Analysis of Indo-Pakistan border forces

Discussion in 'Indian Army' started by planeman, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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  3. Tamil

    Tamil Regular Member

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    with only pictures we doesn't comes to conclusion. so make some no.s, strength, weakness also
     
  4. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Excellent analysis planeman. And welcome to the forum.

    I've been reading your exposés for a while now, and I must say I'm mightily impressed.

    This man is both a veteran and prodigy of OSINT analyses. His self-created and painstakingly-contrived diagrams and illustrations are beyond what most military bloggers could fashion, and although he uses the modest ascription 'amateur', his works are generally far from it. The mods should seriously consider one of them 'think tank' tags, in due time.

    Coming back to the topic at hand, what we could do with is a legend indicating both ranges at various sector positions and, if you can come up with, guesstimated artillery numbers at those positions- the latter do not have to be accurately quantified, merely a meter showing the 'strength' and 'weakness' of appraised deployment should suffice- that should help us investigate the integrity and soundness of current border and tactical deployment. As also to propose solutions to maximize future border deployment. Additionally, a brief conspectus of how those positions were delineated would be appreciated.

    If the analysis is extended to both infantry and artillery 'under nuclear overhang', as General Kapoore famously asserts, then the following provides an interesting, if somewhat biased analysis of alternative scenarios and border deployment that could ensue from various ORBAT and doctrinal strategies in a 'limited' border engagement.

    It is however, the best (in terms of comprehensiveness) appraisal of Indian and Pakistani border forces and deployments I could find, albeit dating back to the 90's:


    ..............


    Infantry

    India:

    The Indian infantry has, since the 1980s, felt itself a neglected service. The major re-equipment programs that affected the armoured regiments and, to a lesser extent, the artillery, did not come to the infantry. This is not to say that the Indian infantry has remained unchanged, as it is in fact constantly changing. The infantry's anti-tank, night fighting and target acquisition capabilities have been substantially enhanced, and some expansion of mechanized infantry units was undertaken.

    By far the most significant development as far as India's infantry is concerned has been the creation of the RAPID - Reorganized Army Plains Infantry Division. This is a uniquely Indian creation and is specifically designed for the South Asian battlefield. The basic RAPID has one mechanized infantry and two standard infantry brigades:31

    [​IMG]


    There are currently four RAPIDS in the Indian army, these being attached to the Holding Corps in Punjab and Rajasthan.32 The RAPID provides these essentially defensive formations with an extremely flexible unit that dramatically enhances their ability to withstand offensive operations by Pakistani armour. Moreover, the RAPID possesses sufficient armoured/mechanized infantry assets to conduct reasonably significant offensive operations.33 The RAPID is also easily adaptable to NBC warfare.

    The advent of the RAPID was accompanied by a dramatic upgrade of Indian army C3I assets and communications. Under plan AREN - Army Radio Engineering Network - a secure, real-time network was established, significantly enhancing the army's ability to conduct and manage major offensive and defensive operations.34 Moreover, because it is EMP ( electromagnetic pulse ) shielded, this network provides the Indian army, for the first time in its history, with a reliable C3I system that could continue functioning in a nuclear environment. This is extremely significant and could be an indication of an emerging Indian battlefield nuclear doctrine.

    Indian officers view the infantry as being particularly significant for wars of the future and substantial investments are finally being made in terms of equipment upgrades and enhanced training. The Indian Army has made the acquisition of better anti-tank and personal weapons, communications gear and night-fighting capabilities for its infantry a top priority.35

    These will satisfy most, if not all, of the foreseeable infantry modernization targets for the next decade.36 Indian officers have also stressed the need for infantry to be prepared for NBC warfare and have made this something of a priority.37 Items such as body armour and improved web gear are finally being issued to infantry units.

    In order to cope with massed Pakistani armour, the old 106mm recoilless guns issued to infantry anti-tank units are being upgraded as well as supplemented with new anti-tank missiles.38 In addition, night vision equipment - of the imaging intensifying as well as thermal imaging types - are now being more widely issued to infantry units.39 These items, while relatively minor in themselves, dramatically enhance the fighting potential of the infantry.

    One of the more interesting aspects of India's infantry modernization is the lower importance of increasing mechanization. Mechanized infantry units, mounted in BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles are critical components of the Strike Corps and the RAPIDS, however, they have not made their way into the rest of the army in any major way. It is possible that the Indian army may consider the reorganization of some more infantry divisions into RAPIDS, budgetary allocations permitting.40

    Indian infantry formations have undergone some substantial changes in the last few years. For the first time, however, the infantry has been given priority over the other arms in the acquisition of new equipment. This means that the Indian infantry of the next decade will be better organized, and trained and equipped for any possible scenario.


    ...Continued...​
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  5. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    ...Contd....​


    Pakistan:


    There is not much difference between Pakistani and Indian army infantry formations. Pakistan has not developed an organization equivalent to the Indian RAPIDS and has not attempted the massive modernization programme - in terms of modern night vision, target finding and anti-tank weaponry - that the Indian army has recently undertaken.

