India's Army... Part II




 
--
Boots
 
February 4th, 2005  
rajkhalsa
 

Topic: India's Army... Part II


Hello,

I had recently compiled a post for the India's Army thread poll, but I had only now just realized it had been locked.

I can certainly understand why, as the nationalistic d**k swinging had gotten quite out of hand. However, I beg the admins indulgence for a continuation of the thread.

Hopefully this time real issues/points can be debated, and not simple sloganeering or trolling.


The original thread's post is reproduced here:
Quote:
India has been a rising power in the world, not just economy, but more importantly military

The scale of buying weapons from Western nations and Russia are astonishing in India

is INdia's army really a good one? or still needs improvement?
The thread ran to 9 pages. The post below is my reply to the original intent question of the thread.

Regards,
Raj
February 4th, 2005  
rajkhalsa
 
Hi,

Sorry for taking so long to respond to this thread, and for the length of this post.

However, I feel there is a need for me to address the various posts that have been made. Sadly, the majority of them belie both an ignorance of the Indian military (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and a prejudice/arrogance/stupendously misinformed attitude (which is.) The latter combined with the former have been allowed to continue in this thread, resulting in the willful arrogance and irrationality feeding upon itself and being compounded more and more in later posts.

I will address this thread from the very beginning. If similar sentiment or comments are echoed later in the thread and have already been addressed by me, I will ignore them for brevityís sake. So donít take this as me picking on certain posters or whatever, but instead certain incorrect ideas.



Firstly, regarding the topic of this thread, where in the world the Indian military ranks, I would say firmly a secondary military power. I take this to mean that the Indian military has the highest military combat potentiality second only to the established superpower (America) and in the same tranche as other secondary powers (China, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Russia.) This is speaking in strictly conventional terms.

I define secondary power as having the following attributes:
1. Ability to adequately defend its territorial integrity against foreign powers.
2. Ability to project power into areas where it has strategic vital interests.
3. Established military-industrial complex that satisfies the majority of its equipment and weapons, and which can still function independently under sanctions from foreign powers.
4. Having a judicious equipping of high-technology or modern weapons, advanced c3i network, established and flexible military doctrines, etc.

I would say that all the countries I listed above meet those requirements. However, this is about India in particular, so I will briefly explain the reasoning behind those points. I will go in greater detail about certain points as they are addressed later in the thread.


1. The size and strength of the Indian army (and military) makes occupation by a foreign power out of the question. The comparative strength of the Indian army veruses all of its enemies and neighbors is in indiaís favor. The size/strength/technology of the Indian military is a credible conventional deterrent to both Pakistan and China, in particular. Any war with either and both of these countries will not see significant or strategic territorial losses for India, and at the most a tactical give and take of remote border boundaries.

Even if its primary military formations, airforce and navy were to be completely destroyed, the occupation of the Indian state is something that is impossible. The total manpower consisting of reserves, police, civil defense, paramilitary and nongovernmental militia is upwards of 50 million people. Over 500 million people are of arms-bearing age. Furthermore, civil defense is a well established institution, prompted after the 1962 war with China, and such its doctrine and formations are well enacted.



2. India is a regional superpower unconstrained by powerful littoral states that limit its natural strategic influence in regions of strategically vital interest, the Indian Ocean Rim (IOR) in particular. Its conventional superiority over Pakistan and comparative conventional parity with China limit the effectiveness of force deployments north of the Indian state. However, all the other south Asian states, with the exception of Bangladesh, are fully integrated in the Indian security environment. India legally responsible for the defense of Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives and strategic formations in those territories fall as a parcel of Indian doctrine; Sri Lanka militaries (both LTTE and SLA) both have working relationships with the India, and like the other countries, India dominates their strategic and economic policy.

That being said, the primary instrument of Indian force projection is the Indian Navy. Reproduced below is a post I made in another forum regarding the abilities of the Indian navy, and its doctrine. I am posting in full.

