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Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

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rohitvats
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 22 Jul 2012 15:07

^^^Actually, I don't think it is just a passing phase. From what I have seen and heard, there is corruption in the Services of varying degree - it always has been there. However, it increased in proportion and spread (across various levels) post the 1991 liberalization - the Services guys saw their counterparts in civilian walk of life zoom away to riches and society became much more materialistic. The end started justifying the means. The changing fabric of the Services where officers came from middle to lower middle class background and Services becoming really competitive also added to the rush of get rich quick and servile attitude to get promotions - which itself has long term implications.

The stories about TATRA and other arms deals, the lentils and local purchase of medicine etc are examples of corruption having taken deep roots - where the thing has become institutionalized to some degree.

The good thing is that increased media coverage will force catharsis - the sacking of generals and other ranks now reaches far and wide; it is not some anonymous occurrence in one corner of the country. Apart from the swift and brutal justice system of the army, this will ensure that people are more wary. They would not consider themselves as immune and isolated from larger society.

IMO, Services are at an inflection point - some one like VKS plus the increased scrutiny from media and society leading to stricter internal controls should help in stemming the tide of corruption.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby chetak » 22 Jul 2012 15:26

rohitvats wrote:^^^Actually, I don't think it is just a passing phase. From what I have seen and heard, there is corruption in the Services of varying degree - it always has been there. However, it increased in proportion and spread (across various levels) post the 1991 liberalization - the Services guys saw their counterparts in civilian walk of life zoom away to riches and society became much more materialistic. The end started justifying the means. The changing fabric of the Services where officers came from middle to lower middle class background and Services becoming really competitive also added to the rush of get rich quick and servile attitude to get promotions - which itself has long term implications.

The stories about TATRA and other arms deals, the lentils and local purchase of medicine etc are examples of corruption having taken deep roots - where the thing has become institutionalized to some degree.

The good thing is that increased media coverage will force catharsis - the sacking of generals and other ranks now reaches far and wide; it is not some anonymous occurrence in one corner of the country. Apart from the swift and brutal justice system of the army, this will ensure that people are more wary. They would not consider themselves as immune and isolated from larger society.

IMO, Services are at an inflection point - some one like VKS plus the increased scrutiny from media and society leading to stricter internal controls should help in stemming the tide of corruption.


rohitvats ji,

Purposely I did not go there, for obvious reasons that spring from hope.

I am certain that the next government who ever wins cannot escape tackling this very cancerous issue on a national scale.

May be a beginning will be made soon.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby SaiK » 22 Jul 2012 17:18

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/266 ... -tank.html
After the blacklisting of supplier of the FSAPDS (Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot) used by T-90 and T-72 tanks, Russia has now been approached for supplying these tank shells, Defence Ministry sources told PTI here.


unbelievable.. why can't we get this done at home?

Recently, the Army Headquarters had initiated the process to procure within 12 to 18 months around 75,000 to one lakh rounds of FSAPDS ammunition from global sources but apparently not much progress has been made so far.


and the reason for the ban of Israeli firm - should that map to this situation?

this is all fishbone to me.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby jai » 23 Jul 2012 00:56

TII - This Is India. To quote the famous dialogue from the popular Hindi movie "Rang De Basanti", where the villian - an arms dealer says - here no marriages happen without dowry, and in the marriage everyone including the band will feast"
Last edited by jai on 23 Jul 2012 02:15, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby shyamd » 23 Jul 2012 01:23


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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby nits » 23 Jul 2012 22:36

BSF to ditch camels to ride sand scooters from China ?

In a bid to keep up with the times, the BSF plans to introduce sand scooters to keep vigil along the Pakistan border. In this series, trials of special scooters and special four-wheeler vehicles from the US, China and other countries are going on in Jaisalmer. These petrol vehicles are priced well above Rs 6 lakh. The trial will continue till the end of July and if these prove successful, the vehicles will be used along with the camels to man the difficult desert terrain.

Sources said the trial of 500cc ATV scooter Nebula Jaguar of Chinese company Nebula Exportswas conducted in the third week of May


That should be a first Chinese Company particpating in a Defence Sector IMO... ? is it a right move :?:

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby ashish raval » 24 Jul 2012 01:57

^^ agreed, chetak. However, if these few bad apples are not thrown away from the good apples lot can make whole lot bad over a period of time. Unfortunately these throwing is not happening for some unknown reason although these chums are restricted to a certain level in the army and only top guns make it at the helm. These still creates some instability.
What I am against is covering up in the name of protectors. No one should be above the law of land.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Pranav » 24 Jul 2012 07:37

chetak wrote:Historian William Irvine has pointed out that “corruption” was one of the evils “from which the Mughal army suffered in its most balmy days”.


Problem starts at the top.

As long as most people are happy with electronic voting it may be hard to bring about any systemic change.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby vic » 24 Jul 2012 09:49

I think we should outsource the repair maintance & use of desert scooters also to China, our procurement system is quickly reaching the pinnacle of stupidity. What with CRPF importing Rs. 400 crores of 9mm SMG, BSF is now trying to do one better.

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"Teeth to tail" ratio

Postby vishal » 26 Jul 2012 08:15

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-new ... 95752.aspx

Excerpt: Sources said after the Kargil war, the Indian Army has deployed nearly a division — around 10,000 troops — along the Mushkoh-Drass-Kaksar-Yaldor axis of the LoC. Just a brigade — 3,000 troops — used to man this place before May 1999. Striking capacity has also been doubled to 2,000 men.

Firstly, is it correct to infer this represents the "teeth to tail" ratio (1:5)? If so, is it the "teeth to tail" ratio for the IA in general or is it specific to the Kargil sector?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 26 Jul 2012 09:34

^^^Vishal, 8 Mountain Division looks after the sector which you've mentioned. Prior to that, the sector was under the operational control of 121(I) Infantry Brigade which AFAIK consisted of 3 x infantry battalions + 1 x BSF battalion. 8 MD was inducted in the sector for Kargil war and stayed put to defend the sector. The number given is absolute for the division and does not represent teeth to tail ratio. What the first number (10,000) could represent is the force used to actually hold the ground and while the second number is the reserves with in the division for offensive operation. We generally follows 2:1 ratio for troops deployed on border/forward and reserves for offensive operations.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby sum » 26 Jul 2012 10:23

From OrBAT:
The Tibet Military District commands formations like the 52 Mountain Brigade, 53 Mountain Brigade, 54 Mountain Brigade, a Signals Regiment, plus the 9 Border Defence Regiment, 10 Border Defence Regiment, 11 Border Defence Regiment and 12 Border Defence Regiment, all spread over the Military Sub-Districts of Shannan, Shigatse and Nyingchi.