    The only really noteworthy aspect of the Pakistani infantry is the fact that it was the first to introduce mechanized units to the subcontinent. These mechanized infantry units are provided with over eight hundred M-113 armoured personnel carriers.56 While not as capable as India's BMP-2 units, these older APCs provide Pakistan's infantry with a reasonable degree of battlefield mobility. However, as far as NBC warfare is concerned, these older APCs offer somewhat less protection than the BMPs.

    Order of Battle

    The Pakistani army is organized into nine Corps and Force Command Northern Area. These contain 22 divisions , 15 independent brigades (6 armoured and 9 infantry), 9 Corps artillery brigades, 7 engineering brigades and 15 army aviation squadrons - including two of attack helicopters.44 In addition, the Pakistani army has 8 air defence brigades. It must be pointed out, however, that Pakistani brigades and divisions are somewhat smaller than their Indian counterparts. Again, this order of battle differs to a certain extent from that normally quoted. The order of battle is as follows:

    [​IMG]


    Pakistan's two principal fighting formations are Army Reserve North (ARN) and Army Reserve South (ARS). These are an approximate equivalent to the Indian Strike Corps in terms of size and composition. These have, as in the case of their Indian counterparts, a nucleus of a single armoured division and up to two infantry divisions with numerous brigades:46


    [​IMG]

    Artillery

    India:

    India's Regiment of Artillery, in 1986 and 1994 respectively, has undergone a series of restructuring programmes which resulted in the field branch of artillery being separated from the Corps of Air Defence Artillery and the Army Aviation Corps. It now possesses close to 200 regiments with approximately 4000 pieces of artillery of various types.22

    The vast bulk of India's artillery is towed - rather surprising considering the increased mechanization of the Indian army. The 130mm Catapult and 105mm Abbot self-propelled guns are now being phased out of active service due to age and mechanical problems.23 The massive competition for 155mm SP guns has been given a lower priority and consideration has been given to obtaining several regiments of 152mm SP guns of Russian origin.24

    The Artillery Plan 2000 seems to give much priority to the acquisition of large numbers of SP artillery.25 As it would be difficult, if not impossible, for towed artillery to operate effectively in a nuclear environment, one wonders if this says anything about India's attitude towards battlefield nuclear warfare. To further complicate the issue, a former Chief of Army Staff has written that the nuclear battlefield places less emphasis on artillery support while the Regiment of Artillery sometimes voices the opposite.26

    According to informed sources, the new Indian military doctrine emphasizes attritional warfare over the previous manoeuvre policy. This means that the artillery, which used to be a combat support arm, is now classed as a combat arm with priorities shifting between direct support and counter-bombardment.27 The new army tactical doctrine will be discussed in detail later in this chapter, however, the basic thrust has moved from deep thrusts with mechanized forces to maximum attrition of enemy forces, limited manoeuvre and attacks on strategic and operational targets.28 Artillery, therefore, has a central role to play in any attrition based doctrine.

    The real modernization of Indian artillery is in the development of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (SATA) batteries. These are being supplied with indigenously manufactured battlefield surveillance radar as well as artillery locating radars.29 This dramatically enhances the effectiveness of Indian artillery. A number of Israeli made Remote Piloted Vehicles are being obtained for the targeting of the Prithvi SSM.30

    The changes being made in Indian artillery give some indication of Indian Army tactical thinking. They also give some clues about India's new military doctrine. To the outside observer, however, there seem to be many contradictions in what has been publicly been revealed about military doctrine, especially regarding the artillery.


    Pakistan:

    Pakistan's Regiment of Artillery has undergone a tremendous re-organization and modernization programme. While substantial quantities of new equipment have been inducted, large numbers of completely obsolete artillery pieces - long since relegated to reserve/storage status in the Indian army - remain in service.

    Pakistan created the subcontinent's first artillery division using a core component of two artillery brigades and an air defence unit.53 While Pakistan has far fewer artillery tubes than the massive Indian artillery park, it is interesting to note that it was responsible for this major organizational innovation.54

    The most noteworthy feature of Pakistan's artillery is the number of 155 and 203mm self-propelled guns.55 This gives Pakistani armour an integral artillery capability that is currently lacking in Indian armoured units. Moreover, these guns are more easily operated in an NBC environment than towed guns.

    Pakistan's artillery also comprises an assortment of older pieces, including some Second World War vintage 25 pounders. As in the case of the Indian artillery, considerable progress has been made in the introduction of fire control computers and other surveillance and target acquisition equipment. This, of course, dramatically enhances the efficacy of artillery - no matter how old the guns are.