==========BEGIN ATTCHED POST============
Pecently, the IN had unveiled its new doctrine. It reflects and reacts to the new world situation and the growing importance of Asia in oil politics.

With exception of the USN, India is the dominant force in the Indian ocean region. Along with its navy, the magnitude of the shore-based IAF and missile forces can virtually deny the region to any surface force from the Malaccas to the Persian gulf. Even a hypothetical USN carrier force would not lightly tangle with this in conventional terms.

From what reseach I have done, I see the IN's role as basically three-fold -- wherein the IN must be capable of fulfilling each of these roles at the same time without compromizing on any of the other of them, viz.:
(1). A guaranteer of Indian strategic interests
(2). An independantly operateable (from the mainland, that is) instrument of localized force projection anywhere in the IOR
(3). And a policeman of free-lanes shipping in the busiest sea lanes in the world.

With regards to the first, India is heavily dependant on foreign oil for its needs. As the Indian economy continues to boom, oil requirements grow exponentially. India's relationship with Iran, UAE, Oman and even speculations in the N. African desert require adaquate security of tankers transiting from the Gulf to India's west coast. It is necessary that IN must be overwhelmingly capable of providing this security, as the Indian economy is dependant on this influx.

Even with pipeline politics and talks of pipelines from through Pakistan from Iran and the CAR, India's strategic supply of petrolium reserves is two weeks --about the time it would take to conduct any war against Pakistan or China. Those two weeks, would see whatever land-based oil lines in Pakistan obviously destroyed. India would then be forced to import its entire petrolium resources through sea-lanes, and the Indian Navy must be in a position, post-war, to protect India's shipping from any threat.

India's strategic requirements don't have to deal with India alone. China, Japan, Korea and even ASEAN members get their oil from the same place, and are even more heavily dependant on the Mid East. The vast majority (we're talking 95+%) of their oil is shipped through the IO and up the S. China sea. The very jugular vein of these countries flows right under India, and unlike India, they are in no position to do anything about it. This is a tremendous --and completely overlooked-- strategic advantage India holds over these nations.

Obviously, the only potential enemy India has with these nations is China, whose energy need requirements are in an even more critical position than India. Its pipeline projects basically all are based out of Pakistan. Even with these, the vast majority of its oil will continue to be shipped from the ME. And even the Pakistan-pipelines require shipping oil/lng from there to Pakistan in any case. The pipelines can easily be neutralized by IAF/IA. IN's role is to deny the Chinese navy access to the region, and interdict its shipping by IN's overwhelming regionalized superiority.

Any PLAN (or other navy's for that matter) increase in procurment/deployment to the IOR will be matched by IN force increase/deployments, so this superiority remains. The likely aquisition of Tu-22M3s from Russia in the next year or so will act as a strategic, long-range standoff platform with which, for example, massive E. Asian fleet entering the IOR will be hard-pressed to counter (especially given the geography of the Indonesian, etc. archipelagoes)

With regard to the second point, force-projection, what the Tsunami disaster basically displayed to the surprised world the speed, size and effectiveness of IN's deployability to troublespots in the region. India, being that its a regional superpower strategically unconstrained in its natural sphere of influence --(unlike, for example, China which is contained by strong and hostile littoral nations like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, which as well have US backing)-- has a vested interest in the surrounding states and has the ability to intervene, humanitarianly or otherwise, as was displayed with the Indian Peacekeeping Force in SL and the put-down of the invasion of the Maldives in the 80s, and by the Tsunami deployments now.

Pakistan presents no naval threat to the IN, and land-based resources are itself able to neutralize them. IN will have a supporting role (as 1971 war showed) but these will be limited to speedy missile boats and patroling vessels. The meat of IN deployment -- and where IN's capital deployments will be against Pakistan -- is that of blockade of its shoreline. India's mobilization following the Pakistani-backed terrorist attack on India's Parliament showed that this can easily be done.

