Inter-Services Synergy: need of the hour

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by sorcerer, May 11, 2013.

  1. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,114
    Location:
    India
    [​IMG]

    Sea Harrier taking off from the INS Viraat

    The Indian Armed Forces have 13 geographically separated commands, five each for the Army and Air Force and three for the Navy and one joint command for the Andaman Nicobar Islands. The A&N, the IDS and the SFC are under the already burdened senior-most Service Chief who dons the rotating hat of the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COS) with a plateful of administrative and operational responsibility of his own expanding service. The Chief’s own turf per force gets priority at the cost of the other services, as per former COS Chairman Admiral Arun Prakash. Also, the short term for most Chairman COS, poses another impediment to planning.

    India’s economy is poised to rise and rank third by 2025, after US and China as per predictions, including those of Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman – Planning Commission.
    To safeguard its security, India will have to shed the individual way in which the three premier defence forces and the Coast Guard function. The four Services plan, order, operate and function and prepare for war in compartments and this, despite a large Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and a separate Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which oversees India’s nuclear assets and plans for India’s retaliatory second strike in India’s ‘No First Use’ policy.

    Throughout history, sea power has been a determinant in the rise and fall of powers…

    The Indian Armed Forces have 13 geographically separated commands, five each for the Army and Air Force and three for the Navy and one joint command for the Andaman Nicobar Islands. The A&N, the IDS and the SFC are under the already burdened senior-most Service Chief who dons the rotating hat of the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (COS) with a plateful of administrative and operational responsibility of his own expanding service. The Chief’s own turf per force gets priority at the cost of the other services, as per former COS Chairman Admiral Arun Prakash. Also, the short term for most Chairman COS, poses another impediment to planning.

    India’s directions for nuclear employment of its forces are written up in the classified ‘Red Book’ and the ‘War Book’ and are exercised under the political nuclear command structure with the National Security Adviser (NSA) as the fulcrum and a National Security Council set up thirteen years ago. The first step in the appointment of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) for cohesion and single point of advice to the Government has not been acceptable to the political establishment despite recommendations. The strongest recommendations came in the report of the Arun Singh Committee in the 1990s, and were reinforced by the Kargil Committee Report in 2000 with the experience of the 1999 Kargil War. The report was steered by India’s doyen strategist, Late K Subrahmanyam. No action has been taken and recently in 2012, the matter re-surfaced in the Naresh Chandra Committee which recommended a watered-down post of a permanent Chairman COS at four-star level though the report has not been made public.

    Admiral Arun Prakash, a member of the Chandra Committee explained it eloquently. The word ‘CDS’ is anathema to the bureaucratic, political and even the Indian Air Force brass and hence, the Naresh Chandra Committee had taken the half way first step to relieve the current Chairman COS of the many joint service functions. This new four-star incumbent would be provided some teeth to look to inter-service synergy. The next logical step will be to assign ‘roles and missions’ for the three Services and look at the region for ‘security through joint capability’ and synergize procurement with priority of needs. In this century of galloping technology with cyber and space raising challenges to cope with, it needs noting the rising cost of hardware. There is an immediate need to synergize the assets and operations of the three Services, especially the expensive aviation assets as the Navy and Air Force are all going to acquire considerable platforms worth billions of dollars, and some platforms such as MiG-29s, UAVs, LCAs, helicopters and AA systems have commonalities.

    In the 21st century, India’s Navy will be very critical for India’s rise, foreign policy, security in war and peace, and her interests in the Indian Ocean…

    The establishment owes it to the nation to be prudent and practical. The current aviation and nuclear doctrine of the three Armed Forces is discussed in this article with the rider that India will need an increased share of the defence budget from the current 2.7 per cent of GDP as India is entering the ‘Nuclear Triad Stage’ with ballistic SSBN submarines. India will also need increased sea power to safeguard its wealth and security in the strategic Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and Indo-Pacific where India has economic interests in trade and oil exploration.


    Sea Power: India’s Imperative

    Throughout history, sea power has been a determinant in the rise and fall of powers, as elaborated by Robert D Kaplan in his recent writings and more explicitly in his book Monsoon which shows how sea power helped foreign powers from the West to dominate the Indian subcontinent. India, Ceylon, Burma and Malaya were colonised by the British; Indonesia by the Dutch and Philippines by USA in the 18th-19th century with only a handful of soldiers. In earlier times, land forces were a major force in wars for domination and occupation by aggressors who repatriated agricultural and local wealth back home. Then the trend in the last two great wars tilted to the importance of sea and air power. Nuclear power was employed by USA to force Japan in to surrender. China is taking a leaf out of the more recent historical lesson of the rise of Britain, USA and Russia which led to the Cold War. China is beefing up its maritime, nuclear, space and cyber strength. Occupation by adversaries is no longer feasible but disagreements, economic competition for influence over regions, may even lead India and China to enter in to a ‘Cold War’ with skirmishes in the East for resources and freedom of navigation. Hot wars, however, seem unlikely.