    ...Continued...​
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  6. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Potential Theatres of War and Deployment strategies


    Any India-Pakistan conflict will take place in four major theatres, each varying in geography and, to a lesser extent climatically. The theatres of operations are:

    1) Along the Line of Control - Northern Kashmir region

    2) Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors

    3) North and Central Rajasthan

    4) South Rajasthan and Gujarat



    When looking at these theatres of operations, it must be borne in mind that the Line of Control in the Northern Kashmir region is not an internationally recognized border. It should also be noted that Punjab and Kashmir are politically very sensitive areas for the political establishments in both countries. It is, therefore, hardly likely that any major loss of territory in either of these two areas would be acceptable.

    In the Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors, stretching down into North and Central Rajasthan, there are a series of extremely formidable obstacle defences, which are called ditch-cum-bunds by the Indians, and canals by the Pakistanis. These defences, combined with the existing natural ground features make large-scale mechanized operations virtually impossible.77 These linear defences are extremely formidable, since the ditch-cum-bunds are liberally laced with diffused and well concealed concrete bunkers which have considerable defensive firepower and are difficult to locate, even with thermal imaging.78 This effectively limits operations to defensive positions with only local offensive capability.

    The Rajasthan and Gujarat regions present an entirely different scenario. In the Northern/Central Rajasthan theatre, considerable scope exists for the large scale use of mechanised formations in the desert and semi-desert sectors. It is in these sectors, the Thar desert and the Rann of Kutch, that the major armoured battles of the next India-Pakistan war are likely to be fought.79 It is, therefore, not surprising that a complete Indian Strike Corps is earmarked for use primarily in this area.

    The Thar Desert and Rann of Kutch also present the best possible place for tactical nuclear warfare.80 The barren desert areas are ideal in that so-called collateral damage could be reduced. Moreover, any meaningful Indian gains in this area, that is beyond the major river lines, would threaten the very existence of the Pakistani state, thus prompting Pakistan to actively consider using nuclear weapons in the event of a major Indian breakthrough.

    On the other hand, since the Indian Strike Corps will be operating in this area, so will be the bulk of India's formidable Corps of Air Defence Artillery. This means that any Pakistani attack against a major Indian formation would be met with heavy resistance from extremely dense and sophisticated CADA assets - not to mention fighter squadrons from the Indian Air Force. Therefore, any Pakistani attack stands a good chance of being repelled without reaching their assigned target.

    India could also reduce the risk of nuclear retaliation by limiting its advance to the major river lines, or to between 60-80 km in the North/Central Rajasthan sectors.81 This would mean that the existence of Pakistan would no longer be threatened while India would still occupy chunks of territory. Pakistan would probably be less willing to cross the nuclear threshold for such a limited Indian advance.

    It is unlikely that either India or Pakistan would initiate nuclear warfare in either the Punjab or Kashmir regions purely for tactical gain. Indeed, for Pakistan the use of such weapons in Kashmir would almost certainly alienate the Muslim population of the Kashmir Valley. In the case of Punjab, Pakistan's military and political elites are largely drawn from that Province and as such it is extremely unlikely that they would take a risk as large as this for limited tactical gains. From a purely military standpoint, it should also be pointed out that the ditch-cum-bund defences and their network of concrete bunkers would probably survive a nuclear attack.82 This would render a nuclear attack in this sector virtually useless.

    Therefore, the only area in which nuclear weapons would be tactically useful is in Rajasthan and Gujarat - for reasons which have already been given. Yet that land , especially in Rajasthan, Thar Desert sector, is of virtually no strategic importance. Would any militarily sane nation risk revealing the full extent of its covert nuclear program unless its very existence was threatened ? The answer is clearly no. Therefore, if India limits its territorial gains in this area, Pakistan would have no reason to resort to nuclear weapons.

    There is one wild card in this scenario - the Line of Control. If India were to launch a major assault along the LoC - would Pakistan use nuclear weapons ? An examination of a possible war scenario will perhaps illustrate Indian planning more clearly.War Scenario:

    In 1987, the India army conducted a massive military exercise, 'Brasstacks', which outlined what was then a new tactical doctrine. No longer would the Indian army concentrate on operations in Punjab, as it had during the 1965 war, but would deploy massively powerful armoured formations in the Rajasthan sector with the aim of bisecting Pakistan at its weakest point in the Sindh Province.

    This has been the model most often used and quoted by scholars in the literature available on possible war scenarios.83 Moreover, it has been further argued that thanks to Pakistan's nuclear capability, an Indian offensive in the Sindh that met with success would be answered by a Pakistani nuclear strike. Since the defences in the Punjab are strong, it was therefore argued that as India's military superiority was hardly overwhelming, the nuclear factor may be creating an environment where war was almost impossible.

    This model is, however, obsolete and far from creating a certain conventional stalemate, has simply led to the Indian army re-thinking its tactical doctrine. No longer will the Indian army attempt to make major territorial gains, but it will concentrate on occupying a small stretch of territory, not enough to threaten Pakistan's existence, but enough to force Pakistan to commit its forces where they will be met by superior Indian firepower which will then inflict maximum attrition84. The reason for this in part lies in the risk of nuclear warfare, but the main reason lies in the fact that previous wars in 1965 and 1971 have shown that major territorial gains are unlikely in a short war.