Along the LAC, be it across Sikkim or Tawang, this is what it all boils down to:

Overall, there are three distinct advantages that the PLA presently enjoys over India: Firstly, nature favours the deployed PLA troops in the TAR, for unlike Indian troops which need to gradually acclimatise above the height of 10,000 feet to man forward defences and fight the PLA in the mountains (spending six days for Stage 1 at 10,000 feet, followed by four days for Stage 2 at 12,000 feet and four days for Stage 3 at 15,000 feet), the PLA forces on the TAR do not face such a problem and are always acclimatised. (Editor: India border forces are permentantly deployed at high altitude as are several of the mountain divisions; this does not obviate Mr. Sengupta's point that the Chinese infrastructure and movement ability is far superior to India's.) Secondly, considering that the TAR is open, flat, barren, and has a gradual gradient—all favouring mechanised operations—the PLA can easily deploy its armoured, mechanised and rocket artillery formations both in-depth and in a widely dispersed manner, thereby severely complicating and stretching India’s ISTR assets. Furthermore, the Indian side of the LAC is always vulnerable to landslides, especially during the annual monsoons. Thirdly, the PLA’s BDRs enjoy a tremendous psychological advantage over their Indian counterparts. For unlike India’s defensive mindset-induced posture (which mandates that every inch of the LAC is to be held and defended at all costs), the BDRs are under no instructions to maintain 24/7 forward vigil. Consequently, BDR force-levels along the LAC are inversely proportional to those of their Indian counterparts, and the BDRs instead rely on state-of-the-art tactical networks of surveillance sensors like LORROS, battlefield surveillance radars, ground movement sensors and hand-held thermal imagers.

The dynamics of India-PRC politico-military relations are best evident in Sikkim, where India has the highest concentration of troops anywhere in the world against a virtually non-existent adversary. India’s entire XXXIII Corps and elements of Assam Rifles are pitted against meagre BDR detachments. In terms of numbers, India has allocated nearly 40,000 troops for Sikkim, of which 8,000 are now physically holding forward positions against about 400 BDR personnel located 20km away from the LAC. The Indian Army has thus adopted a defensive posture, with the unsaid political directive that every inch of Indian territory must be guarded. The consequent Indian military posture against China is to maintain full strategic defence with minor tactical offensive capabilities. Given the politico-operational compulsions, difficult terrain, and the PLA’s track record, it is clear that the Indian Army is doing an onerous task.

Given the strategic importance of Sikkim, the Indian Army has identified three levels of threats from the PLA. The first is PLA’s border management posture, which is wholeheartedly offensive in nature. With little territorial claims and designs in the TAR, the Indian Army has adopted a defensive border management posture, which has two elements: to hold those passes that are likely ingress routes round the year, and to undertake regular internal patrolling to ensure that there are no intrusions made by the adversary. For example, with the Singalia mountain range and huge massifs in west Sikkim, the PLA’s intrusions in the adjoining Muguthang Valley of north Sikkim will be resource- and logistics-intensive, and therefore are unlikely. However, in the Kerang Plateau, Giaogang and Dongkya La provide the key to the Lachen and Lachung Valleys. Therefore, the Indian Army has ensured by its presence that these launch-pads are denied to the PLA. Similarly, the threat in north-east Sikkim comes from Tangkya La, Phimkaru La and Gora La in the same order, as these provide the shortest routes to Chungthang, a prominent town on the North Sikkim Highway (NSH), which links up with Gangtok in the south. In the mountains, the likely ingress routes are along the rivers, which are the Teesta, running from north to south, and the Dongkya La Chu in north-east Sikkim. In east Sikkim, the Indian Army holds all passes except Jelap La, which is held by the BDR. However, the dominating shoulders of this pass are with the Indian Army.

According to the Indian Army, the PLA, as part of a short border war campaign, could launch a limited offensive to ensure the security of Chumbi Valley, or capture areas in north and north-east Sikkim to deny launch-pads to the Indian Army. This would require the PLA to deploy two Highland Mechanised Infantry Divisions. On the other hand, a theatre-level campaign aimed at severing the Siliguri corridor, and capturing the important towns of Gangtok, Rhenok, Rangpo or Siliguri, would require the PLA to commit 20 Divisions. Moreover, the PLA could capture areas in west Bhutan, which it has claimed since 1989. Even as such a scenario looks improbable in the foreseeable future, and it has been assessed that adequate warning (of at least two weeks) would be available before it materialises, there is unease over PLA’s border management posture, which could easily snowball into a localised threat. The Indian Army’s deployments in Sikkim are primarily meant to thwart such localised conflicts. Considering that the Govt of India Indian would be extremely reluctant to open a military front against China, the PLA’s shenanigans in Sikkim, if not checked in time, could well become a political and diplomatic embarrassment. Moreover, as the PLA is known to have transgressed the LAC in nearby Arunachal Pradesh on many occasions, a determined action by the Indian Army there could encourage the PLA to open a second military front in Sikkim to release pressure. The XXXIII Corps HQ, therefore, has an added responsibility to monitor the development in the more active IV Corps HQ in Tezpur (which is Arunachal Pradesh-centric). The defensive operational taskings of XXXIII and IV Corps are thus intertwined. For this reason alone, suggestions that with limited military activity in Sikkim, the Army could dispense with XXXIII Corps HQ make little military sense.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby merlin » 26 Jul 2012 13:50

If there are so few opposing forces in Sikkim then why the panic as above?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby sum » 26 Jul 2012 14:01

Would be because of:

For unlike India’s defensive mindset-induced posture (which mandates that every inch of the LAC is to be held and defended at all costs), the BDRs are under no instructions to maintain 24/7 forward vigil. Consequently, BDR force-levels along the LAC are inversely proportional to those of their Indian counterparts,


In terms of numbers, India has allocated nearly 40,000 troops for Sikkim, of which 8,000 are now physically holding forward positions against about 400 BDR personnel located 20km away from the LAC. The Indian Army has thus adopted a defensive posture, with the unsaid political directive that every inch of Indian territory must be guarded. The consequent Indian military posture against China is to maintain full strategic defence with minor tactical offensive capabilities.


Moreover, the PLA could capture areas in west Bhutan, which it has claimed since 1989. Even as such a scenario looks improbable in the foreseeable future, and it has been assessed that adequate warning (of at least two weeks) would be available before it materialises, there is unease over PLA’s border management posture, which could easily snowball into a localised threat. The Indian Army’s deployments in Sikkim are primarily meant to thwart such localised conflicts. Considering that the Govt of India Indian would be extremely reluctant to open a military front against China, the PLA’s shenanigans in Sikkim, if not checked in time, could well become a political and diplomatic embarrassment. Moreover, as the PLA is known to have transgressed the LAC in nearby Arunachal Pradesh on many occasions, a determined action by the Indian Army there could encourage the PLA to open a second military front in Sikkim to release pressure

Boils down to a mindset issue?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Singha » 26 Jul 2012 14:06

yes, if India started aggressively nibbling and probing that would force the PLA to up their manpower levels as well. right now they are sitting lazily because they figure India is not going to creep forward when they are sleeping.

however the presumably huge gaps in the line might be a good chance for indian scouts to go in and recon all their MSRs, logistics and surveillance assets to file away for our strike plans.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_19648 » 26 Jul 2012 14:32

The problem is with Indian outlook, which is meek and defensive. The Chinese believe that India doesn't have the intention to take the fight on to them, that is why they don't care about the border and their whole posture is towards aggression. It is like if they want, they can invade India at any time and India would be bound by her boundaries/defense/peace/posture. India should have a similar capability and posture that offense is the best form of defense. The fight should be taken to them and once, and once is enough, if the Chinese are beaten comprehensively, they would never dare scheme.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 26 Jul 2012 15:24

^^^Please to be advised that the article is not by Ravi Rikhye but Prasun Sengupta which he seems to have emailed to RR. It is idiotic to say the least...so, while India with more forces in being has lesser potential to go on offensive while PLA which needs to get forces from outside can do so without India knowing?