Another goal of this is the ability to land troops in nearby trouble spots. The intital landings of IPKF in SL was done mostly by air, and then only after ports were secured. While IAF is going hellstrong on strategic transport capability (that itself another topic), IN is concentrating on having the ability to conduct forced landings in hostile territory. Potenial targets: Pakistan (unlike in the previous wars, Indian conventional superiority now allows India to not only fight on the border, but literally to establish a beach head in Balochistan directly to create another front bypassing traditional defended borders, and supply this front quite at want); Sri Lanka (intervening in the civil war); or Burma (any full-scale India-China war will have the PLA streaming through the Burmese jungles around the Himalay.

The fact that India has started the increase of the Marine Commando Force to regimental-plus size is telling.

The third, policing the seas is the most benign, and where there is considerable convergence with US and allies (UK, Japan, ASEAN) interest. It is in India's greatest interest that freedom of the seas is maintained around her. Piracy remains a very bad problem in SE Asia, where the hundreds of thousands of islands make for policing difficult. There is also a growing problem around Bengal and Lanka of piracy.

There is also a military reason. The rapidly growing India-US friendship has been most materially evidently shown --despite it being perhaps the most low-key-- by IN ships routinely escorting USN ships in the IOR. This was especially during the afghanistan invasion, where USN capital ships were otherwise committed.

Also India's benign foreign policy all these years have caused the ASEAN nations to rapidly turning to India as a counterbalance against China, which is seen as hostile, and even to balance America/Australia. IN escorts Singaporean, Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian and Vietnamese commercial and naval ships, as well as Japan, Australian and Korean ships transiting the sealanes there. There is joint patrolling with USN in the area already, and I've heard that Japan is invited, but I think recent developments wrt China would make them shy to stray far from home. Also, because India is a neutral country, Thailand and Indonesia requested India patrol the seaways around their country so America won't have to.

Another (main?) reason behind India's willingness to have a continuous presence in the area is to deter the PLAN from even entering the IOR through sustained forward IN deployments in and monitoring of the region.

I don't think many people really grasp how far the IN has come in recent years. From being a gorified brown-water navy through the 80s, to the 15-year plan from 2002 that will see in little over a decade -- that is, 2017 -- India having 3 carrier battle-group fleets and a fourth around a cruiser comprising upwards of 150 ships and 40 submarines, 30 MR aircraft and helicopters, 60 ASW helicopters and planes, an coast guard tripled in size, induction if indigenous nuclear submarines, and an double increase in IAF size and potency, with many more modern planes capable of long-distance ASh roles (including by that time at least sqn strength Backfires, and 4 sqn MKIs which also have standoff long-range nuclear/missile capabilites.)

What's also significant is that as IN's strength increases, it will see greater cooperation and inter-operability with USN and allied navies, especially in the Gulf and SE Asia.
===========END ATTCHED POST=============


3. While the majority of Indian weapons systems remains of Russian origin, it does not negatively reflect on Indiaís own military industrial complex. Every weapon system of foreign origin of significance, from Tanks to Submarines to Strike Aircraft are completely manufactured indigenously, after perhaps an initial procurement while assembly lines are established. The wholesale manufacture of systems, parts, repairs, ammunition, etc. are undertaken at home, to the degree of 95% of weapons and equipment.

Furthermore, those foreign systems procured post 1980s have significant customizations and upgradation by incorporating Indian components or components from a third-party retooled and designed to make a unique weapons system customized for Indian security needs. This can be seen from everything from the airforce (where every aircraft is locally built and Ďsouped upí with Indian designs), missiles, tanks, ships, firearms, and what have you.

Now, all that above is simply regarding Indian military systems of foreign origin, Indiaís own military industry is taking off in a huge way, and foreign systems are increasingly being replaced with Indian systems in increasing margins each passing year. Iíll go in detail with specific systems when I address posts, but, suffice it now to say that over 50% of new procurements in the last 5 years are indigenous, Indian-made systems (95% of all systems of whatever origin being locally-manufactured, notwithstanding.)