    If a major Indian offensive occurs, it will occur in Kashmir. Never before has the Indian army attempted any offensive in Kashmir, but this time, thanks to the massive influx of troops into the State, an Indian offensive along the Line of Control is very possible. It could be argued that these troops are primarily for counter-insurgency operations. However, this does not explain why the formations coming into Jammu and Kashmir are bringing their artillery with them. Any fighting will in Kashmir will centre around a clash of infantry and artillery and as such, the induction of substantial artillery assets into the region must be seen as significant.

    At the outset one thing must be made clear. Neither India or Pakistan believes that anything would be decided in a war lasting less than four weeks.85 India bases its plans on a period of intense fighting lasting six to eight weeks followed by a period of major, but less intense fighting lasting up to four more weeks. War Wastage Reserves are calculated on this basis and so if a war lasts only two weeks or thereabouts, the most that can be hoped for is for heavy attrition of the enemy forces.

    India has therefore moved away from the Brasstacks plan of bisecting Pakistan in the Sindh and threatening Islamabad with encirclement to a more modest objective of destroying as much of the Pakistani military as possible. Pakistan's nuclear weapons provide some deterrence against any Indian move to make deep thrusts into its territory and against any possible bisection of Pakistan, they are of no use in a war aimed solely at inflicting maximum attrition against Pakistani military forces.86

    The Indian army has two Strike Corps, 2 Corps & 1 Corps, assigned to the Rajasthan and Punjab sectors respectively.87 The Strike Corps are described in an earlier section, but each is composed of one armoured division and several infantry divisions and supporting units. Each will also have an artillery division attached. There is another Strike Corps - 21 Corps which is not yet fully operational.

    In the Brasstacks model, these were the two formations Pakistan was most concerned about and their continued presence in the Rajasthan and Punjab sectors will ensure that Pakistan cannot consider any major troop redeployments in either sector. Under current plans, India intends not to advance more than 60-80km in the North/Central Rajasthan sector and only up to the major river lines in South Rajasthan/Gujarat, Pakistan's existence would hardly be threatened.88

    However, it must be remembered that India and Pakistan will be fighting a political war as much as a military one and any loss of territory is considered a major political embarrassment. This means that Pakistan would invariably have to attempt a counterattack against Indian forces occupying any of its territory.




    ...Continued...​
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  7. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    ...Contd....​


    In the Southern Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab sectors, the huge fixed fortifications described previously effectively limit the scope of any Indian operation. India is highly unlikely to attempt a major offensive in this sector for two reasons. The first is the extent of the fortified defences in this sector, but the second is far more significant and goes to the core of Pakistan's vulnerability versus India.

    The real vulnerability of Pakistan lies, not in a lack of 'strategic depth', but in the fact that so many of its major population centres and politically and military sensitive targets lie very close to the border with India. As was mentioned earlier, this negates the tactical use of nuclear weapons in the Punjab sector in particular. However, should India threaten Lahore, for example, Pakistan could be compelled to attempt a nuclear strike against an Indian civilian target.89 As such, it is hardly likely that India would want to risk a major advance in Punjab. Aims in this sector would be limited to holding Pakistani forces in a defensive deployment pattern while inflicting maximum attrition with 2 Corps and 21 Corps.

    Along the Line of Control, however, the situation is very different. One of the consequences of the Kashmir insurgency is that India has transferred several divisions to the area to reinforce the troops already there and bringing total troop strength in this sector to over 250,000. The Indian divisions and brigades also brought their supporting artillery with them and this combination - which is far in excess of what is needed for defensive operations - enables Indian planners to contemplate a major offensive along the Line of Control with every chance of success.


    The importance of the term Line of Control cannot be understated. Pakistan clings to the illusion, in official pronouncements at any rate, that its part of Kashmir is not really part of Pakistan. As such, it has always refused to recognize the Line of Control as the international border with India. This is something that India intends to exploit to the fullest.

    Pakistan, on the other hand, appears to work to a different strategy. From the time of the 1965 and 1971 wars, up until India's Brasstacks exercise, emphasis was placed on the static defence of the Line of Control and the border.90 However, in light of

    India's substantially enhanced offensive capabilities, Pakistan realised that this 'stand and fight' doctrine would lead to serious Indian penetration of Pakistani territory with the Pakistani army being unable to manoeuvre to meet the threat. Counterattacking formations would then be destroyed piecemeal.91

    Pakistan has therefore adopted a new strategy - the Riposte. This is remarkably simple in concept in that Pakistan would accept the loss of territory in Indian penetrations, but would conduct a limited advance along narrow fronts with the aim of occupying territory near the border to a depth of 40-50km.92 Pakistan believes that this would give it a bargaining chip to be used in the aftermath of a ceasefire brought about by international pressure after 3-4 weeks of fighting.