Also, the gem about PLA troops being acclimatized and hence, better placed - someone should tell this moron that PLA will need to get troops outside of Tibet and while Tibet may be one plat playground, the plateau is still at considerable elevation from Chinese mainland from where PLA strike elements will come. Which means that tomorrow, if India tries to do hanky-panky in the area, not only does it has more troops for offensive, it also has advantage of more acclimatized troops.

As for placing troops forward - well, on the one had he talks about lack of good surface communication and on the other, he laments if IA places troops forward. Is it hard to understand that it may be because IA does not want to caught off guard and loose out in mobilization to the front line? More troops closer to LAC in Sikkim means more troops in being - means PLA needs that much more troops even if it wants to try and mount local offensive.

Will try and post a detailed analysis over next couple of days.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 26 Jul 2012 15:34

To understand why the PLA *will* need acclimatization, please see this vertical section diagram of Qinghai-Tibet railway.

Image

Troops coming into Tibet through this route start at less than 3,000 meters ( ~9,000 feet) and reach Lhasa at 11,450 feet. And the troops will reach Golmud from mainland China where troops are practically at sea level.

If anything, it is India which has more acclimatized troops who are posted 24*7 in area bordering China and who since 1962 have prepared for one thing and one thing only - war with China. IA already has experience of inducting and maintaining troops at such altitudes and mountainous areas - 33 Corps singular objective is to conduct warfare in the given environment. Which PLA higher formation has experience in managing and conducting warfare at such altitudes?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Viv S » 26 Jul 2012 17:07

Here's a question for the educated lot (maybe I should post this in the Newbie thread but anyway) -

While being honoured for gallantry, when is an individual awarded the PVC/MVC/VC and when is he awarded the AC/KC/SC?

I know that the former is a wartime award and the latter is a peacetime award, but how are war and peace defined as per regulations? There was no formal declaration of war in 1947 or 1965. Kargil was a localised affair with only theatre level operations.

Action against enemy troops perhaps? But that doesn't explain how wartime awards were conferred during Op Pawan which involved some conventional warfare but by and large counter-insurgency operations.

Where would the following cases lie -


1. Op Vijay/Op Polo
1. Op Cactus
2. Indian forces operating under a UN Security Council mandate against a formal state/enemy. Eg. Korea
3. Indian forces operating under a UN peacekeeping mandate against insurgent forces. Eg. Congo, Somalia


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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby member_23675 » 27 Jul 2012 09:57

Hi, I'm a newbee here, but still hazarding a response

Viv S wrote:Where would the following cases lie -


1. Op Vijay/Op Polo
1. Op Cactus
2. Indian forces operating under a UN Security Council mandate against a formal state/enemy. Eg. Korea
3. Indian forces operating under a UN peacekeeping mandate against insurgent forces. Eg. Congo, Somalia


The difference in PVC/MVC/VrC and AC/KC/SC is not so much in terms of war and peace, but mainly in terms of "formal" operations engaging external threats as against an internal, peace keeping situation. Hence, Ops Pawan, Kargil, Ops Cactus, UN Ops, Ops Vijay (Goa against Portuguese) were all formal/declared operations against external elements. Whereas Ops Polo was internal situation as are the Kashmir, Northeast ops (although there are external elements in the insurgencies, essentially it is to "bring back our boys to the national mainstream").

Also, not all cases of bravery in war/ formal ops against external threat will earn PVC/MVC/VrC. Only formal ops engaging external threat/enemy will. Acts of bravery displayed while "saving" own troops, civilians, assets and not formally engaging the enemy (spontaneous individual acts of engaging the enemy, not part of a formal ops will not be counted as "formally engaging the enemy) will earn AC/KC/SC (as was conferred on Indian embassy officials during the Kabul incident).

The above response is as per my understanding, based on the officials citations. Would look for more gyan from the gurus here.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby merlin » 27 Jul 2012 14:10

The article from PS is also wrong in certain geographical details mentioned.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 27 Jul 2012 20:09

Frankly speaking, I have no idea what the PS is trying to say. He uses the same data set to bring out two contradictory conclusions. Having said that, here is my take on the situation:

(a) Geography - First things fist – let us look at the geography of Sikkim and the available infrastructure. The state extends in north-south direction with length being more than the breadth. It has border with Tibet on its north and east while on its west it shares boundary with Nepal. To its south lies the state of West Bengal.

The northern and eastern borders with Tibet are the areas of interest to us. I’ll come to the West Bengal-Tibet border later. The Sikkim-Tiber border on east runs in north-south direction and in its entirety is a high ridge line with mountain ridges north of 4,000 meters in height and crossing 5,000 meters easily as one goes north. The valley floor in southern part of this border (on Tibet side) is less than 3,000 meters and goes up to 3,500 meters as one goes north. Except for certain areas in northern section of this border with passes (which author mentions) which can allow for lateral movement of troops, the area will not permit any large scale east-west movement of troops. Except for the vegetation, the geography resembles the one obtained along LOC north of Northern Gullies in Ladakh. Interestingly, there are some valleys which go in east-west direction (up to ridge line) and if one observe Google Earth; one can observe that Chinese have tracks and troop deployment in these valleys leading right up to border. There are similar such valley running in west-east direction on Indian side.

(b) Infrastructure - Now, consider the infrastructure available on Indian side. There is grand total of ONE major road which runs in south-north direction – the North Sikkim Highway (NSH). This road bifurcates at a key point (Cheungtong) and serves eastern and western shoulders of Northern Sikkim. It is this road which provides connectivity with most of the areas on Sikkim-Tibet border in east – from what I could make out on the map, extreme North and North East Sikkim are served by the western arm of the North Sikkim Highway as eastern arm cannot reach these areas because of a massive mountain ridge.

The eastern arm of NSH runs close to eastern Sikkim-Tibet border and at many places is under 15kms. The important town of Cheungtong is also under 20kms from the border. PLA could make a grab for the eastern arm of NSH and the town of Cheungtong - capture of these two objectives would cut off eastern part of northern Sikkim and isolate the Indian garrison in North and North Eastern Sikkim.

Similarly, the northern and north eastern parts of Sikkim are connected by one major road – the western arm of NSH. One important aspect to understand here is that the extreme north and north-east parts of Sikkim are extension of Tibetan Plateau – the famous Fingers Area is also here. Because of similar geography as Tibet, the area is relatively flat and gives opportunity for breakout – road S 204, the main communication axis which connects the Chinese positions in Chumbi Valley with Tibet mainland, runs under 10kms towards east from north-eastern Sikkim. There have been press reports which say that IA wanted to deploy an armored regiment in the area.

