Saturday, May 30, 2015


Government Committed to One Rank One Pension – Prime Minister Mr.Modi

'One Rank One Pension Still An Unfulfilled Promise No Achche Din For Soldiers ' - 1 Video Result(s)



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Government Committed to One Rank One Pension – Prime Minister Mr.Modi



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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Indian Army’s Modernisation Plans: Call for Pragmatism


           Indian Army’s Modernisation Plans

                         : Call for Pragmatism


                                 Arun Sahgal

July 31, 2014
The NDA government has identified defence reforms and building a self sustaining defence industrial base as a priority reform sector. To transform this into reality, it is not so much of the government commitment but its ability to take policy decisions and put processes in place by spurring public and private sector investments through higher indigenisation, transfer of technology, simplifying procedures, etc.

The Army’s war waging capability is increasingly handicapped. Concerned with dwindling operational preparedness and operationally hard pressed, it wants to induct advanced technology hardware that it perceives would serve its operational needs optimally.  However its efforts at modernising be it combat or combat support arms are hardly encouraging – plagued by procurement and indigenous production delays and lack of timely planning.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence’s figures reveals that the army's equipment modernisation is steadily falling. In 2008-09, the army spent 27 paisa of every rupee on capital expenditure. This fell to 24 paisa in 2009-10; 23 paisa in 2010-11; 20 paisa in 2012-13 and just 18 paisa in the last two years. Resultantly the army’s ambitious plans to transform from a ‘threat-based to a capability force’ by 2020 are being consistently thwarted as a result of process driven MoD breaucracy and the Army headquarters delays in drawing up credible qualitative requirements.  

Adding to this are procedural delays. Getting approvals is a long drawn out procedure entailing clearances from 18 MoD and related departments/agencies. Consequently, procurements mandated to be completed in 48 months invariably take twice as long. Even the urgently needed equipment via the Fast Track Procurement (FTP) route with a 12-14 month timeline, is rarely ever met.

Army’s Modernization Perspective

Let us take the armour first. Indian army’s mechanised fleet comprises T-72 and T72 M1s Main Battle Tanks (MBTs), T-90S MBTs and indigenously produced Arjun MKI tanks. The main issue facing operational efficiency of mechanised forces are two: night fighting capability and ammunition.

In so far as night fighting capability is concerned only the 650-odd Russian T90S MBTs along with indigenously designed Arjun MKI tanks have full solution night fighting capability. T-72 and T72M1s that form the backbone of 59-odd armour regiments along with some 2200 Soviet-designed BMP-II infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) lack night fighting capability. Majority of the T72s await upgrades that will provide them with either full solution thermal imaging fire control systems (TIFCS) or third generation partial solution thermal imaging stand alone systems (TISAS) enabling all weather including night operations. Till date only 620 partial solution TISAS have been acquired.

In terms of armour ammunition there is critical deficiency of anti tank ammunition; 125 mm armour piercing fin-stabilised discarding sabot (APFSDS). Indigenous production is held up on account of black listing of Israeli company, resultantly  availability of 125 mm APFSDS including war wastage reserves have dropped to critical levels necessitating urgent imports of around 66,000 rounds from Russia at highly inflated prices.  

Next major deficiency is that of Artillery, where no new gun has been inducted in last three decades. Despite years of attempts at modernisation; army’s artillery profile remains beseeched by the inability to decide on the 155 mm gun to replace the 180-odd field artillery regiments employing as many as six different calibres that are fast approaching obsolescence. Even the 32 artillery regiments equipped with   410 FH-77B 155 mm Bofors guns imported in the late 1980s-are reduced to half following cannibalization owing to the non-availability of spares. Upgradation of approximately 200 Soviet 130 mm M-46 carried out jointly by the Ordnance Factory Board and Soltam of Israel has been unsatisfactory resulting in CBI enquiry.

The proposal under the Artillery Rationalisation Plan to acquire by 2020-25 a mix of around 3000-3600; 155mm/39 calibre light weight and 155mm/52 calibre towed, mounted, self-propelled (tracked and wheeled) and ultra light weight 155mm/39 calibre howitzers through imports and local, licensed manufacture have been continually postponed for over a decade.  Tenders for almost all these guns have been issued, withdrawn and re-issued, along with several rounds of inconclusive trials. Matters have been further complicated by the MoD completely or partially blacklisting at least four top overseas howitzer manufacturers.

