Tardy defence acquisition process will make mountain strike force toothless

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Galaxy, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

    Aug 27, 2011
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    Tardy defence acquisition process will make mountain strike force toothless

    November 15, 2011

    They say offence is the best form of defence. But India has always laid emphasis on a ‘defend and safeguard’ concept, a far-from-ideal strategy for national security. Unfortunately, the pacifist philosophy deeply ingrained in the Indian DNA has for long remained the guiding force of India’s political leadership, which plays a key role in shaping defence doctrine.

    Against this backdrop, the Indian Army’s plan for an offensive mountain warfare strategy stands out, marking a distinct break from the past. As part of this objective, the army has initiated a plan to beef up capabilities as a counterpoise to Chinese build up along the international borders.

    India, having fought wars with China and Pakistan in the Himalayan region known for its high altitudes, biting cold and treacherous terrain, is well equipped to mount offensive mountain warfare, despite it being challenging, involving as it does not only fighting the enemy but also putting up with extreme conditions in forbidden terrain.

    The army is keen on balancing the striking military asymmetry with China along the 4057-km long border stretch. Army Chief General VK Singh said, ‘Our thrust is on surveillance, decision support systems, acquisition of deep strike capabilities with BrahMos missiles and Pinaka rocket systems, betterment of our artillery and mechanised forces and improving aviation capabilities.’

    In a development significant to the long-term strategy of taking on the threat from India’s trans-Himalayan adversary, New Delhi has given the green signal to raise four new divisions to be stationed along the border. Two of these will form a part of the elite mountain strike force.

    This strike force, expected to assume full potential before the end of this decade, will have the mandate to attack Tibet in the event of China capturing a part of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh. But then for carrying out this challenging mission, the new strike corps will need mountain artillery, night fighting capability, anti-aircraft guns and a range of associated fighting hardware along with an excellent transportation and communication system. However, inordinate delay, indecision and lethargy associated with India’s defence acquisition process could very well dilute the combat worthiness of the mountain strike force.

    India’s transportation infrastructure is nowhere near China, which has put in place an excellent all-weather road network close to the border to facilitate rapid movement of troops and equipment.

    India’s plan to upgrade road and transportation network, supply lines and helipads and airstrips in the eastern sector lacks in ‘speed and punch.’ Of course, following the recent reports of transgression of Chinese forces into Indian territory, work on building roads close to the border and upgrading air strips and helipads has gained momentum.

    More importantly, the Indian defence set up’s recent decision to locate the Block III land attack version of BrahMos in Arunachal Pradesh could go a long way towards boosting the mountain warfare fighting capability of Indian armed forces. For this advanced BrahMos missile is capable of hitting targets on the other side of the mountain by taking a steep dive with a high degree of precision.

    On another front, the Indian defence forces fighting China would receive close and sustained air support from the Indian Air Force that would operate from the newly-renovated air bases in the north-eastern sector close to India’s international border with China.

    As part of its China-centric strategy, the IAF has started locating Russian origin multi-role air superiority fighter Su-30MKI at forward air bases like Tezpur and Chauba. The plan to equip Su-3oMKI with Brahmos’s air-launched version could provide tremendous strategic advantages to the Indian defence forces bracing to take on the Chinese aggression.

    In the ultimate analysis, the mountain strike corps will provide a clear cut ‘strategic edge’ to the Indian defence strategy vis-à-vis Chinese expansionist ambitions. Even so, the biggest hurdle in boosting the capability of this special strike corps is the inordinate delay nagging the process of acquiring howitzers.

    Since the purchase of Bofors guns, which created a veritable political storm in the country in the 1980s, the Indian army has not bought a single new 155-mm howitzer. The field artillery modernisation programme, which is critical to mountain warfare, continues to be mired in delay and procrastination. It is high time that the Indian government put the artillery modernisation programme on fast track mode in the interest of national security.

    Radhakrishna Rao | The writer specialises in defence and aerospace issues

    Tardy defence acquisition process will make mountain strike force toothless - Analysis - DNA
    ALBY likes this.
  3. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

    May 26, 2010
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    I persoanlly think in these condtion where their is no guns & tanks purchased even if they gone through test and produced and then inducted, It takes lots of Time..

    RFI response time + Tests time + selection time + tot and other paper work time + production time + induction time = Lots of time consumed in the process..

    The best at the moment to arm these forces with what we can offer, i.e 105mm IFG & 155mm/45cal guns with 155mm /45cal catapult SPGH, BMP-tank & 105mm BMP SPGH..

    When New weapon inducted these will be replaced batch after batch and will be used in reserve or deployed in other sectors..
    SPIEZ likes this.

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