However, while these areas are relatively flat and even, the area leading to them and through which the single communication axis passes is not – the road passes runs along narrow river valley with steep mountain sides and which are prone to landslides.

(c) Troop Strength - So, what does all the above gyaan about geography tell you? That given the lack of suitable infrastructure, India will be required perforce to hold these areas like stand alone sectors – which means there have to be more ‘forces in being’. Even if the forces are not deployed right along the border, they will need to be maintained at relatively short distance (mostly within Sikkim or close to Sikkim) from where they can be quickly moved to their future deployment area. Lateral movement between sectors in mountains is never an easy option to begin with - lack of infrastructure on Indian side simply makes that impossible. So, not only will the ‘forces in being’ be required, even the reserves need to be maintained fairly up – and too, dedicated reserves for each sector.

The moment balloon goes up, the road communication will see love and affection from the PLA which is tenuous to begin with – which means IA will be required to move men and material upfront in whatever lead time it has. Mountain warfare eats up men and material and given the road infra situation in our case (and need to acclimatize), we need to over compensate. I hope that explains the ‘LARGE’ force deployment.

(d) Chinese troop strength – The author mocks the Indians for their defensive posture while praising the PLA for their offensive deployment. He also brings forth the point about PLA not having to face the high altitude acclimatization issues like India. Let us see how much water these arguments hold.

As per author, PLA can induct two “High Land Mechanized Divisions” to carry out the offensives in case of ‘local conflict’ – fair enough. Question – where are these two divisions going to come from? As per open sources, the two major Group Armies (GA 13 and GA 14) under Chengdu Military Region and their formations are situated in cities outside of Tibet - and if one bothers to check the elevation of these cities, one finds that these cities are situated at lower altitudes – and average elevation of Tibetan Plateau is 4,500 meters (~15,000 feet). So, while the PLA troops in Tibet may not require acclimatization, troops inducted into Tibet for offensive purpose will require acclimatization – and which means additional lead time to the Indian Army. IA with more troops in Sikkim has more acclimatized troops than Chinese at any given point in time and these are regular infantry and other support arms guys and not some border regiment troopers – So, who is the smart one now?

And by the way, the so called “Highland Mechanized Division” may be all right to smack the heads of some poor Tibetan monks, what it is going to do in the area which calls for Mountain Warfare, pure and simple. So, unless these formations are equipped and trained in proper Mountain Warfare, there are going to have some tough time in the region. Because while the Indian 33 Corps (and others like it) train about fighting PLA in a mountainous setting day in and day out, which major PLA Group Army or Armies are trained and oriented to fight the IA in high mountainous country? Or, are they going to suddenly master the whole thing on the D-Day?

Coming to 20 division assault to severe the Siliguri Corridor, well, where the bloody real estate to deploy 20 Divisions worth of troops? And are we forgetting the 7:1 attacker to defender ratio in mountains in India’s favor? So, unless PLA decides to throw everything and the kitchen sink against India, where from will it get forces to achieve the kind of ratios required?

To be concluded...

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 27 Jul 2012 20:25

Some map pointer...

Sikkim-Tibet border in central Sikkim. You the see the place (Cheungtong) where North Sikkim Highway bifurcates. Lachung and assess road from Laching to border can also be seen. PLA may try to interdict eastern arm of NSH and access point (Cheongtong) here.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=27.6571725&lon=88.8206285&z=12&l=0&m=h


Same map in terrain mode...please see the elevation of the ridge (which serves as India-Tibet border) as well as that of the valley floor. If you zoom out a bit, you can see road S204 to east which runs along Tibet-Bhutan border. There is an interesting exercise you can do - on the top left corner of the screen, you can see icon of a scale tool (to measure distance). Zoom down to S204 and using this tool,measure the width of Valley floor. It is not even 1 kms and quite often is less than 500 mtrs. Where do you think PLA is going to base its 'offensive formations' - the valleys offer no depth. There is a genuine case of lack of real estate - same as we faced in Kargil.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=27.6562602&lon=88.8281816&z=13&l=0&m=t


You can see the east-west and west-east valleys I have referred to earlier in the map below. These lead right up to the ridge line dividing the two countries.You can see multiple such valleys on both sides.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=27.543458&lon=88.8129467&z=15&l=0&m=h

North and North-East Sikkim. Road S204 can be seen to east. Use the Google Terrain map from 'Map Type' to see the elevation and contiguity with Tibetan Plateau.

http://wikimapia.org/#lat=27.9909365&lon=88.8102001&z=11&l=0&m=h

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Samay » 27 Jul 2012 20:31

Commie nations are known to have sacrificed so much to gain too little for their pride.. One wonders if there is any similar sense of human value as compared to free societies, that we may not deliberately send our men for sacrifie , but they would..
how did they acclimatized themselves in 1962?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 28 Jul 2012 15:15

PART 2 - Chinese options in the area

While everyone seems to be harping on the Indian position and options vis-à-vis the Chinese, what no one comments on is the Chinese position and options in the area. Geography is a double edged sword and its effects Chinese as much as it does Indians. In my opinion, the Chinese are at a back foot when it comes to options across the Chumbi Valley area. And they might just have to go on offensive to pre-empt this area being pinched off from the Tibetan plateau. Here is my take on the situation.

(a) Geography - As always, first things first. Let us look at the geography. On the Chinese side, there are two roads which lead to the Chumbi Valley from Tibetan Plateau – one is S204 and another one which runs parallel to Tibet-Bhutan boundary – there seem to some radar + communication sites along this road. They both converge at the Chumbi Valley and from one road goes south (to the base of Nathu La on Tibet side) and another feeder road moves north along the Sikkim-Tibet border. The moment these two main roads leave the Tibetan Plateau, they move along narrow valleys with very high (and steep) surrounding mountain ridges.

This is an important aspect – because what people describe as ‘wedge’ aimed at Siliguri corridor also resembles a funnel – with the broad base of the funnel towards Tibet and narrower part comprising of Chumbi Valley towards India.

What this means is that while the ‘broad’ top area may allow you to park troops/assets in large numbers, the narrower bottom part can accommodate only that many troops. There is simply no real estate here – as the map shows, the PLA Garrison HQ in Chumbi Valley is placed in an area which is hardly 500 meters wide. This place will be a chock-a-block with men and material once the shooting match starts. And which will represent extremely vulnerable targets to IAF and Indian Artillery.

And it will have to content with the famous dictum of requiring 7:1 (minimum) ratio in terms of attackers to defender. But where will it park such a large force.

Maps for reference:

Image

Image

(b)PLA Options – More than anything else, PLA will be forced from day one to draw IA in areas towards central part of Sikkim and North/North-Eastern part. They will simultaneously try to put pressure across Nathu La. As I explained earlier, Indian garrisons in central and north/north-east Sikkim (more in case of the latter) are likely to fight and operate as standalone sectors due to connectivity issue – which will come under intense pressure once the balloon goes up.