    History shows how the Western nations came to strategic agreements with control of the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOCs) and choke-points, and achieved sea control. The Cuban missile crisis in 1962 was a good example of the USA’s sea threat to Soviet transport of nuclear missiles to Cuba under a nuclear overhang. Airpower too has risen as the first strike force, and is a critical component of war and for air domination as seen in the two Iraq wars. Warfare is expanding with use of space though no weapons are allowed in space. The undersea weapon, in the form of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) modern submarines with nuclear weapons is for deterrence. With all three component Services possessing nuclear weapons, it forms the nuclear triad which can be costly. All leading navies of the world are three-dimensional, with surface, air and under surface assets and soon space power will be a critical ingredient of operations, communications and intelligence at sea.


    Air power is a potent and lethal force that provides the nation a wide spectrum of choices for decision makers in any contingency…

    The Greeks defined a ‘thalassocratic’ state as a nation with maritime ambitions in military and commercial spheres. Extending this today, ‘sea-power’ encompasses the attributes of geography, population, and a government mandated to maintain a strong navy, a sizeable mercantile fleet and ports with hinterland connectivity. With a large population, India is blessed with an advantageous maritime geography and juts in to the strategic Indian Ocean like a spring board. The Government has realised the importance of ‘sea power’ and has been supportive of India’s small professional Navy with 57,000 officers and men, 112 ships, 13 aging submarines and 150 helicopters and aircraft which guard 7,300 km of coastline and 2.1 sq.km. of EEZ and many islands. The IN has 44 ships and 70 aircraft and helicopters on order. The Indian Coast Guard with 45 aircraft and helicopters, and 75 vessels has the responsibility to look after coastal security, EEZ and 4.1 sq.km. as its Search and Rescue (SAR) area with an ambitious expansion plan. In the 21st century, India’s Navy will be very critical for India’s rise, foreign policy, security in war and peace, and her interests in the Indian Ocean. In September 1965, in the seventeen-day war with Pakistan, the Indian Air Force was called in only when the Army was corralled in the Chhamb sector.

    The IAF under Air Marshal Arjan Singh responded magnificently. Very few know that, in the war, the Cabinet passed a resolution that the Indian Navy warships should not operate beyond the Porbander latitude (22 degrees) and should not take on the Pakistan Navy unless attacked. This was conveyed by a note signed by Joint Secretary H C Sarin to the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Bhaskar Soman who protested but Defence Minister Y B Chavan merely initialed the file. Pakistan’s Destroyer squadron led Khaibar under Captain Hanif came off Dwarka and shelled the beach with 4.7 inch guns, to replicate Mahmud Ghaznavi’s foray (1024 AD) when he sacked the temple and is reported to have personally hammered the temple’s gilded Lingam to pieces and the stone fragments were carted back to Ghazni. Only a cow was killed and the destroyers fled back. That is the day Admiral S M Nanda wowed that the Navy would not be found wanting if war came. He kept his promise.

    The Indian Navy came of age in the 1971 War. Credit must go to Navy Chief Admiral SM Nanda who boldly planned and attacked Karachi by ingeniously getting three newly acquired Russian Osa Class boats with Styx missiles and towed them to Porbander, then refueled en route by Poshak, a Bombay Dockyard oiler per-positioned there. By happenstance, four OCU IAF Hunters under Wing Cdr Don Conquest from Jamnagar set fire to the Kemari oil tanks on the morning of December 04 and the missile boats sunk three ships off Karachi that night. December 04 is annually celebrated as Navy Day and the Missile Boats are called ‘The Killers’. The synergized morning attack by IAF and the night attack by the Navy demoralised the Pakistan Navy in the opening bell of the war. In the East in the 1971 War, the 18,000-tonne aircraft carrier INS Vikrant with Sea Hawk fighters and Breguet Alize aircraft played a stellar role to bomb runways and attack river sites with the IAF to dominate the skies and liberate Bangladesh. Both 1965 and 1971 Wars need studying for future synergetic operations.