The infantry’s F-INSAS (Future Infantry Soldier as a System) project that includes a fully networked, all-terrain, all-weather personal equipment platform as well as enhanced firepower and mobility for the digitalised battlefield of the future continues to be abnormally behind schedule. Similarly eight-odd Special Forces battalions face an identity crisis, operating without a specialised operational mandate, organisational support or “dedicated budget” resulting in piecemeal and incomplete weapon and equipment packages.

Adding to the Infantry’s woes is the shortages of credible assault rifles (ARs), carbines, ballistic helmets, lightweight bullet proof jackets and night vision devices. These are largely produced indigenously. Last year the MoD issued a global tender for 66,000, 5.56 mm ARs for an estimated $ 700 million to replace the locally designed Indian Small Arms System (INSAS). The eventual requirement for the proposed AR is expected to be around 2 million units for use not only by the army but also the paramilitary forces and the numerous provincial police forces in a project estimated to cost around $3 billion.  

Other infantry shortages include; close quarter battle carbines, general purpose machine guns, light-weight anti-materiel rifles, mine protected vehicles, snow scooters for use at heights above 21,000 feet in Siachen, 390,000 ballistic helmets, over 30,000 third generation NVDs, 180,000 lightweight bullet proof jackets together with other assorted ordnance including new generation grenades.  

Similar is the story of air defence. The bulk of the army’s air defence guns – Bofors L 70s and the Soviet Zu-23-2s and ZUS-23-4s and missiles like the Russian OSA-AK and Kradvat – date back 30-40 years and need replacing. The Army Aviation also faces similar shortages. There is an urgent need to replace obsolete aviation assets like the Chetak and Cheetah helicopters. Acquisition of 197 helicopters under the Army Aviation Corps Vision 2017 was postponed after the procurement of Eurocopter AS 550 C3 Fennec was scrapped in November 2007. Four years later after trials, evaluation and negotiation the contract is under re-assessment featuring Russia’s Kamov 226 and Eurocopter’s AS 550 models, with little chance of early conclusion. 

Addressing Army’s Modernization Needs

The major issue that emerges is how will the army get out of the vicious cycle of delays in procurement, and get its modernisation plans back on track.

Is it feasible to undertake an all encompassing procurement backed by indigenous production taking the transfer of technology (TOT) route?

 What are the likely constraints?

Let us take a look at the budgetary support first? The Defence Budget for 2014-15 has an allocation of Rs. 2, 29,000 crores ($38 billion) an increase of 12 per cent over the previous year’s allocation. The capital outlay is Rs.94, 588 crores ($15.7 billion), and the remaining allocation of Rs. 1, 34,412 crores is the revenue outlay. The sub allocation of capital outlay to Army is Rs. 20, 655 crores, Navy Rs. 22, 312 crores, Air force Rs. 31,818 crores, DRDO Rs.9298 crores and modernization of Ordnance Factories (OFs) Rs. 1, 207 crores.

While the figures might look impressive it needs to be noted that fairly large amount of capital outlays get consumed by committed liabilities leaving fairly modest amounts for new procurements.

Second, even if the money was available how can the army make up such huge shortages in any acceptable time frame?

Procurement procedures, deciding on vendors for transfer of technology, issues regarding off sets, participation of the private sector and above all skill development are long drawn process which in the best case can take anything from 5 to 7 years.

To deal with the problem two critical aspects need to be addressed: One, the nature of future threats both in short-and-medium-to-long-terms basis. If the trigger for conflicts is likely to be unacceptable provocation requiring immediate military response; this requires basic level of preparedness and modernization to deal with such contingencies. Two, the long-term capability needs require a more nuanced and detailed induction perspective more attuned to R&D, technology transfers and indigenous production, etc. The essential take away from the above analysis is two-fold – laying down induction priorities and tri service synergy.

Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India

                            डोन्ट   वॉररी ,

भारत  सरकार   has   नो  व्यूज  एंड  the  व्यूज  ऑफ़   the  ऑथर  carries  नो  मीनिंग  बिकॉज़ 

                          there  इस  नो  

                            " कमीशन "  

                          फॉर    BABUs  

                           मेरा   भारत   महान 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015


                    A SON TOOK HIS OLD FATHER
                    A RESTAURANT !!!!!!!

A son took his old father to a restaurant for an evening dinner. Father being very old and weak, while eating, dropped food on his shirt and trousers. 

Others diners watched him in disgust while his son was calm. 

After he finished eating, his son who was not at all embarrassed, quietly took him to the wash room, wiped the food particles, removed the stains, combed his hair and fitted his spectacles firmly. When they came out, the entire restaurant was watching them in dead silence, not able to grasp how someone could embarrass themselves publicly like that. 

The son settled the bill and started walking out with his father.

At that time, an old man amongst the dinerscalled out to the son and asked him, "Don't you think you have left something behind?".

The son replied, "No sir, I haven't".

The old man retorted, "Yes, you have! You left a lesson for every son and hope for every father".

The restaurant went silent.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

India’s Military Modernization : Plans and Strategic Underpinnings

         India’s Military Modernization:

     Plans and Strategic  Underpinnings

                   GURMEET KANWAL

(Sep 2012 Produced by The National Bureau ofAsian  Research for the Senate India Caucus )
As a key player in Asia and a large democracy with which the United States shares common interests, India is emerging as an important U.S. strategic partner. There is a broad national consensus in India on the contours of this emerging relationship with Washington, particularly with respect to enhanced defense and civil nuclear energy cooperation.



During his visit to New Delhi in June 2012, U.S. defense secretary Leon Panetta identified India as a “linchpin” in Washington’s emerging “rebalancing” strategy in the Asia-
Pacific region. While there was no reaction from the Indian
government, it is clear that these two large democracies need
to work together militarily in order to maintain freedom of
the seas in the Indian Ocean region and to ensure peace and
stability in the Asia-Pacific more generally. Should China
experience political instability or behave irresponsibly in
asserting its territorial rights—as it has shown a tendency to
do in the South China Sea—both India and the United States
will need strong strategic partners to face worst-case
scenarios effectively.

In order to meet future threats and challenges and achieve
interoperability with U.S. and other friendly armed forces
for joint operations in India’s area of strategic interest, the
Indian military needs to modernize and create force
structures that are capable of undertaking network-centric
warfare on land, at sea, and in the air. Gradually, but
perceptibly, the Indian armed forces are upgrading their
capabilities, enhancing their kinetic effectiveness and
command and control, and improving interoperability. This
brief analyzes the threats and challenges that India must
address, the measures being adopted to modernize the
country’s armed forces, and the strategic underpinnings
behind this slow but steady modernization effort.


Preparing For a Two-Front War

South Asia is among the world’s most unstable regions due to the ongoing war against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In
addition, growing fundamentalist terrorism; creeping
“Talibanization” in Pakistan; political instability in
Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, and Sri Lanka; unrest in Tibet
and Xinjiang; narcotics trafficking; and the proliferation of
small arms and light weapons are also destabilizing factors.
Unresolved territorial and boundary disputes with China
and Pakistan, over which India has fought four wars;
internal security challenges in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)
and the northeastern states; and the rising tide of the Maoist
insurgency in the heartland further vitiate India’s strategic
environment. Further, many Indian security analysts worry

that China is engaged in the strategic encirclement of India
through its nuclear and missile nexus with Pakistan; the
sale of military hardware to Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar,
and Sri Lanka; and a “string of pearls” strategy to surround
India with naval bases in the northern Indian Ocean region.



India-China relations are stable at the strategic level.
Resolution of the territorial dispute is being discussed by
India’s national security adviser and China’s vice foreign minister, military confidence-building measures are holding
up, bilateral trade has increased to $60 billion, and both
countries are cooperating in international forums like the
World Trade Organization and the UN Climate Change
Conference. However, the relationship is more contentious
at the tactical level. For example, China refuses to issue
proper visas to Indian citizens of Arunachal Pradesh, Beijing
denied the commander-in-chief of India’s Northern
Command a visa for an official visit because it believes that
J&K is a disputed territory, and the People’s Liberation Army
(PLA) has been making frequent forays across the Line of
Actual Control into Indian territory simply to push Chinese
territorial claims. China has also rapidly developed military
infrastructure in Tibet to allow for quicker induction of
troops and their sustenance over a longer period of time.
Another destabilizing factor is the large Chinese presence
in the Gilgit-Baltistan area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
These developments do not augur well for long-term peace
and stability.