By 2010, weapons systems that will be in service with the Indian military will account for a full 50% of Indian weapons systems. Foreign-origin systems that are extensively customized and retooled with Indian technologies will account for 90% of total systems in service.

India has moved from the stage of simple Cold-War-style military client, to the stage of joint development of weapons with foreign developers. India is rapidly developing core competences in the development and production of systems themselves, as the recent success of local systems have shown.

It is also significant to note that Indiaís nuclear technologies and deterrences are entirely home grown.



4. The Indian military is hardly a peasant army, as some in this thread were wont to try to make out. The average Jawan (soldier) is at the very worst adequately equipped compared to his foes. Its main fighting formations are equipped with world standard equipment and technologies, and in particular its airforce and navy is equipped with literally the cutting-edge of military technologies.

The average Jawan, by all accounts, Indian and foeign, and buy His successes and achievements throughout all deployments in the world, is man for man on par with the best in the world. The Indian military combat training have physically tougher training standards and requirements than any of the Western counterparts, Its officer corps are also on average have higher education levels. Its combat schools are world-standard, and some, like its High Altitude Training School, or its Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School are universially recognized to be among, if not the, best in the world. In every world competition or military exercise with a foreign power Indiaís special forces have conducted, they have almost always had the top honors.

The reasons for this is twofold: firstly because the sheer number of people trying applying to military service are so high in number (Indian military is the largest volunteer military in the world) that incredibly strict standards can/need to be put in place and can weed out all but the very best. The ratio of applicants:cadet posting is the highest in the world at only one out of 250 being accepted. Its enlisted ratios are similar at 300:1.

Secondly, India has the benefit that most countries do not have of continuous active combat deployments for over 50 years. Either in Kashmir, or in counter-insurgencies, this has allowed the Indian military to hone and refine its wartime tactics. Every unit in the Indian military has significant real combat experience, which by and far most countries in the world do not. 50% of deployments of active duty soldiers are in wartime situations and conditions.


I think Iíve typed enough for now. I will hold off on posting my critique of individual posts in this thread till tomorrow or so, so I wonít flood the thread with text and make the discussion hard to read/follow.

Regards,
Raj
February 4th, 2005  
gingerbeard
 
Admin edit: No need to quote the entire thread....
interesting, but i do not thin india have the strength to deny china without terrorial costs. chinese navy are now quite advance, not to mention its land army are having new tanks the Type 96 and the Type 98G which is said to be one of the world's best.

India have slightly better Su30, but the chinese have upgreaded its missile that is even better than the US.

the Chinese have getting the new russian bombers too, the Tu-22M3 and Tu-95 , if u go to the china's army thread the and china's army doctrine, u will know china's army is more up to date than india's.

the point is, india's infrastructure cannot repair its own equipment, they need russian assistance, do u think in war time with china or any superpowers, india would be able to do so?

inida's navy will be supressed by the chinese if they enter chinese territory, the chinese missiles and Kilo subs couls take on even the US carrier fleet. there is recent news where the chinese nuclear subs slip pass US detection in the pacific.

i am not saying india is weak in military strength, but if a war broke out. china will gain the upper hand. the size of the indian army can make and UK, France, Japan out of question due to force projection. but i doubt india have enough to keep away US carrier fleet. also china is right next to india's, so it is not too hard for chinese to invade in a large scale. u got to know what happened in 1962 war.

"Even if its primary military formations, airforce and navy were to be completely destroyed, the occupation of the Indian state is something that is impossible. The total manpower consisting of reserves, police, civil defense, paramilitary and nongovernmental militia is upwards of 50 million people. Over 500 million people are of arms-bearing age. Furthermore, civil defense is a well established institution, prompted after the 1962 war with China, and such its doctrine and formations are well enacted. "

then how come the Brits could countrol india's population?