    The Pakistanis, to some extent, still assume that India will attempt deep penetrations into the territory. Moreover, it appears that though the Pakistani army is well prepared for this new doctrine, there is an inadequate appreciation of the threat posed by Indian air power to the attacking formations. Some planning has been based on the highly unrealistic assumption of local air superiority and as such these plans may go seriously awry.93

    So what will a future India-Pakistan war look like ? There are a number of good books on the 1965 and 1971 wars and some excellent accounts of the tactical thinking behind Exercise Brasstacks are available.94 These, however, are not of much use at present. However, perhaps the best and most realistic war scenario was painted by defence journalist Pravin Sawhney in the Asian Age newspaper in November 1994.95

    Holding formations in both India and Pakistan can man their forward defensive positions and fortifications in less than 24 hours. However, Corps level reserves with large stockpiles of munitions will take between 24 to 72 hours for mobilization after being given their orders. In this regard, both armies will be evenly matched in the first 24 hours since the Pakistani units have to travel a shorter distance to their forward positions.96

    Pakistan's Army Reserve North is based in the Kharian/Mangla complex and would need to travel only 200km to its forward concentration areas or even their assembly areas where regrouping before an offensive is done.97 This could be done at extremely short notice and is consistent with Pakistan's pre-conceived offensive plans as outlined in the Riposte doctrine. Army Reserve South, which is based in the Multan area can also be available for operations in a similar time.

    While many of India's formations may take up to 72 hours to be fully deployed, two out of India's three Strike Corps, 1 Corps & 2 Corps, are so positioned as to match the mobilization timings of Army Reserve South. As of now, it is not known if the third Strike Corps, 21 Corps, will be available at such short notice.98

    India could, in theory, disrupt the early deployment of Army Reserve North if the Indian Army's Northern Command denies deployment space with the pre-emptive mobilization and deployment of Northern Command's theatre reserves. In 1994, Sawhney was unconvinced that this was possible owing to the employment of so many units of the Indian army on internal security duties in Jammu & Kashmir.99 However, since 1994, the number of paramilitary units in Jammu & Kashmir has grown and the Indian army has deployed almost thirty thousand men from its Rashtriya Rifles battalions.100 These would take at least some pressure off the regular army in counter-insurgency operations. Moreover, the number of regular army troops in the state seems to have grown.101 These could provide the Indian army with sufficient troops in theatre to deny Pakistan's Army Reserve North deployment space, thus neutralizing any advantage Pakistan had in this regard.

    The problem with assessing whether or not Indian troop strength is adequate to the task of neutralizing Army Reserve North's deployment is that the internal security situation in Jammu and Kashmir is very variable.102 It is possible that the paramilitary forces and the Rashtriya Rifles will free a large number of troops for conventional operations. Moreover, it is possible that up to three divisions, with over forty thousand men, could be moved from the China border without seriously degrading India's defences against a Chinese assault. These troops are held by Central and Eastern commands, and have actually been earmarked for out of theatre operations.103

    In the case of Army Reserve South, the Indian Air Force has the potential to cause havoc with their deployment by beginning an intensive interdiction campaign in the Gujrat (Punjab)-Sialkot-Gujranwala area.104 However, this would make India the aggressor in any conflict. Sawhney argues that this would make the Indian government reluctant to permit this.105 However, it is plausible that the Indian government may well engineer incidents to give an excuse, however flimsy, for the Indian Air Force to begin such an interdiction campaign.

    In order to further reduce the risk of a Pakistani nuclear strike, it is possible that India, through the United Nations, might make certain pledges to Pakistan. These might include a pledge not to deliberately attack a civilian target, to refrain from attacking civilian nuclear installations and a promise not to initiate the use of weapons of mass destruction unless attacked with such weapons. India could also make it clear that it would abide by these terms only if Pakistan agrees to do the same. Should Pakistan not agree, India would probably assume that a nuclear strike would be forthcoming.106

    Let us for the moment assume that India does not deny Army Reserve North deployment space and that the Indian government does not sanction the launching of preemptive air strikes. Both India and Pakistan will have a relative parity in manpower and combat formations at the start of any conflict. India will be able to bring up some very large combat formations from central and eastern India, but Pakistan would be almost fully committed. A force of three infantry divisions plus some independent brigades under 11 & 12 Corps would be transferable from the Peshawar and Quetta areas respectively, but with very little artillery and armour.107 Moreover, if there is any serious escalation of fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan may be less willing to denude its Afghan border of all regular army formations.108


    ...Continued...​
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  8. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    ...Contd....​


    The Indian objectives in the Northern sector, in Jammu & Kashmir, are somewhat unclear. The Indian Defence Review Research Team argued that the capture of Skardu to cut off the main glacier zone in Baltistan would be a major objective.109 Moreover, a strong offensive aimed at capturing Muzzafarabad from the North and the South of the Jhelum, and the neutralization of the Haji Pir (Bedori ) Bulge would have to be undertaken.110 The Indian army would also attempt to capture the Mirpur-Mangla Complex with the view of presenting a clear and present threat to the Pakistani national capital region.111 Finally, to cope with the threat posed by Army Reserve North, Indian formations would make a penetration into the Sialkot sector with the sole aim of bottling up and denying deployment space to the Pakistani formations, thus ensuring its eventual destruction.