The prevailing strategic environment has forced India’s
armed forces to prepare for the possibility of a “two front”
war, while the army and other security forces are engaged in
fighting an ongoing “half front” internal security war. Even
though the probability of conventional conflict remains low
due to steadily improving relations and military confidence building measures with China and Pakistan, this possibility
cannot be completely ruled out. Nuclear deterrence also plays
a positive role in conflict avoidance, but the prevailing
wisdom in India is that there is space for conventional conflict
below the nuclear threshold.

The pace of modernizationhas been slow due to
the lack of adequate funding, delayed decision-
 making, and a low tech  defense industrial base.

There is now increasing realization that unless India takes immediate measures to accelerate the pace of its military modernization, the gap with China, which is only a quantitative gap at present, will soon become a qualitative gap, given the rapid rate of PLA modernization. Likewise, the slender edge that the Indian armed forces now enjoy over the Pakistani armed forces in conventional conflict is being eroded as Pakistan is spendinconsiderable sums of money on its military modernization under the garb of fighting radical extremism.1

Although the Indian armed forces have drawn up elaborate plans for modernizing and qualitatively upgrading their capabilities for future combat, including the ability to secure the sea lanes of communication and project power in India’s area of strategic interest, the pace of modernization has been slow due to the lack of adequate funding, delayed decision-making, and a low-tech defense industrial base. India’s defense budget is pegged at less than 2% of its GDP at present, and the bulk of the expenditure is on the revenue
account—that is, pay and allowances, rations, fuel, oil and
lubricants, ammunition, and vehicles.2 Very little remains
in the capital account to be spent on modernization. In the
case of the army, spending on modernization is as little as
20% to 25% of total capital expenditure in 2012–13.3
According to the Indian defense minister A.K. Antony,
“New procurements have commenced…but we are still
lagging by 15 years.” 4 Nonetheless, an inadequate defense
industrial base—imports constitute 70% of defense

 1. The India-Pakistan combat ratio is assessed by this author as 1.2 to 1.0 in India's favor
2.  Laxman K. Behera, “India’s Defence Budget 2012–13,” Institute for
Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), IDSA Comment, March 20,2012,



3.  Ibid.

4. Gurmeet Kanwal, “Indian Army’s Modernisation,”
India Strategic
January 2012.
acquisitions—and bureaucratic inefficiency, rather than lack
of funds, are the main causes of the slow pace of modernization. India is expected to procure defense equipment worth $100 billion, most of it imported, over the next two five-year plans. Simultaneously, however, efforts are being stepped up to enhance indigenous capabilities and thereby reduce India’s dependence on imports by an order of magnitude. The following three sections will survey India’s modernization of its army, navy, and air force.
Army Modernization: Enhancing Capabilities Without Reducing Manpower
With personnel strength of 1.1 million soldiers (6 regional commands, a training command, 13 corps, and 38
divisions), the Indian Army has kept the nation together through various crises, including four wars since
independence, Pakistan’s “proxy war” in J&K since 1989–90,
and insurgencies in many of the northeastern states.5 Given

its large-scale operational commitments on border
management and counterinsurgency, the army cannot afford
to reduce its manpower numbers until these challenges are
overcome. Many of its weapons and equipment are
bordering on obsolescence and need to be replaced. The
next step would be to move gradually toward acquiring
network-centric capabilities for effects-based operations so
as to optimize the army’s full combat potential for defensive
and offensive operations. The army is also preparing to join
the navy and the air force in launching intervention
operations in India’s area of strategic interest when called
on to do so in the future.