While the western arm of North Sikkim Highway is much better protected (there being multiple north-south ridges between border and this road), PLA will try and isolate these areas by striking at (or trying to strike at) Cheungtong itself. They would want IA to be on defensive from word go. Their game plan could be to pinch the areas north of central Sikkim. With there being only two main roads in the area, if the PLA occupies the critical node(s), rest of the areas to north can be isolated. The IA garrison in North/North-East (and also south) would face PLA threat from rear itself.

However, this limited option in terms of number of roads available due to geography also means that should the PLA manage to secure the nodes, their movement in northern or southern directions will be through known areas – areas which can be defended. PLA will face the same issues which IA will if some day it decides to go west from Ladakh along the Indus or Shyok river. The defender can control the high ground, sabotage the road and bring every inch of the road under observation and fire. A road blockage here can hold up traffic and movement for days.

I personally don’t buy the argument of PLA threatening the Siliguri Corridor by moving down the Teesta river valley from Nathu La – IA has blocked that access, sure and proper. In my opinion, the real threat to Siliguri Corridor and adjoining areas comes from PLA deciding to enter India through Bhutan. If one observes Google Earth, one can see feeder roads leading from Tibet to Bhutan-Tibet border. PLA could come down western Bhutan using the existing road infra inside Bhutan, enter India and then turn west.

But – it all the above seems improbable to me because of that one single factor – where from will PLA sustain such an offensive? Where will it form the firm base for offensive formations? Where will the POL and ammunition and other logistic dumps be created? The entire PLA lines of communication will be exposed to IAF. And IA can threaten the flanks of these lines of communication and cut-off the forward elements from their rear base.

You can appreciate the placement of mountain divisions under 33 Corps in the sector in the above context.

Image


(c)India Options – Put pressure on Chumbi Valley and cut-off the formations south of Tibetan plateau – the entire garrison in the area can be bottled up if S204 and the 2nd road can be blocked. I’m of the opinion that if push comes to shove, IA will man the western Bhutan border with Tibet – both to preempt any hanky-panky as well as put pressure on both (east and west) flanks of PLA in the funnel.

From my perspective, placement of MSC at Panagarh is quite interesting; 33 Corps can take care of defensive + limited offensive operations while new Mountain Strike Corps can launch offensive in favorable areas. With new MSC, India will have 3+2 divisions in the general area of Sikkim – can PLA induct and sustain even 5 division worth of troops in the area against IA?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby pgbhat » 28 Jul 2012 18:40

Not sure if this was posted. Full transcript: Lieutenant General KT Parnaik speaks to NDTV
NDTV: The other two enquiries are one, the rebellion in unit of Ladakh, which took place and a senior General who has alleged to have been involved in corruption. How are both the cases?

Lt General KT Parnaik: Both these cases, the artillery regiment in Nyoma and also the officer, they are complicated cases. As far as the regiment is concerned, because of the manner in which events have taken place, it has taken long to identify who all were involved and to what extent they were involved. So today we have a situation where a large number of people are under investigation. The numbers have exceeded 40-50 because they're officers, JCOs, they're men, and there's material evidence to, to indicate what could have happened and what has happened. As I mentioned to you, about the Court of Inquiry, it is essential that when you are looking at the character of a person being, you know; then he has to be placed under Army Rule 180. Now, in this inquiry, imagine there are 30-40 people sitting in court at any one time. Now one witness who comes as a new witness to depose, all of them have the right to cross-examine. All of them can make a statement after that; and all of them can produce evidence against what he says or doesn't say. So, procedurally, it is taking a lot of time. And when you have 20-30 people asking questions in a different way for the presiding officers and the members, it takes time to, you know, to get and stitch together what must be happening at that time. So it is this factor that is taking time. So I think this inquiry will take a little more time and the idea is to get to the truth. So, we do not want to hurry up things, for the want to get it done quickly. We do not want that justice is denied where it needs to be given. Now, as far as the other case is concerned ...

NDTV: And the Unit?

Lt General KT Parnaik: See the unit continues to be where it is. The Commanding Officer has changed. The erstwhile Commanding Officer has been attached for the inquiry. New Commanding Officer has come. Some new officers, JCO's, and men have been posted to the Regiment and it is functioning normally. As far as people under investigation is concerned, depending on the charges framed upon them, based on the evidence that is deduced, then we will proceed against them. There could be some that could be court martialed. There would be some who could be given administrative punishments. But all that will happen only after the Court of Inquiry gives its findings and it is brought to the higher authority for the decision to be made.

NDTV: What is it that Indian Army is concerned about with respect to Siachen?

Lt General KT Parnaik: You see, to understand Siachen, I think one needs to be geographically oriented to the region. And let me simply put it, because I'm telling you without a map, but the Siachen Glacier is bounded by the west by the Saltoro Range, which is a very high range and to the east by the Karakoram Range and the Nubra River. So, per se Siachen Glacier is a sort of iced river, which flows in between them. The Saltoro Range actually provides domination of the entire area. If we do not stay on the Saltoro, I won't go into the history of the demarcation of this thing, and how the area north of 9847 was left to the imagination, when they said that the LCA runs northward thence. Now northwards, if you literally and practically take northwards, it is along the Saltoro Range. The Pakistan's contention is that actually northwards means that it runs through the Karakoram Pass. Karakoram Pass is almost, I would say, 45 degrees from 9847. But the issue was that in '80s and '70s and late '70s and '80s, when we realized that a large number of expeditions were being conducted by Pakistan, we did perceive that, if in the excuse of expeditions they come and occupy that area, it would cause a lot of threat to us. So we occupied it in '84. There is a strategic implication of the Saltoro Range and the implication is you have the Pakistanis sitting in the northern areas, which we keep saying is an illegally occupied, it's a Pakistan occupied Kashmir. Now out of the other areas that they have occupied, they have illegally seeded the Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley, Shaksgam Valley lies to the north of the glacier. And if Saltoro Range was held by them, it practically enables them to bridge this Aksai Chin and northern areas gap, which is with China, and also exercise complete control over the Karakoram Pass. Therefore, strategically, it is an important area. And we feel, by holding these areas, would effectively deny approaches to Kargil and Leh. Now, in security parlance, for the country it is of strategic importance, that is one reason. Second reason is that we have had a number of rounds of talks on this. A large number of solutions have been offered. One of the biggest issues that has not been resolved yet is that we insist that for anything to happen in Siachen, the Pakistanis must first accept the actual line of ground position and delineate the line along the positions that are being held by the troops today, both theirs and ours, as is, where is. They do not seem to be amenable to this sort of a thing. They continue to say that we should go back to '71 and '53, when this whole area was not demarcated, so you should vacate it. Don't forget, Kargil happened because of Siachen and why they did Kargil. If you peruse their own records, which are now public, the Kargil War in Pakistan is now in a public domain. And one of the major objectives of what they did in Kargil was to force us to vacate the Siachen Glacier. Now if that is their intent and that is their credibility, it is up to you to judge whether we should be really vacating the Glacier or not.

NDTV: Does the Government understand these strategic implications?

Lt General KT Parnaik: The government fully understands the strategic implications and they are absolutely with us. And all through these talks, they have always projected this issue in the manner that I've told you.