    The scenario described above leads to the question as to whether Pakistan would launch a nuclear strike in response to the threat posed to its national capital. The Indian Defence Review Research Team does not answer this question in any way. Pravin Sawhney describes a far more detailed scenario which, while essentially similar in concept, seems to differ in some major details.

    Sawhney, in his scenario, argues that the Indian army would have a choice - attacking into either Ladakh-Baltistan or into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir ( POK ) and that the army would prefer an ingress into the latter along the Line of Control.112 He also argues that the main thrust would be in the Jammu division between Poonch and Chammb with a secondary thrust into the Tithwal-Keran sectors.113

    Northern Command might also suggest that a limited offensive be conducted to the west of Zojila in the Dras-Kargil sectors.114 The aim here would be to cut off the lines of communications of the Pakistani brigade based near the Shingo and Indus Rivers. These operations will call for troops specially trained and equipped for operations in mountainous and hilly terrain and to this end, the three divisions previously earmarked for use against China would be invaluable. Moreover, select formations from these forces already send divisional reconnaissance groups into Kashmir for terrain familiarization.115

    That these divisional reconnaissance groups have been conducting terrain familiarization for quite some time gives rise to the idea that India has been planning for a major offensive in the Jammu & Kashmir sector for a long time.

    Pravin Sawhney assumes that the attack in Kashmir would be launched first with two mountain divisions concentrated to begin operations in the directions of Jhanghar-Mirpur and Nowshera-Bhimber with the ability to switch between the two.116 A third division would be allocated to the Mendhar-Kotli-Mirpur axis in two columns. Pakistan would probably understand that some move was afoot at this stage to the sector defended by 19 Infantry Division. The Pakistanis would then move the 7 & 9 infantry divisions based at Peshawar to assist in their defence.117 However, it is not certain that these two divisions would be available entirely since the Afghan border is volatile at the best of times and the situation in Afghanistan is very fluid.

    Nonetheless, assuming these formations begin an eastward movement, Pakistan's Army Reserve South would start mobilizing at Multan. At this stage, India's three Strike Corps would begin a forward movement. The plan as envisaged by Indian planners is for 1 Corps to face Army Reserve North and 2 & 21 Corps to face Army Reserve South.

    The offensive would begin in the Ladakh sector with two brigades attacking from Kargil along with two brigades from the Northern Kashmir holding division tasked with straightening the Line of Control in the Tithwal-Bugina bulge sector.118 The three mountain divisions mentioned earlier would then commence their offensive which would probably face extremely stiff resistance from the Pakistani infantry divisions facing them. Compared to the 'dashing' manoeuvre warfare employed during the Brasstacks exercise, the current Indian army high command is fully convinced that their present offensive plans would be more akin to the 'meat-grinding' assaults of the Second World War.

    As Pakistan's strategic depth was eroded around Islamabad and with its Army HQ at Rawalpindi fixed on the worsening situation at Mirpur, Army Reserve North would be committed to action. ARN would attempt an offensive aimed at the Jammu-Pathankot corridor while crossing the river Ravi aimed at threatening Gurdaspur-Pathankot.119

    These operations would be met by India's 1 Corps which would engage Army Reserve North in a savage battle of attrition, forcing Pakistan to move 9 division to the Mirpur sector, where the Indian offensive continues, while 7 division moved, along with 30 Corps, to reinforce Army Reserve North. In the meantime, the Indian and Pakistani air forces would engage in their own battle of attrition, with the former waging a heavy counter-air offensive whilst engaging in a massive offensive-air-support operation for the Indian army.

    With the Indian offensive overcoming its opponents in the Kashmir region and Army Reserve North, and its reinforcements, engaged with India's 1 Corps in a battle of attrition, Pakistan's army high command would prefer that Army Reserve South be kept out of action as long as possible. However, since the whole object of the Indian plan is to inflict heavy attrition on Pakistan's armed forces, it would be essential for Army Reserve South to be neutralized.

    Sawhney believes that India would use its Desert Corps (12 Corps) to draw ARS into action.120 12 Corps would launch a limited offensive aimed south of Rahimyar Khan to which Army Reserve South would respond with a thrust to its north. The Indian Holding Corps, with their RAPIDS, would probably find themselves under heavy pressure from the powerful ARS. At this stage, with ARS fully committed, India would spring its trap with 2 & 21 Corps, along with massive air support, launching out together along a very narrow front aimed at punching through 31 Corps and falling on the soft under-belly of Army Reserve South which would then be destroyed in detail.