Policy Brief

Given its large-scale operational commitments
on border management and counterinsurgency, the army cannot afford to reduce its manpower numbers until these challenges are overcome


Lieutenant General J.P. Singh (retired), former deputy
chief of the army staff (planning and systems), stated in an
interview with the CLAWS Journal that
  “the critical  capabilities that are being enhanced to meet challenge sacross the spectrum include battlefield transparency,
battlefield management systems, night-fighting capability,
enhanced firepower, including terminally guided munitions,
integrated maneuver capability to include self-propelled artillery, quick reaction surface-to-air missiles, the latest
assault engineer equipment, tactical control systems,
integral combat aviation support and network centricity.”
6 The army’s mechanized forces are still mostly “night blind.”
Its artillery lacks towed and self-propelled 155-mm  howitzers for the plains and the mountains and has little capability by way of multi-barrel rocket launchers and surface-to-surface missiles. Infantry battalions urgently need to acquire modern weapons and equipment for counterinsurgency and counterterrorism operations to increase operational effectiveness and lower casualties.


Main battle tanks (MBT) and Infantry Combat Vehicles(ICV) are the driving forces of India’s conventional deterrence in the plains. This fleet is being modernized gradually by inducting two regiments of the indigenously developed Arjun MBT and importing 310 T-90S MBTs from Russia. A contract has also been signed for 347 additional T-90S tanks to be assembled in India. The BMP-1 and BMP- 2 Russian ICVs, which have long been the mainstay of the mechanized infantry battalions, need to be replaced as well.The new ICVs must be capable of performing internal security duties and counterinsurgency operations in addition to their primary role in conventional conflicts.

Artillery modernization plans include the acquisition of towed, wheeled, and self-propelled 155-mm guns and howitzers for the plains and the mountains through import as well as indigenous development. The Corps of Army Air Defence is also faced with problems of obsolescence. The vintage L-70 40-mm air defense (AD) gun system, the four barreled ZSU-23-4 Schilka (SP) AD gun system, the SAM-6
This section draws from the author’s analysis in “Indian Army Modernisation Needs a Major Push,” India Strategic, February 2010,

 “Modernisation Thrusts of Indian Army: Interview with Deputy Chief of Army Staff,” CLAWS Journal (Winter 2010):


(Kvadrat), and the SAM-8 OSA-AK, among others, need to be replaced by more responsive modern AD systems that are capable of defeating current and future threats.

The modernization of India’s infantry battalions is moving forward but at a similarly slow pace. This initiative is aimed at enhancing the battalions’ capability for surveillance and target acquisition at night and boosting their firepower for precise retaliation against infiltrating columns and terrorists hiding in built-up areas. These plans include the acquisition of shoulder-fired missiles, hand-held battlefield surveillance radars, and hand-held thermal imaging devices for observation at night. A system called F-INSAS (future infantry soldier as a system) is also under development. One infantry division has been designated as a rapid reaction force for employment on land or inintervention operations and will have one amphibious brigade and two air assault brigades.

Similarly, the Indian Army proposes to substantially enhance the operational capabilities of army aviation, engineers, signal communications, reconnaissance,surveillance, and target acquisition branches in order to improve the army’s overall combat potential by an order of magnitude. Modern strategic and tactical level command and control systems need to be acquired on priority for better synergies during conventional and sub-conventional conflict. Plans for the acquisition of a mobile corps-to  battalion
tactical communications system and a battalion-
level battlefield management system likewise need to be
hastened. Despite being the largest user of space, the army
does not yet have a dedicated military satellite for its space
surveillance needs. Cyber warfare capabilities are also at a
nascent stage. The emphasis thus far has been on developing
protective capabilities to safeguard Indian networks and
C4I2SR (command, control, communications, computers,
intelligence, information, surveillance, and reconnaissance)
from cyber attack. Offensive capabilities have yet to be
adequately developed. All these capabilities will make it
easier for the army to undertake joint operations with
multinational forces when the need arises and the government approves such a policy option.
The Indian Army proposes to substantially enhance the operational capabilities of army aviation, engineers, signal communications, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition branches in order to improve the army’s overall combat potential by an order of magnitude.