NDTV: And the offer made by Pakistan on Siachen talks?

Lt General KT Parnaik: See, the offer that was made by the Pakistan Army Chief, probably in wake of the tragedy that took place in Gayari, if they find it difficult they are most welcome to withdraw to safe places. And let me assure you Indian Army has no evil designs to set across for those areas and capture those territories. And this aspect is also well known to our leaders. So that is where it rests.

NDTV: Thank you for your time and being so frank about such contentious issues. We have the borders in your safe hands.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rajrang » 28 Jul 2012 20:25

Very good discussion Rohit. Without taking away from your arguments, two comments:

rohitvats wrote: ................ Chengdu Military Region and their formations are situated in cities outside of Tibet - and if one bothers to check the elevation of these cities, one finds that these cities are situated at lower altitudes – and average elevation of Tibetan Plateau is 4,500 meters (~15,000 feet). So, while the PLA troops in Tibet may not require acclimatization, troops inducted into Tibet for offensive purpose will require acclimatization – and which means additional lead time to the Indian Army. IA with more troops in Sikkim has more acclimatized troops than Chinese at any given point in time an .......


If PRC decides to move several (?) divisions to the Indian border, they can take the weeks/months to do so. What should India's response be? Move soldiers from the plains to the mountains?

(In 1962 they moved troops from outside Tibet to the Indian border. Today India will find out about such a move unlike 1962.)

rohitvats wrote:
And are we forgetting the 7:1 attacker to defender ratio in mountains in India’s favor?

To be concluded...


Did PRC have more than 7:1 ratio in 1962 to defeat India?


One can argue that, since the majority of India's borders (route length) with China/TSP is mountainous, strong mountain forces will be a deterent against both.

By the way I wonder how many "mountain divisions" TSP has?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby shyamd » 29 Jul 2012 02:35

As always a Fascinating post , rohitvats ji. Keep em coming.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby narmad » 29 Jul 2012 10:54

From Kargil to Parakram, a lesson in forceful persuasion

Air power has often been used in recent times as a tool for successful coercion, primarily due to its ability to deliver strategic “effects” without needless engagement by surface forces. What is not widely known, though is that India too employed air power as a tool of “forceful persuasion” during Op Parakram, the 11-month “face-off” with Pakistan after the terrorist attack on Parliament in December 2001. Replying in writing to a question in Parliament in November 2002, four months after the incident, the Defence Minister, Mr. George Fernandes, categorically stated that Indian Air Force (IAF) fighters had been used to evict intruders from Point 3260 in the Machil-Neelam-Gurez Sector.

The Neelam and Gurez sector in the Northern parts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir is dominated by the Kishenganga river, the beautiful Neelam valley and a series of ridges that run almost parallel to the Line of Control (LoC) between the State of J&K and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The town of Kel in PoK is a cantonment from where an audacious operation was said to have been launched by the Pakistani Special Services Group (SSG) in tandem with Mujahids to occupy a positions on a ridge line that was, according to the written statement from Mr. Fernandes, about 800 metres inside Indian territory. This would have allowed continuous observation of Indian positions in what had become an area for what is commonly called “aggressive patrolling.” In an operation that was typically reminiscent of the methodology adopted by Pakistan during the Kargil operation, it is widely believed that the occupation of the vantage position was done stealthily in the darkness with even temporary bunkers or “Sangars” as they are colloquially known, being built to provide shelter to troops.

Joint operations during Kargil

Unlike Kargil though, the Indian Army detected the intrusion early enough towards late July 2002, and after it was clear that the intrusion was well inside Indian territory, it was decided that it had to be dealt with firmly. In an exemplary display of joint operations, the Indian Army, while continuing to plan an assault on the position, asked the Indian Air Force to attack the positions prior to a ground assault. In early August, four Mirage-2000s armed with laser guided and conventional bombs attacked the position, destroying the Sangars, and causing an immediate withdrawal by the SSG and Mujahid force from the position. It is not clear what the attrition caused was, but a mopping-up operation by the Indian Army later that evening and the next day reported no presence amid the destroyed Sangars at the location. One only wonders that had the initial intrusions in Kargil in 1999 been met with a concentrated application of air power, we may not have had to fight the Kargil war with the same intensity as we did. What needs to be highlighted here is that the limited military action taken by India involving air power in a small localised action was decisive, forceful, legitimate and highlighted that India’s territorial sovereignty would be protected at all costs. It also re-enforced the utility of air power in coercion.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Jul 2012 14:17

rajrang wrote:Very good discussion Rohit. Without taking away from your arguments


Thank you, and you're welcome.

If PRC decides to move several (?) divisions to the Indian border, they can take the weeks/months to do so. What should India's response be? Move soldiers from the plains to the mountains? (In 1962 they moved troops from outside Tibet to the Indian border. Today India will find out about such a move unlike 1962.)


The way I see it, China seems happy to put diplomatic pressure on India. They seem to have rightly calculated that India will not fire the first shot and hence, can do with such force structure as exists in Tibet and along LAC in north-east and Ladakh. They seem to have relegated the border issue with India to back bench as compared to issues in South China Sea and with Japan.

What they are doing is using this time period to build infrastructure in the region...the scale and breadth of infrastructure development across Arunachal is quite staggering and will pose tremendous challenge for India. The first indicator of Chinese military intentions in the region will be movement of reserve/offensive formations into Tibet. Till now, they are happy holding annual small scale training exercises in Tibet...for example, the para drop exercise by PLAAF 15 Corps (which holds their airborne infantry) and rotation of detachments of J-10 and J-11 fighters to various bases in Tibet. They are building roads, bases and logistics nodes in the region with special emphasis on last mile connectivity.

They will continue to enjoy advantages of geography.

Rather than go for all out war, I think they'll go for limited incursion in an area of their choosing where they can build disproportionate force levels...and all the infrastructure build up will allow them to put pressure across entire LAC while going for the jugular in an area of their choosing. Remember, they do think 10-15 years ahead.

Coming to Indian response, one must appreciate that each Indian Corps in North-East maintains some formations on or close to LAC - the rest are in the plains/valley below. In case of movement by PLA, you can expect the forces with these Corps (33 Corps-Siliguri, 4 Corps-Tejpur and 3 Corps-Dimapur) to move their formations to their forward locations. In addition to that, one can expect more divisions to come from west to beef up the defenses further. Like you said, we're unlikely to be surprised.

Did PRC have more than 7:1 ratio in 1962 to defeat India? One can argue that, since the majority of India's borders (route length) with China/TSP is mountainous, strong mountain forces will be a deterent against both.By the way I wonder how many "mountain divisions" TSP has?


First - it should be 9:1 - my mistake.

Well, from what I've read, PLA had much higher ratios. Also, one needs to understand that it is not the overall ratio in forces which matters but the ratio during actual application. For example, in Kargil, during some assaults we had 1:12 or even 1:15 ratios...and these were supported by very heavy artillery volume of fire.