    The Indian Navy (IN) has become a versatile three-dimensional flexible instrument of national power, which can be used independently or in consonance with other services to achieve the country’s security objectives and protect India’s national interests. The roles of the Navy are as given below extracted from the Navy’s Maritime Military Strategy and Doctrine and Doctrine for Information Warfare:-


    The location of the Indian peninsula and the status of its Navy make India a fulcrum state geographically…


    Military Role

    This includes defence of the mainland, India’s maritime assets and shipping, interdiction of the enemy’s maritime forces, sea control, sea denial (to the enemy), blockading the enemy’s ports and harbours.

    Diplomatic Role

    Showing the Flag, assistance during disaster and force deterrence. ‘Foreign Cooperation’ is the manifestation of the Navy’s diplomatic role. Anti-poaching, anti-smuggling, surveillance of the coasts and anti-piracy.

    Benign Role

    Benign tasks are those such as humanitarian aid, disaster relief in floods and tsunami, Search and Rescue (SAR), ordnance disposal, pollution control, diving assistance, salvage operations and hydrography. The Indian Navy has assisted littoral nations with surveys of coasts.

    By an Act of Parliament, the Coast Guard came into being in 1978 and at first, the Indian Navy transferred few older ships but the force has progressively grown to a strength of 75 ships and 45 aircraft and helicopters, and has traditions akin to the Indian Navy. It is set for a massive expansion post the 26/11 sea-borne attack on Mumbai by terrorists trained in Pakistan.

    Air Power and the IAF Doctrine

    On September 12, 2012, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne released the ‘Basic Doctrine of the IAF’, with the tenets of ‘Integrity, Mission and Excellence’ and covered what air power stands for and landscaped the contemporary global environment which is characterised by change in a dynamic environment. Browne states, “Seeking optimal solutions to these challenges would be imperative for our uninterrupted growth and development.” This author adds that synergy between all aerial units will be beneficial to the Armed Forces in their role and functions in peace and war.

    The 21st century is witnessing the swift rise of China’s PLA (Navy) in the Far East…

    Air power is a potent and lethal force that provides the nation a wide spectrum of choices for decision makers in any contingency. Principles of war have evolved over time and Air Forces have three main functions independently and in support of the other two arms. The primary role of an Air Force is to fight a war jointly with the Army and Navy with its swift long range lethal force and logistical and para drop support and intelligence from the air with its fighter planes and helicopters with new innovations like drones, aerostats and AWACS and AEW&C platforms. Second is to decimate the air elements of the opponent in and from the sky and to safeguard, home airfields VAs and VPs and gain air dominance. The third is to hit the centre of gravity of the enemy and its industrial base with a first strike and be prepared for a deterrent second strike capability if nuclear weapons are employed, in an unlikely event. This last factor needs exercising and Government understanding of nuclear war and the context in which nuclear weapons need to be employed as nuclear warfare has its own repercussions and nuances. In peace, the IAF is tasked to provide succour in calamities internal and external, especially to neighbouring countries, and to fulfill an important SAR role at short notice and to co-ordinate with civil aviation and fulfill diplomatic and VIP transport functions. Only joint use of air assets and optimal employment of air power will achieve India’s ‘national security objectives’ with good command and control.

    Aerial Assets Under Acquisition

    The Indian Air Force has 160,000 personnel with 1,500 aircraft operating from 60 bases and is set to retire its large fleet of MIG-21s and MiG-27s and is upgrading the Jaguar fleet with DARIN 111 attack systems and a more powerful Honeywell 125IN engine is contemplated. The IAF is set to induct some 500 new platforms in the coming decade as per LTTP 2012-27, if all is equal. The IAF’s SU-30MKI fleet is set to rise from the current 129 to a total of 272 SU-30MKIs and an order for 126 Rafale Dassault Medium-range Multi-Role Combat Aircraft for over $12 billion is under negotiations. The IAF is upgrading 69 MIG-29s to MiG-29UPG for $964 million; 50 Mirage-2000H to Mirage-2000-V Mk2 by Thales and Dassault for $2.3 billion and these will be fitted out with 490 MBDA Mica missiles for $1.3 billion. Boeing is to supply ten C-17 Globemaster-III airlifters for $4.1 billion. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) is gearing up to hand over 40 Tejas LCAs to the IAF and facilities are being readied at Sulur for basing. The Russian-Indian Sukhoi Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) called PAK-FA is being jointly developed for induction after 2017. Augusta Westland has begun supplying 12 VIP AW-101 helicopters with EW equipment for $832 million; Pilatus has bagged an order for 75 Pilatus PC-7 trainers for $700 million and BAE is to supply 57 Hawks-132 with Adour 871 engines for $1 billion, of which 17 are earmarked for the Indian Navy. Six Lockheed Martin C-130Js for $1.3 billion have already arrived at Hindon airbase, and a spanking new facility is being readied at the sprawling Agra Air Force Station and six more are due to be ordered.