Naval Modernization: Major Fleet Expansion

The Indian Navy’s ambitious Maritime Capabilities Perspective Plan seeks to dominate the Indian Ocean region
by acquiring blue water operational capability while
effectively countering current and emerging threats closer
to the coastline. There is a perceptible shift in emphasis from
an increase in the number of platforms to the enhancement
of capabilities. According to a report tabled in the Indian
Parliament in the last week of April 2012 by the Standing
Committee on Defence, the navy’s modernization plan seeks
to achieve the following objectives:
Augment airborne maritime surveillance, strike, anti-submarine warfare [ASW] and air defence capability through induction of shore-based aircraft, integral helos, carrier based aircraft, space based [assets] and UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], along with suitable  weapons and sensors.
Develop ASW capability through induction of suitable platforms, weapons and sensors.
Build adequate stand off capability for sea lift and expeditionary operations to achieve desired power  projection force levels, influence events ashore and  undertake military operations other than war.
Induct assets and develop suitable infrastructure to   augment forces available for low intensity maritime operations (LIMO), protection of off-shore assets and[for] coastal security.

 • Induct force multipliers like satellite based global communications, reconnaissance and network enabled  platforms to achieve battle-space dominance capability  and perform network centric operations.
Induct state-of-the-art equipment and specialized platforms for special forces to enhance niche  capabilities to conduct maritime intervention operations and other envisaged roles.
Develop support infrastructure in island territories
to support the planned force levels as well as support infrastructure for ships/submarines/aircrafts at ports and airbases.7
 According to Admiral Arun Prakash (retired), former chief of naval staff, India’s naval modernization plans are designed to meet the following aims:8  

Acquiring a capability for maritime domain awarenes
in the area of responsibility, including space-based surveillance, maritime reconnaissance, airborne early warning and control (AEW&C), and UAVs
Developing the capability for expeditionary and joint
warfare, supported by special operations
Acquiring reach and sustainability through long
endurance, tankers, turnaround facilities in friendly foreign ports, and longer intervals between maintenance cycles
Acquiring modern capabilities in fields of tactical
aviation, ASW, anti-air/anti-missile, land-attack,
mine countermeasures, and electronic warfare
Networking ships, submarines, and airborne
platforms via satellite
Committing to self-reliance and indigenization, with
the objective of harnessing national strengths in
shipbuilding, engineering, electronics, and IT
The Indian Navy has two operational fleets—the Eastern
Naval Command and Western Naval Command—and has
Standing Committee on Defence, Indian Ministry of Defence,
“Demands for Grants (2012–2013),” April 30, 2012, 70–71,


Author’s email interview with Admiral Arun Prakash (retired),
July 27, 2012.

Policy Brief

The Indian Navy is on the cusp of acquiring the capabilities necessary to join key strategic partners such as the U.S. Navy in  afeguarding the sea lanes of communication in the northern Indian Ocean and ensuring unfettered freedomof the seas for trade and commerce.

proposed to center both fleets around an aircraft carrier.
Eventually the navy plans to graduate to three carrier battle
groups. The INS Chakra, a nuclear-powered submarine
leased from Russia, will join the fleet later in 2012, while
the INS Arihant, the first of three to four indigenously
designed and developed nuclear-armed submarines, is expected to become fully operational by late 2014. India has
also begun to induct Russian Nerpa-class submarines, which
will give the navy a much needed fillip to the submarine
fleet and considerably enhance sea-denial capabilities. Three
stealth frigates have only recently been added to the fleet.

The Indian Navy’s modernization plans, though much
delayed, have thus finally begun to pick up steam. Pointing
out the navy’s role as a key facilitator in promoting peace
and stability in the Indian Ocean region, Defence Minister
Antony observed while commissioning a stealth frigate in
July 2012 that the present operating environment of the
Indian Navy “dictates that we balance our resources with
a strategy that is responsive across the full range of blue and
brown water operations….The maintenance of a strong and
credible navy and strengthening cooperation and friendship
with other countries to promote regional and global stability is the need of the hour.” 9


Vinay Kumar, “Credible Navy Need of the Hour: Antony,” Hindu,
July 21, 2012.

The navy plans to expand to a fleet of 150 ships in the next ten to fifteen years, with 50 warships now under construction and 100 new vessels in the acquisition pipeline.