You can read a short and interesting summary of war in Tawang theater here: http://www.indianmilitaryhistory.org/india/bomdila1962.html

I will post link to assessment of PLA troop strength in NEFA later; the link seems to be broken. But from what I've read, PLA had two Infantry Divisions and additional regiments (regiment in PLA is equivalent to our brigade-3 x infantry battalions). Plus, they had ample support artillery. They had prepared for the actual war for more than a year...and the level of planning went to the extent of making provisions for housing POWs as per their rank!!!

Indian Army is said to have done some assessment of forces required in mountains after 2002 Parakram and come out with requirement. Some of these have already being implemented. Here is a summary:

- 2 new mountain divisions for north east. East of Siliguri corridor, we have 4 Corps in Tejpur and 3 Corps in Dimapur. While 4 Corps is responsible for western AP and eastern Bhutan, 3 Corps is responsible for entire Indo-Burma border, eastern AP and tri-junction of India-China-Burma border.

- While 4 Corps always had three Mountain Divisions (5,21,2), 3 Corps had only one division (57 MD). 8 Mountain Division was once part of 3 Corps but moved to Srinagar in 90s because of insurgency and today guards the Kargil sector.

- So, what IA has now done is raise two new mountain divisions in the area (56 MD in Zakhama, Nagaland and 71 MD in Misamari, Assam)

- 2 MD, which was based in upper Assam (Dinjan - before Tinsukhia) has been transferred to 3 Corps. So, along with 57 MD (Leimakhong, Nagaland) and 56 MD, 3 Corps now has three mountain divisions to man the eastern AP. The Area of Responsibility (AOR) has been rationalized this way between 4 Corps and 3 Corps. Earlier, 4 Corps was literally responsible for the entire AP border.

- 4 Corps with 5, 21 and 71 MD is now responsible western AP and eastern Bhutan.

- a new mountain strike corps (MSC) has been sanctioned with two more divisions and this will bring total forces under Eastern Command to 11 Mountain Divisions - an impressive number. Plus, a new Artillery Division has also been sanctioned by CCS for Eastern Command.

- the biggest problem we have is that because of geography (and political negligence), our road network is like ribs of a Japanese fan. They radiate outwards from a central location but there is no lateral (east-west) connectivity - which means that shifting of formations from one sector to another is near impossible. And which further means that each sector needs to be staffed and treated as stand alone entity - which means over compensation in terms of troops and other assets.

- China that ways has one big advantage - it has a river valley running parallel to the AP-Tibet border (depth of >30kms) and it has built a road S306 in this river valley. What this means is that PLA can move troops from Tibetan Plateau to sectors opposite AP and given the lateral connectivity, shift forces and apply pressure where it deems feasible. The depth of the road (with high and parallel ridges in between) means that it is out of Indian interdiction.

Please see the image below - the airplane symbol is Mechuka ALG and you can see how lateral (east-west) movement between sectors on Indian side is restricted due to ridges running in north-south direction. On our side, the valleys are narrow and very steep. The dense vegetation is an added obstacle.

Image

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rohitvats » 29 Jul 2012 14:25

Sorry, forgot to answer this - TSP has no terminology as mountain divisions. But this does not mean that these are not geared for mountain warfare - the holding of equipment and forces would cater to such requirements. It is only we who went about the renaming business.

Also, you can appreciate why having strong organic helicopter assets of Mi-17 and Chinook types is important for India - they help over come the limitation of bad road network and lateral connectivity.

In all, we can expect between 7-11 new mountain divisions to be raised - IMO, we may see another MSC for sector east of Brahmaputra. Additional divisions and independent brigades have also been requisitioned for central and norther sectors with Tibet.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby shyamd » 29 Jul 2012 16:38

^^ Are the road networks on our side reliable? I mean, it seems like whenever there is bad weather landslides block the roads. Also, I heard that the earthquake seems to have set back the strategic roads by a lot. IMO, it seems like helicopters and air lift investment is essential. Are there any plans for lateral road connectivity?

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby chetak » 29 Jul 2012 17:05

The Israelis have been targeted like this using tunnels. We could probably seek their help or probably even deploy modified sonobouy sensors to pick up vibrations during the digging process.

Just my two paise




Tunnel found in Samba district connecting India, Pakistan


Authorities on Saturday discovered a 400-mt long tunnel, running between India and Pakistan, along the International Border in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have discovered a tunnel running between Pakistan and India in Samba district," SSP (Samba) Israr Khan told reporters. The tunnel was detected after an area caved-in at two or three places due to rains near the BSF's Chillayari Border Out Post (BOP), he said.

Police said that Baldev Singh found the tunnel, constructed towards Pakistan along the International Border, which Islamabad refers to as the Working Boundary, when he was at his fields on Friday.

"After the cave-in, the area was dug out to know the reason. But, the authorities were surprised to find a tunnel," the SSP said.

The tunnel, with a dimension of 3x3-ft, was running between Chillayari BOP and Pakistan's Numberiyal BOP, he said. Dug at a depth of 25-ft below the ground level, it was 400-mt long on the Indian side, the SSP said, adding 'we are confirming whether the tunnel is operational or not'.

The tunnel, which seemed to be freshly constructed, had air supply through a 2-inch pipe, he said adding 'we are looking into all aspects'.

The place is located close to the Indian forward post Chilyari in Chechwal village, the police said adding that both the BSF and police officials have taken a serious view of the discovery as it appears to be a well-planned structure.

The tunnel reportedly opens on the other side of the border at Lambriyal post of the Pakistan Rangers.

Singh had alerted the nea-rest BSF formation about the tunnel following which they rushed to the spot and began investigations.

Pakistan must be facing a lot of pressure from the militants to infiltrate them into the Indian territory, the SSP said.

"Since it is difficult to push in militants to the Indian side, they decided to set up a tunnel to facilitate infiltration," the SSP said.

Police probe mystery tunnel at Pak border

On stumbling upon a tunnel dug along the border with Pakistan in J&K’s Samba district, Baldev Singh had quickly alerted the nearest BSF formation following which they rushed to the spot and started investigations.

Unconfirmed reports said that the BSF personnel recovered some oxygen pipes from the tunnel.
The local police has registered a case and taken up investigations separately.

“We are trying to find out if it is an old and abandoned tunnel or it was constructed recently," said a police officer.

The tunnel, which could have been used to send in armed infiltrators, is also seen by some local police officials as a security lapse.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rajrang » 29 Jul 2012 20:09

rohitvats wrote:
rajrang wrote:If PRC decides to move several (?) divisions to the Indian border, they can take weeks/months to do so. What should India's response be? Move soldiers from the plains to the mountains?


The way I see it, China seems happy to put diplomatic pressure on India. They seem to have rightly calculated that India will not fire the first shot and hence, can do with such force structure as exists in Tibet and along LAC in north-east and Ladakh. They seem to have relegated the border issue with India to back bench as compared to issues in South China Sea and with Japan.

What they are doing is using this time period to build infrastructure in the region...the scale and breadth of infrastructure development across Arunachal is quite staggering and will pose tremendous challenge for India.

They will continue to enjoy advantages of geography.