"With exception of the USN, India is the dominant force in the Indian ocean region. Along with its navy, the magnitude of the shore-based IAF and missile forces can virtually deny the region to any surface force from the Malaccas to the Persian gulf. Even a hypothetical USN carrier force would not lightly tangle with this in conventional terms. "

i would want to know what does IN have. not trying to insult u or anything, but u havent said wat india has got to keep away the US carrier fleet.

"With regards to the first, India is heavily dependant on foreign oil for its needs. As the Indian economy continues to boom, oil requirements grow exponentially. India's relationship with Iran, UAE, Oman and even speculations in the N. African desert require adaquate security of tankers transiting from the Gulf to India's west coast. It is necessary that IN must be overwhelmingly capable of providing this security, as the Indian economy is dependant on this influx. "

if u r talking about war with neigbours, china's economic development is way ahead india's, also faster economic growth rate compare to india's

"Obviously, the only potential enemy India has with these nations is China, whose energy need requirements are in an even more critical position than India. Its pipeline projects basically all are based out of Pakistan. Even with these, the vast majority of its oil will continue to be shipped from the ME. And even the Pakistan-pipelines require shipping oil/lng from there to Pakistan in any case. The pipelines can easily be neutralized by IAF/IA. IN's role is to deny the Chinese navy access to the region, and interdict its shipping by IN's overwhelming regionalized superiority. "

chinese have a larger airforce, the normal standards of the chinese planes are better than india's.

"With regard to the second point, force-projection, what the Tsunami disaster basically displayed to the surprised world the speed, size and effectiveness of IN's deployability to troublespots in the region. India, being that its a regional superpower strategically unconstrained in its natural sphere of influence --(unlike, for example, China which is contained by strong and hostile littoral nations like Japan, Korea, Taiwan, which as well have US backing)-- has a vested interest in the surrounding states and has the ability to intervene, humanitarianly or otherwise, as was displayed with the Indian Peacekeeping Force in SL and the put-down of the invasion of the Maldives in the 80s, and by the Tsunami deployments now. "

no, india took a long time to react. i saw ont he news where the indians were complaining how slow the government has reacted to this matter.

"Another goal of this is the ability to land troops in nearby trouble spots. The intital landings of IPKF in SL was done mostly by air, and then only after ports were secured. While IAF is going hellstrong on strategic transport capability (that itself another topic), IN is concentrating on having the ability to conduct forced landings in hostile territory. Potenial targets: Pakistan (unlike in the previous wars, Indian conventional superiority now allows India to not only fight on the border, but literally to establish a beach head in Balochistan directly to create another front bypassing traditional defended borders, and supply this front quite at want); Sri Lanka (intervening in the civil war); or Burma (any full-scale India-China war will have the PLA streaming through the Burmese jungles around the Himalay. "

but the chinese would have taken air supriority, due to the much larger air force china has.

"Now, all that above is simply regarding Indian military systems of foreign origin, Indiaís own military industry is taking off in a huge way, and foreign systems are increasingly being replaced with Indian systems in increasing margins each passing year. Iíll go in detail with specific systems when I address posts, but, suffice it now to say that over 50% of new procurements in the last 5 years are indigenous, Indian-made systems (95% of all systems of whatever origin being locally-manufactured, notwithstanding.) "

u got to realise china's military industry has taken off in an even bigger way, surprising the US. due to economical advantage and the better infrastructure, china would be able to produce mroe weapons and better quality faster than india's. also as i said before, india needs russia to repairs its weaponry. it shows during a war with china, india would not have enough weapons to fight.

"The average Jawan, by all accounts, Indian and foeign, and buy His successes and achievements throughout all deployments in the world, is man for man on par with the best in the world. The Indian military combat training have physically tougher training standards and requirements than any of the Western counterparts, Its officer corps are also on average have higher education levels. Its combat schools are world-standard, and some, like its High Altitude Training School, or its Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School are universially recognized to be among, if not the, best in the world. In every world competition or military exercise with a foreign power Indiaís special forces have conducted, they have almost always had the top honors. "

i doubt it, how many officer corps are there? and each officer in the west have university degrees. india have a very low proportion of university graduates. so entering an army of india's size would proof the numbers are very minimal.