The navy is also engaged in setting up operational turnaround bases, forward-operating bases, and naval air enclaves with a view to enhancing India’s surveillance efforts in the Indian Ocean region. Plans for accretions to the naval aviation fleet are likewise progressing smoothly: Boeing 737 P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft have begun to be inducted, and 5 additional Kamov Ka-31 AEW helicopters will be added to the existing fleet of 11 helicopters. Further, the navy’s amphibious landing capability has been enhanced

considerably by the acquisition of the INS Jalashwa (ex–USS
Trenton) and other landing ships, and additional capabilities
for amphibious warfare are being rapidly developed. As a
result of these efforts, the Indian Navy is on the cusp of
acquiring the capabilities necessary to join key strategic
partners such as the U.S. Navy in safeguarding the sea lanes
of communication in the northern Indian Ocean and
ensuring unfettered freedom of the seas for trade and commerce.

Air Force Modernization:

Air Dominance and Force Projection

Until recently, India’s traditional strategic sphere lay

between the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca; but
with India’s global footprint expanding, the Indian Air Force should be ready to serve wherever the country’s future
strategic interests lie. The air force is gearing up to provide
the strategic outreach that India needs as a growing regional


Policy Brief

 The air force is gearing up to provide the strategic outreach that India needs as a growing

regional power and to project power where necessary in order to defend vital national  interests   


power and to project power where necessary in order to defend vital national interests. According to Kapil Kak, a retired air vice marshal and senior defense analyst, although there is a gap between vision and capability with regard to shaping India’s strategic neighborhood, forward movement is now visible. In his view, the modernization plans of the air force are aimed at achieving the following objectives:10


Air dominance and control of the air
Deterrence, by both denial and punishment
Long-range offensive reach—penetration, precision,
persistence, and parallelity—in simultaneous operations
at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels
Strategic air-lift capability for power projection
through both hard and soft power, such as
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief
operations and diaspora evacuation
Build-up of capability for coercion
Acquisition of force enablers and multipliers and
related combat-support systems, including
networking for tri-service command and control
Capability of conducting cyberspace and information
Indigenization of future capabilities for design and

From a sanctioned strength of 39 squadrons, the Indian
Air Force is down to 34 squadrons at present, due to decades
of neglect, but hopes to enhance its strength to 42 squadrons
by 2022. Yet plans to acquire 126 multi-mission, medium range
combat aircraft—in order to maintain an edge over the regional air forces—are stuck in the procurement quagmire. Tejas, the indigenously designed light combat aircraft, which is expected to replace the obsolescent Mig-21, is still a few years away from becoming fully operational. India is also developing a fifth-generation fighter jointly with Russia and aims to fly it in 2015. New fighter bombers include a fleet of 272 Sukhoi-30 MKIs, half of which have

10 Author’s email interview with Kapil Kak, July 27, 2012.


already been built. AEW aircraft are being acquired from
Israel as well as being developed indigenously. India has also acquired 6 C-130J Super Hercules aircraft for its special forces and will likely order 6 more from the United States. C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft are also likely to be acquired shortly, which will take India’s defense cooperation with the United States to a new level. Although a contract has been signed with a Swiss firm for 75 Pilatus PC-7 basic trainer aircraft, India’s fleet of jet trainers continues to be deficient. In the rotary-wing category, the indigenously manufactured Dhruv utility helicopter has entered service.

The air force is also in the process of acquiring medium-lift
transport helicopters and attack helicopter In keeping with developments in the region, India’s strategic forces are also modernizing at a steady pace. The Agni-I and Agni-II missiles are now fully operational. Immediate requirements include the Agni-V intermediate range ballistic missile, which has a 5,000-km range, and nuclear-powered submarines with suitable ballistic missiles
to provide genuine second-strike capability. As noted above,

the INS Arihant, India’s first indigenously built nuclear
submarine, will likely become fully operational by late 2014.


While India’s emphasis is on mobile missile launchers, a

small number of hardened silos are also being constructed.
The armed forces do not currently have a truly integrated
tri-service C4I2SR system suitable for network-centric
warfare, which would allow them to optimize their
individual capabilities; however, plans have been made to
develop such a system in the next five to ten years. In fact,
all new weapons and equipment acquisitions are now being
planned on a tri-service basis to ensure interoperability.