Once again thanks for a great analysis. I wonder if there is another means of saving your assessments in a new (strategic) thread?

In any case, my only comment is that intentions (PRC) can change. So, as you would agree, India needs to prepare to meet PRC capabilities. Seems like India is finally doing some of that.

rohitvats wrote:They seem to have relegated the border issue with India to back bench as compared to issues in South China Sea and with Japan.


PRC is coming under direct challenge from the US together with a loose coalition of Europe/Japan and ASEAN. PRC will want peace with India during this period because India packs significant moral weight among the 150 plus smaller countries in the world (largest democracy, 2nd largest population, 2nd fastest growing economy etc.). They will want to keep India neutral and with some luck Indian political pontification that favors them. The arrogant leaders of PRC have concluded that their main challenge for now is the US and the above substantial group of countries that the US can organize against PRC. Again intentions can change. In the meantime PRC is building up infrastructure in Tibet (not merely to improve tourism, or provide more transportation choices to the poor Tibetans) that can support a change of intentions.

rohitvats wrote:[

Indian Army is said to have done some assessment of forces required in mountains after 2002 Parakram and come out with requirement. Some of these have already being implemented. Here is a summary:

- 2 new mountain divisions for north east. East of Siliguri corridor, we have 4 Corps in Tejpur and 3 Corps in Dimapur. While 4 Corps is responsible for western AP and eastern Bhutan, 3 Corps is responsible for entire Indo-Burma border, eastern AP and tri-junction of India-China-Burma border.

- a new mountain strike corps (MSC) has been sanctioned with two more divisions and this will bring total forces under Eastern Command to 11 Mountain Divisions - an impressive number. Plus, a new Artillery Division has also been sanctioned by CCS for Eastern Command.

- the biggest problem we have is that because of geography (and political negligence), our road network is like ribs of a Japanese fan. They radiate outwards from a central location but there is no lateral (east-west) connectivity - which means that shifting of formations from one sector to another is near impossible. And which further means that each sector needs to be staffed and treated as stand alone entity - which means over compensation in terms of troops and other assets.

- China that ways has one big advantage - it has a river valley running parallel to the AP-Tibet border (depth of >30kms) and it has built a road S306 in this river valley. What this means is that PLA can move troops from Tibetan Plateau to sectors opposite AP and given the lateral connectivity, shift forces and apply pressure where it deems feasible. The depth of the road (with high and parallel ridges in between) means that it is out of Indian interdiction.


Adding to your points,

1. We can argue that (a) intuitively, mountainous terrain can "soak" up (demand) a lot more manpower unlike plains, especially for offensive operations and (b) mountain divisions are smaller in size compared to plains divisions. For these two reasons, each corps should not be limited to the traditional 3 dvisions/corps (based on the plains mindset). Perhaps 4 or 5 divisions are needed per corps. This would be especially true for 3rd Corps with large AOR.

2. Multiple artilllery divisions will be a good idea, considering that each divisions contains only a few hundred guns. (It took scores of Bofors 155 mm guns during the eviction of a few hundred intruders in Kargil. I do not have the exact number.)

3. The difficulty with east-west connectivity on the Indian side, the relative geographical advantage on the Chinese side as well as the rapid infrastructure deveopment on the Chinese side would all call for a "rapid deployment" mountain (reserve) corps with helicopter assets dedicated to counter PRC mischief in any specific location on the border. Such forces could also be tasked with entering Bhutan should PRC try some mishcief via that route.
Last edited by rajrang on 29 Jul 2012 20:17, edited 4 times in total.

shyamd
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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby shyamd » 29 Jul 2012 20:10

^^The US has also been suffering frm this menace on their borders. The US have developed this tech that was undergoing testing in Israel currently to detect tunnels. Still in development phase the last I checked. Its one of the biggest threats going around.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Singha » 29 Jul 2012 20:19

I thought the lack of E-W roads in arunachal was a function of the N-S hills and a deliberate decision to limit the scale of any chinese intrusion post-1962 and funnel them into controllable N-S axis rather than let them open a hole an flood the entire balloon behind.

however this is obviously a hindrance to us now, and for AP's economic growth as well, and this policy should be dropped and replaced with a strong road network grid.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby vivek_ahuja » 29 Jul 2012 21:41

Rohitvats,

As you have mentioned already, Bhutan remains the weak link in the whole Eastern sector. China is not above penetrating Bhutan if it gives them a chance to bypass Indian defenses and reorient the attack axis. If they have made claims over Western Bhutanese territory since 1989, its basically because THAT is what they will use as a trigger to use Bhutanese territory in the event of war with India. As you say, they think 10-15 years ahead. Either the RBA forces are brought up to strength or India should reserve the right to do exactly what the Chinese will do and deny them that weak point.

By the same token, I believe that sparing border locations, Sikkim (especially the northern part but including all eastern parts) is a no-go for the Chinese. If they advance eastwards from the border, they are basically making their way down into the valley, which means that they are putting an entire set of peaks between their logistics and their combat lines. Not good tactics IMO. They may seize the border locations (or may try to, anyway) but the major goal for them would be to force the Indian forces down into the valley, thus making it very hard for recapture later (Kargil?) giving them security for the Chumbi valley region as well as any operations they try through Bhutan. But even this remains difficult as they will have to make huge stockpiles of resources north of the Bhutanese Border before attempting a move south, making them vulnerable to being destroyed from the air or through missile strikes. That said, Indian aerial dominance is key here (and I don't mean fighter-vs-fighter. I mean the whole air-ground environment that has to be neutralized including any S-300 style systems).

-Vivek

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby Surya » 29 Jul 2012 22:04

rohit,vivek, singha etc

a book you should read

The Long Walk by Brian Castner

He was an EOD guy who spent quite a bit of time in Iraq

very interesting descriptions of the techniques, equipment used by EOD teams. Like the IA in SL, the US forces had to adapt rapidly, going from having a few obsolete robots at the beginning to a plethora of equipment (at least 4 diff types) of robots along with the accompanying logistics etc

Just the amount of equipment an EOD team carries in their Humvee is mind boggling.

one interesting thing is the US trains all EOD (AF,Army, Navy , marines) in one school and Brian was an Air Force EOD captain who served with the grunts.

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Re: Indian Army: News and Discussions 15 Apr 2012

Postby rajrang » 30 Jul 2012 01:19

vivek_ahuja wrote:Rohitvats,

As you have mentioned already, Bhutan remains the weak link in the whole Eastern sector. China is not above penetrating Bhutan if it gives them a chance to bypass Indian defenses and reorient the attack axis. If they have made claims over Western Bhutanese territory since 1989, its basically because THAT is what they will use as a trigger to use Bhutanese territory in the event of war with India. As you say, they think 10-15 years ahead.



China is not above anything unethical. Your intuitive point about claims over West Bhutanese territory seems logical.

During WWII, the Germans invaded France through Belgium, in order to bypass the Maginot Line (military barrier created by France along the Franco/German border.) This would be analogous to China invading India through Bhutan. Living adjacent to a very powerful, unscrupulous neighbor, India is faced with unique problems that may not yet have prior analogies in military history.


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