    In this scenario, the fighting which has lasted between two and four weeks, has left Pakistan's armed forces severely depleted, if not almost destroyed. Army Reserve South has been destroyed along with the Pakistani formations in the Rajasthan/Gujarat sector. Indian forces have made gains along the Line of Control, severely eroding Pakistan's strategic depth in the region of Islamabad and Army Reserve North and its reinforcing formations have been mauled by 1 Corps, Indian Holding Corps and the Indian Air Force.

    What is significant is that Pakistan would not have suffered any major territorial losses. No Indian offensive actually seized much land and in no case was the existence of Pakistan actually threatened. While nuclear threats and counter-threats might be traded, Pakistan would probably not feel quite so compelled to go nuclear as it would if its very survival was at stake.


    Excerpted from: Bharat Rakshak: The Nuclear Battlefield- India v.s. Pakistan
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  9. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Rage, thank you for your generous words. That is a very comprehensive article, a good read tho as you say a bit of obvious bias and slightly dated now.

    The blog post has much discussion and data tables but I must admit I am uncomfortable calling it 'analysis' as I deliberately leave the overall conclusion to the reader. I do my absolute best to be objective and unbiased in all these analysis'. Despite this I have offended many people with previous analysis and recognise that India-Pakistan is a particularly emotive subject; In trying to be unbiased I run the real risk of pissing off both sides equally ;)

    Let me know the conclusion you drew from the article and I'm happy to debate.
     
  10. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dear Planeman, Welcome to the forum i have been reading yopur analyses for quite some time on your Blog as well as on Mp.net(though i am not registered yet)and as rage has already said you have blown us all away; I know you are going to be a great asset to this forum once again welcome.

    As for the analyses Thank You for that wonderful piece of work i cannot imagine how you look for indian and pakistani artillery positions on google earth.It is very informative to say the least.i believe that the prospect of non-state actors must be taken in to account as well when imagining any indo-pak scenario, the armor thrust for instance ;any indian armor thrust into pakistan could be severLy hampered by the thousands of RPG's and ATGM's in jehadi hands today, one also cannot rule out disruption of indian supplies by sleeper cells of organisation like the LeT or HM whithin the boundaries of India, as i have said in another post before "The first shot in an indo-pak conflict will not be fired by the man on the frontline it will be fired by a militant killing a civilian in a city of india".
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  11. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Great analysis and effort put in planeman. This is one of the most painstakingly made analysis that cleared all doubts about the artillery and mechanised forces on bothh the borders.
     
  12. kuku

    kuku Respected Member

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    Your analysis present a very amazing window into what would be the much bigger world of intelligence with sub meter resolution cameras, radar imaging devices, infrared devices floating in space.

    Thank you, your work is amazing.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  13. Agantrope

    Agantrope Senior Member Senior Member

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    Planeman,

    Your analysis is simply superb that too in a neutral point of view. Really amazing work
     
  14. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Planeman welcome to the forum ,nice summary, Smerches were bought after Kargil, but do you know if any new weapons were tested during kargil there are rumors we tested somethings for the israelis not necessarily artillery?? I know a UAV was tested was it harpy??
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  15. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Rumours are always dangerous ;)

    I'd doubt it was Harpy, that's mainly for targeting enemy radars and Pakistan didn't lose any as far as we know. Beyond that your guess is as good as mine.
     
  16. deltacamelately

    deltacamelately Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The good Colonel has a question for you gentlemen.
    "Where are the barracks?"
     
  17. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Good question, not one I've given much attention to. As I browsed Google Earth I placemarked many military facilities, mostly with the general term "Base". Some of these are contained in the KMZ file which can be found here http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthrea...mber=871117&filename=Indo-Pakistan_Border.kmz - it's far from exhaustive.

    Concentrating on Zone C of my analysis, on Indian side there are massive bases clustered around Jammu and Samba, with additional Artillery Garrisons at Kathua and Bari-Brahmana Town. Further in-country between Madhopur and Kandwal there are even bigger bases, and further north at Udhampur. There is an Indian tank regiment in Jammu (32.671487°, 74.824008°), and a probable one at Bari-Brahmana Town(32.658366°, 74.923881°). I'm sure you can find much more if you browse GE. Closer to the border there are numerous smaller bases, or 'camps'. There are also several air bases and helicopter units easily found on the Indian side.


    Pakistan too has military towns, such as Siālkot. Pusar air base (32.242579°, 74.680422°) is interesting to browse in GE. I think it's the Typical British patten and probably predates independence. There's a similar one on the Indian side at 30.893508°, 74.580689°

    An oddity on the Pakistani side is Kasur somewhat further south (Zone D) of my analysis. There's an munitions storage facility surprisingly close to the border at 31.118565°, 74.481013°. Across the border from that, at 30.942118°, 74.592655° is an Indian Artillery unit. They could set up the guns in their parade square and hit the Pakistani munitions storage site from there. Firozpur is a mayor military base and worth a browse in GE. India also puts ammo dumps somewhat near the border.


