RAPID, either the 18th or 24th from the 10th Corps. I think it also has an oversized independent armored brigade.

vii)2nd Strike Corp: 1st Armored Division (Ambala), 14th RAPID (Dehradun) and 22nd Infantry (Meerut).


viii)21st Strike Corps: 31 Armd Div (Jhansi), 36 RAPID (Sagor), 54 Inf Div (Sikandrabad), arty, AD, eng bdes. I expect the 54th Infantry Division to move to the North East Sector.

ix)5th Mountain Strike Corps: 2 Mountain Divisions with integral air assets.

x)11th Corps: 7 Inf Div (Ferozepur), 9 Inf Div (Meerut), 15 Inf Div (Amritsar), 23 Armd Bde, 55 Mech Bde (550?). I’m taking the 55th (I) Mechanized Brigade from here for the Western Sector and an Infantry Bde from two of the three Infantry Divisions for the Central sector

xi)12th Corp: 4 Armd Bde, 340 Mech Bde, 11 INF Div (Ahemdabad), 12 Inf Division (Jodhpur), 34th Armored Division (the new raising). I’m again not touching anything here.

xii)10th Corps: 16 Inf Div (Sri Ganganagar), 18 RAPID (Kota), 24 RAPID (Bikaner), 6 Ind Armd Bde. Of the three, either of the 18th or 24th RAPID is with 1st Strike Corps. Assuming it is the 18th RAPID.

xiii)33rd Corp: 17th Mtn Div (Gangtok), 20 Mtn Div (Binaguri), 27th Mtn Div (Kalimpong): It will gain one Infantry Division, assume the 23rd.

xiv)4th Corps: 2 Mtn Div (Dibrugarh), 5 Mtn Div (Bombdila), 21 Mtn Div (Rangia). This also will gain one division, assuming the 54th.

xv)3rd Corps: 57 Mtn Div (Silchar), 2 additional divisions (new raisings)

xvi)6th Mountain Division (Bareilly): AHQ reserve. It will be responsible for the central sector along with the present Independent infantry brigade in that area

xvii) Artillery Divisions: 40th and 41st. One for the Western and one for the eastern sector.

* All the corps have Independent artillery brigades plus many have independent Infantry brigades as corps reserve.

4)The ORBAT of the various sectors looks like this:

a)Western Sector:
i)Corps HQs:
(1)14th Corps.
(a)3rd Mountain division. The entire formation is available for the Chinese front.
(b)39th Mountain division.
(c)The Independent Infantry brigade
(d)2 brigade worth of troops from the 15th Corps Sector.
(e)16th (I) Armored Bde.
(f)2 artillery Bdes

(2)1st Strike Corps.
(a)1st Armored Division
(b)18th RAPID
(c)4th Infantry Division. This will have it’s Armored regiment
(d)Independent Armored Brigade.
(e)(I) Mechanized Brigade
(f)(I) Artillery Brigade

(3)2nd Strike Corps:
(a)1st Armored Division
(b)14th RAPID
(c)22nd Infantry

(4)40th Artillery Division


ii)Central Sector:

(a)6th Mountain Division
(b)(I) Infantry Bde.
(c)2 Infantry Bdes from the 11th Corps.
(d)Additional artillery brigade.

iii)Eastern Sector:
(1)33rd Corps
(a)17th Mtn Div
(b) 20 Mtn Div
(c) 27th Mtn Div
(d)23RD Infantry Division

(2)4th Corps
(a)2 Mtn Div
(b)5 Mtn Div
(c)21 Mtn Div
(d)54th Infantry Div

(3)3rd Corps
(a)57th Mountain Division
(b)Mountain Division X
(c)Mountain Division Y

(4)5th Mountain Strike Corps
(a)Division X2
(b)Division Y2

(5)41st Artillery Division.

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

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Sanju » 23 Jun 2008 17:49

First of Rohitvats, thank you for the detailed post. Take a bow!

I have a few ifs (IF wishes were horses et al... but still hoping for the best).

If the time frame is 5 years and if we have a new govt (in the coming elections) cognizant of the external threats and does the following:

a) Approves all the armament purchase for modernization and replenishment of depleted stocks (Tanks, Planes, Helis et al)

b) Approves a separate Services Pay Commission and there is a quantum leap in the salary of Officers, JCOs and AORs, leading to more youngsters opting for a Career in the Armed Forces.

c) Better infrastructure in NEFA,

d) Keeps an aggro posture WRT to Panda & Pakis

Then we should be in a better position. Like I said about the wishes and the horses part....

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Lalmohan » 23 Jun 2008 19:31

Rohit - do you discount a flanking movement through POK to secure Aksai Chin? One way or the other Pak will get involved, may as well grab the goat by the horns

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Singha » 23 Jun 2008 19:36

there is no particular advantage wrt aksai chin and going through POK. instead the direct route is
flat and wide open upto the Sinkiang-Lhasa highway. the highway will ofcourse have to be blocked
at strategic points to delay and attrit reinforcements.

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Re: War inside Tibet - goals, strategies and equipment

Postby Rahul M » 24 Jun 2008 06:51

Singha wrote:folks, people speak of mountain divisions being smaller in manpower than plains divs. granted the
mountain div will lack the armour component, but counting the need for greater number of artillery,
a slower logistical chain (needing more trucks) and more manpower needed to attack the enemy in
difficult terrain, shouldnt they actually be bigger than a plains div?
...........


singha ji, I don't know who said that but Mtn divs are always more heavily manned than plain ones. however, I don't have the figures.
For the uninitiated, the ORBAT (Order of Battle) for an Infantry Division is something like this:

1. Infantry Brigades *3 @ 3 Infantry Battalions each. 9 Infantry battalions total.
2. Artillery Brigade * 1 @ 3 Field Regiments (each with 18 105mm IFG organised into 3 batteries of 6 guns each), 1 Medium Regiment(18*130/155 mm guns organized into 3 batteries) and 1 Light regiment (12*120mm mortars organized into 2 batteries)
3. 1* Engineer Regiment
4. 1 * Signal Battalion
5. 1* Ordance Unit
6. 1* ASC (Army Service Corp) battalion
7. 2* Field Ambulances (Medical Units)
8. 1* EME Battalion
9. 1* Provost(Military Police)
10. 1* Armored Regiment (not applicable for Mountain division)

The 15,000 number quoted is for entire division covering the teeth and tail both.

Rohitvats, I checked the personnel numbers from BR and elsewhere from my old collection.
Seems like you were wrong in this instant. there are additional 8000 support troops.

Now, this is the teeth to tail ratio I'm talking about.
around a third are support troops !!

I am posting some stuff from some very old magazines (late 80's)

# of soldiers in non-combat duties per divison = (total manpower/no of divs) - combat strength of divison.

Ind: 8829 (11,00000 men, 41 divs, taking 4 ind brigades as a div)
Pak: 2307
PLA: 1274.

Although, it may be mentioned that combat engn are virtually frontline troops but that will be true for other forces too.
A portion of IA's workshare like managing the canteens can perhaps be hired out to civvies.
will post more on this later.


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