India’s Quest For Strategic Outreach

Given its growing power and responsibilities, India has been steadily enhancing its expeditionary and military intervention capabilities, which have been amply demonstrated in recent times. During the 1991 Gulf War, India airlifted 150,000 civilian workers, who had been forced to leave Iraq, from the airfield at Amman, Jordan, over a period of 30 days. This was the largest airlift since the Berlin airlift at the end of World War II. During the 2004 tsunami, the Indian armed forces were at the forefront of rescue and relief operations. Over 70 Indian Navy ships transported  rescue teams and relief material to disaster zones in less

It is evident that India is preparing to join the world’s major powers in terms of theability to undertake out-of are contingency operations

than 72 hours, even though the country’s eastern seaboard had itself suffered considerable casualties and damage. Likewise, Indian Navy ships on a goodwill visit to European countries during the Lebanon war in 2006 lifted and brought back 5,000 Indian civilian refugees. From the ongoing modernization plans described above, it is evident that India is preparing to join the world’s major powers in terms of the ability to undertake out-of-area contingency operations. Further, the acquisition of SU-30 MKI long-range fighter bombers with air-to-air refueling
capability, C-130J Hercules transport aircraft, and airbornewarning-and-control-system and maritime-surveillance capabilities over the next five to ten years will give India considerable strategic outreach. New Delhi has consistently favored military intervention only under a UN umbrella.Though that position is unlikely to change in the near term,India is likely to join future coalitions of the willing even
without UN approval when vital national interests are
threatened and need to be defended. Shiv Shankar Menon,
India’s national security adviser, stated in a speech in August
2011: “As a nation state India has consistently shown tactical
caution and strategic initiative, sometimes simultaneously.
But equally, initiative and risk-taking must be strategic, not
tactical, if we are to avoid the fate of becoming a rentier state.”11 He went on to mention that India was cooperating
extensively with other militaries to fight piracy off the Horn
of Africa. Such cooperation will increase in the future as India adds to its intervention capabilities.
Given that India faces complex strategic scenarios and is located in an increasingly unstable neighborhood, it is in New Delhi’s interest to encourage a cooperative model of
 Shiv Shankar Menon, “India and the Global Scene” (16th
 Prem   Bhatia Memorial Lecture, New Delhi, August 11, 2011),
 regional security and work with all friendly countries
toward that end. At the same time, New Delhi finds it
pragmatic to hedge just in case worst-case scenarios—such
as the collapse of China or China’s use of military force for
territorial gains—begin to unfold and threaten India’s
economic development or territorial integrity. The
increasing emphasis on maritime cooperation, particularly
with the United States, is part of India’s continuing efforts
to fulfill growing obligations and responsibilities as a
regional power. New Delhi is now working to cooperate
with all the major Asian powers in order to maintain peace
and stability in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific more
generally, though without aligning militarily with any one
power. Toward this end, the armed forces are working
together to achieve joint warfare capabilities for intervention
operations in India’s area of strategic interest. In sum, a
rising India will soon become a net contributor to security
in the Indian Ocean region, together with strategic partners
such as the United States.


 Nonetheless, India’s modernization plans are moving
ahead at a very slow pace. Policy paralysis in New Delhi due
to the vagaries of coalition politics in a parliamentary
democracy, along with the reduction in the defense budget
as a share of India’s GDP due to sluggish growth in the
economy, has further exacerbated the difficulties in
increasing the pace of modernization. However, the process
is certainly underway, and there is hope that it will receive
bipartisan support across the political spectrum because of
the realization that no alternative exists for addressing
emerging threats and challenges but for India to quickly
modernize its armed forces.

India’s military modernization, however slow it might be,
will lead to a qualitative increase in defense cooperation
with the United States and other strategic partners by
enhancing the capabilities of the Indian armed forces for
joint coalition operations, if they are in India’s national
interest. Overall, India will gradually acquire the capability
to act as a net provider of security in South Asia and the
Indian Ocean region. This positive development will allow
strategic partners like the United States to reduce their
military commitments to the region to a limited extent.
Hence, India’s modernization efforts will enhance and
further cement U.S.-India relations. •



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