    The
     
  18. macintosh

    macintosh Regular Member

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    Sir,
    Can you explain the reason for India's much or less linear artillery sites as compared to more dispersed Pakistani artillery sites ???
    I mean dispersed sites have advantage or isn't it ???
    Also can you tell about low deployment of Indian artillery in south of zone B. I mean India must have plans for heavy Pak artillery deployment there. Or is it that IA uses MRLS like Smerch in such places as they offer a distinct advantage over static artillery.
     
  19. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Hi Macintosh,
    I've been pondering your question for a day or two; I'm a open-source imagery guy so I don't pretend to have a deep understanding of either army's operations, just observations from available imagery. Such observations are usually general in nature.

    Google Earth has revolutionised Open-Source intelligence, but it does have certain weaknesses. Primarily in this case is that GE satellite imagery of the border varies greatly in terms of when it was taken, so the maps of sites I provide is not a single point in time picture. Some imagery dates from 2001, others from 2009. Earlier imagery, ie closer to the 1999 conflict, naturally would be expected to show more active sites. Also, inactive legacy sites remain visible for years in the Kargil region (Zone A), whereas they are quickly farmed over in Zones B & C of my analysis.

    However, the layout of sites is a good question which I can opine on. In general, Pakistani towed artillery sites tend to be more dispersed and/or irregular positioning. By linear, I really mean a straight line, or more commonly, an arc (yeah not 'linear' in the real sense). Linear sites make it easier to align all the guns to hit the same target. It also makes it more practical for direct and low-elevation firing to the front as no guns are firing over the top of overs. I'd not enjoy crewing a gun with another 20m behind firing over my head anyways. So for quick deployment of current in-service towed pieces a linear or arcing deployment is easier to employ. Modern technology is increasing the extent to which artillery pieces can be dispersed, now in theory using latest western artillery computers guns can be dispersed with several Km between guns which greatly increases survivability though having costs of engagement zone and logistics/control. That type of technology seems easier to apply to self-propelled guns and is in part Pakistan's SH-1's advantage.

    Pakistan is concentrating on SPGs which are most useful further south in Zones C & D. India lacks this capability except for MBRLs. Maintaining gun positions in Zones C & D is relatively expensive for little gain as there are no hills to hide behind so static sites would easily be picked off in the first hours of any conflict. India's towed pieces and even SPGs are better kept in garrisons awaiting deployment only at times of heightened tensions. I'd guess from the deployment pattern that except in Kargil, Pakistan expects India to surprise invade more-so than India expects Pakistan to invade. Pakistan therefore deploys some batteries in static positions still to cover the border.

    You are also right that Smerch and A-100 rockets, and to a lesser extend Pinaka are game-changers. They can be employed effectively with just a single launcher and from much further rear. Of course using a single launcher has ROF limitations but they can deliver a very accurate and powerful single salvo similar in firepower to a whole battery of regular 155mm guns. Of course in the contest of guns versus rockets, the latest western 155mm SPGs with their advanced targeting computers are capable of MRSI (multiple rounds simultaneous impact - a single gun fires several rounds in succession all landing on the same target at about the same time. Ie 1 gun has the impact of a whole salvo of regular guns). MRSI has range limitations (guess 20km max?) but makes the latest SPGs like AS-90, Archer and PzH2000 very ... awesome. BAE Systems offers a computer upgrade for the FH-77 to allow MRSI but India has not purchased it.

    It also has to be remembered that most artillery spotting will be via a guy on the front line calling in fire. Assuming a similar procedure to Western militaries, the Indian and Pakistani army's are likely to have specially trained artillery spotting teams (FOO Parties in British terminology - Forward Observation Officer). They guys find targets, guess the coordinates and call in the guns, and then give adjustments (corrections) on the fire. Classically impact rounds are fired both long and short of a target, then the full battery salvo with air-burst is fired in the middle... this is practical but gives the enemy some warning of the incoming salvo. Even with UAVs and WLRs this is still likely the dominant method of spotting. In all likelihood these FOO parties are deployed to the forward OPs along both sides. The Pakistani OP on Point 5353 is so strategic because it allows Pakistani FOOs to call down fire on the highway near Dras.

    Not sure if my ramblings have really shed much light on your question, but good context I hope.
     
  20. planeman

    planeman Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Found some Indian MBTs in Google Earth at Nirbana in Rajasthan near border (Zone-D). Just chanced upon them, was looking for other stuff. Not sure of which type but guess T-72 (haven't research which units are based there). I count 44 tanks with a margin of error of about +-10%.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A good summary by Planeman's blog and Rage's information.

    Now, how about some comments?

    The difference in layout of arty is basically because in the mountains the Gun areas are limited.

    On the Pakistani side in the Kargil War, they had a greater area for dispersion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010

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