    If the Indian Army and Naval and Air Force assets synergize, future challenges will be met more easily.

    The supply of a total of 80 MI-17V armed helicopters is progressing and 71 more were added during President Putin’s visit on Christmas Eve. The 100-strong AN-32 transport fleet is being upgraded and will be replaced by UAC-HAL Medium-range Transport Aircraft (MTA). Plans to induct 22 combat Apaches AH-64E and 15 transport Chinook helicopters into the IAF are under negotiation. The Indian Navy (IN) has ordered 35 MiG-29K/KUB from Russia for $2 billion and aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) from Russia, will be delivered in end 2013. Already 15 Mig-29Ks have arrived at INS Hansa at Goa and are flying. Boeing is supplying eight Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) P8i for $2.3 billion with nose-mounted Raytheon APY-10 and belly-mounted Telephonics APN-143(V) radars. The first P8i has been taken over by an IN crew. The IAF flies six IL-78 air tankers which enhances IAF fighter range as far as to Chengdu and back and will be joined by 6 Airbus MRTT 330. Three IL-76 Phalcon AWACS with two more approved for induction and three DRDO-Brazilian Embraer-145 with CABs side looking radars with send receive switches are due to join from Brazil with AEW&C functions, to enhance direction and intelligence capabilities.

    India’s Geographic Location and China’s Game

    The location of the Indian peninsula and the status of its Navy make India a fulcrum state geographically. India juts majestically into the Indian Ocean which has become the ‘Global Life-line of the World’. 75 per cent of the world’s trade passes through it with 60,000 ships transiting annually. The Indian Ocean Region (IOR) is also called the crucible of the future, where trade, cooperation, conflict, competition, rogue states, failed states, poor states, terrorism and rising states will have to coexist – and in this scenario, India has a pivotal maritime location.


    South Africa and India formed the Indian Ocean Rim-Association For Regional Co-operation (IOR-ARC) in 1997 with nations of the IOR headquarters at Mauritius but not much has been achieved. The IOR-ARC responsibility is moving to Australia and the USA was recently inducted as a observer, though Pakistan is not a member and not invited. Colin Gray, a strategist has called the 21st century ‘a bloody century’ and India will have to be ready to protect its trade and energy security which comes with the seas. In the future, as the wealth of Eastern nations led by China and India, and ASEAN rise the world will look more and more to the East’s gravity and the large populations with rising aspirations will look to the seas for oil, gas, resources and food. There will be a scramble for the seas so Navies are expanding. The CNS of France Admiral Bernard Rogel Admiral has called this “Martimization of the world in the 21st century.” The IAF and Navy aerial assets will be required to practice synergy over the seas too.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, it is relevant to state that since time immemorial, the maritime history of nations has affected geo-strategic equations. The quality and quantity of maritime power has in a large measure contributed to the rise and fall of powers. Air Forces have always co-operated for the long range operations and the first strike ‘Kill Factor’ as was seen in the Falklands and Iraq Wars. The 21st century is witnessing the swift rise of China’s PLA (Navy) in the Far East which has a large air component, including SU-30s. China has displayed ambitions to possess and deploy its large, increasing nuclear and conventional maritime power far and wide, including warships in the Indian Ocean. This poses challenges for India but in recent times the IAF has shown the ability to operate as far away as 1,200 miles with mid-air refueling and soon the SU-30MKIs will get armed with long-range BrahMos missiles. If the Indian Army and Navy and Air Force assets synergize, future challenges will be met more easily. This will need a CDS, accretion of joint commands and re-organisation of the way the Government and the Armed Forces synergize. The ‘Jaise thay’ way may prove more costly.

    Source:Indian Strategic Studies: Inter-Services Synergy: need of the hour
     
  2.  
  3. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2013
    Messages:
    6,203
    Likes Received:
    5,114
    Location:
    India
    @Ray @pmaitra /MENTION], And all other defence professionals , your take on this article .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 10, 2015
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    43,118
    Likes Received:
    23,545
    Location:
    Somewhere
    The point is simple.

    What we should do is fine and most would know.

    But the issue is what are we doing to reach the status as to what we should do.

    As in known from the open sources, we are just sitting on our haunches and merely talking.

    It is time to put our money where are mouth is.

    However, when the money is with those clueless about Strategy, Strategic Vision and are more interested in keeping their tails clean over the necessity to forearm before it becomes the Armageddon, there is very little to comment about.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2013

Share This Page