"Secondly, India has the benefit that most countries do not have of continuous active combat deployments for over 50 years. Either in Kashmir, or in counter-insurgencies, this has allowed the Indian military to hone and refine its wartime tactics. Every unit in the Indian military has significant real combat experience, which by and far most countries in the world do not. 50% of deployments of active duty soldiers are in wartime situations and conditions. "

so is the US.
--
Boots
February 5th, 2005  
MadeInChina
 
the indian military and her industry has a good capacity to produce and equjipp and protect the huge hinterland of india and her borders.

however, without major wars during the past 50,100 years, india enjoyed stability within, which means no serious military threats until recently with pakistan

india had some 50 years to develop itself, and look at it now, its industry is good and its military functioning, but the speed of development in her military is still quite slow when averaged out over the 50 years of its stability

i really do see the indian army's strength surpassing france's and even russia's military power, in the future it could happen if no major war occurs
February 5th, 2005  
gingerbeard
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AA
the indian military and her industry has a good capacity to produce and equjipp and protect the huge hinterland of india and her borders.

however, without major wars during the past 50,100 years, india enjoyed stability within, which means no serious military threats until recently with pakistan

india had some 50 years to develop itself, and look at it now, its industry is good and its military functioning, but the speed of development in her military is still quite slow when averaged out over the 50 years of its stability

i really do see the indian army's strength surpassing france's and even russia's military power, in the future it could happen if no major war occurs
but india's industry cannot repair russian weaponry while most of the advance indian weapons are russian. i think it will take india about 10-15 years to be self sufficent in reparing its weapons. due to lack of education level in india, it is hard to have enough engineers for the army such as india's size. therefore the long lasting effect of the advance weaponry is very limited if against a country like china, because they would need a VERY large amount of weapons to repair.

and what about the 1962 war with china? india has stablity, but even china took over india's, so the stablity has little effect on india.
February 5th, 2005  
MadeInChina
 
exactly, a 50-100 year stable country yet tis forces were easily defeated by border guards of a nation fresh froma civil war, 100 years of foreign inperallism as well as the japanese invasion.

that saddens me how good of an oppertunity it is for india to develop herself for a long time yet they seem to miss the opertunity and instead they developed just recently

they have great poential, they could become powerful, but only through good leadership and for cryingoutloud stop the huge popupatlion explosion
February 5th, 2005  
gingerbeard
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AA
exactly, a 50-100 year stable country yet tis forces were easily defeated by border guards of a nation fresh froma civil war, 100 years of foreign inperallism as well as the japanese invasion.

that saddens me how good of an oppertunity it is for india to develop herself for a long time yet they seem to miss the opertunity and instead they developed just recently

they have great poential, they could become powerful, but only through good leadership and for cryingoutloud stop the huge popupatlion explosion
actually AA, can u find me some stiff that talks about the 1962 war? i only know not much of that war.
February 5th, 2005  
Xion
 
http://sinoindianwar.50megs.com/
February 5th, 2005  
Sexybeast
 
so in that war, chinese won tactically, yet they lose some lands, so they kind of get defeated strategically right?




now back to topic:
India's army has been making VERy impressive progess in modernizing its army, especially its air force,, and navy,

yet just like chinese, they encounter many problems in disgesting those new tech and equipments into its army, it takes time to let supply and maintiance and training system to get to the same level of the "state-of-art" level of those new weapons..
is that right?

and navy, the acquriing of an aircraft carrier makes India's navy a truly blue water one, although India needs more modern destroyers (i dont mean Dehli destroyer is not a good one, it is an awesome boat), and also nuclear subs to protect its air craft carrier during a future global navy mission.
February 5th, 2005  
MadeInChina
 
any special units besides the gurka units?? guards units??? shock units??? urbanwarefare units??? field armies????