Army kicks off raising of 2nd division under Mountain Strike Corps, plans exercise in Ladakh

lcafanboy

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Army kicks off raising of 2nd division under Mountain Strike Corps, plans exercise in Ladakh

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Army had formally begun to raise the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps in January 2014
  • The new 72 Infantry Division will become “fully operational” in three years
NEW DELHI: The Indian Army may be currently busy with the volatile situation along the 778-km Line of Control with Pakistan, but it is slowly and steadily also building requisite deterrence along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control with China.

The 1.3-million strong Army has now kicked off the process to raise the second division of the new mountain strike corps for the "northern borders" with China despite an ongoing fund crunch, while it is also planning a high-altitude warfare exercise in Ladakhlater this year.


Defence sources say the new 72 Infantry Division, with its headquarters at Pathankot, will become "fully operational" in three years. "The division will now be being raised with one brigade in the beginning. But it will have three brigades when it is fully formed and operational in around three years," said a source.

The Army had formally begun to raise the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps in January 2014 to acquire "quick-reaction ground offensive capabilities" for the first time against China because its existing three "strike corps" were largely geared towards Pakistan.

The 17 Corps, with two new high-altitude infantry divisions as well as armoured, artillery, air defence, engineer brigades spread from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, will be fully formed with 90,274 soldiers at a cost Rs 64,678 crore by 2021. "All adversaries respect strength, which comes from having the capability to strike across the border," Army chief General Bipin Rawat had earlier told TOI.


Along with the Agni series of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and backed by the deployment of additional fighter jets, tanks, conventional BrahMos supersonic missiles and the like in the north-east, the 17 Corps is part of the overall plan to achieve "credible deterrence" against the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
China, incidentally, has re-organized its 2.3-million PLA into five theatre commands to crank up its offensive capabilities as well as establish better command-and-control structures. Its western theatre command now handles the entire LAC with India instead of the earlier Chengdu Military Region in the east and the Lanzhou Military Region towards the north, as was reported by TOI.

Under the new 17 Corps, the 59 Infantry Division was the first to be raised at Panagarh in West Bengal. "With the 59 Division now almost fully operational, the focus now is on raising the new 72 Division. Initial planning for the 17 Corps to hold its first exercise at Ladakh in August-September is also now underway," said the source.


The Army, however, has struggled to raise the 17 Corps, which envisages as many as 30 new infantry battalions and two Para-SF units, often cannibalizing from its critical war wastage reserves (WWR) in absence of dedicated funding.

Another big problem has been the tardy pace of infrastructure development along the LAC. Only 24 of the 73 all-weather roads identified for construction along the LAC well over a decade ago, for instance, have been completed till now.

But the projected delivery of the bulk of the 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, which can be swiftly air-lifted to threatened high-altitude areas along the LAC, from March 2019 to June 2021 has come as a shot in the arm for the 17 Corps. The first two howitzers arrived in India on may 18 under the $737 million deal inked with the US government.

http://m.timesofindia.com/india/arm...s-exercise-in-ladakh/articleshow/58884540.cms
 

Mikesingh

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The 17 Corps, with two new high-altitude infantry divisions as well as armoured, artillery, air defence, engineer brigades spread from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh
The Corps is spread from Ladakh to Arunachal? Wow! What kind of deployment is this? One of the principles of war is 'Concentration of Force'. Deploying the corps in penny packets from the East to West is not understood! Or am I missing something here?
 

vinuzap

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useful under limited warfare and in case of mobilastion of warforces where china has infrastructure advantage

"But the projected delivery of the bulk of the 145 M-777 ultra-light howitzers, which can be swiftly air-lifted to threatened high-altitude areas along the LAC, from March 2019 to June 2021 has come as a shot in the arm for the 17 Corps. The first two howitzers arrived in India on may 18 under the $737 million deal inked with the US government.:
 

Adioz

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Along with the Agni series of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, and backed by the deployment of additional fighter jets, tanks, conventional BrahMos supersonic missiles and the like in the north-east, the 17 Corps is part of the overall plan to achieve "credible deterrence" against the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

Under the new 17 Corps, the 59 Infantry Division was the first to be raised at Panagarh in West Bengal. "With the 59 Division now almost fully operational, the focus now is on raising the new 72 Division. Initial planning for the 17 Corps to hold its first exercise at Ladakh in August-September is also now underway," said the source.

Am I reading this right? So we are deploying Agni missiles as a Theater Ballistic Missile in a non-nuclear role? About damn time. Finally we can threaten the PLA with missiles the same way they have been threatening us (although we will not be able to threaten any major city apart from Chengdu whereas the PLA can threaten strategic targets across North India). Hope they deploy lots of Agni 1 and 2 and some Agni-4 as well.

The one thing that I cannot understand is how the escalation ladder to nuclear works in the case we launch a ballistic missile. Given that the Ballistic missile is nuclear-capable and yet there is no way for the enemy to figure out if the missile launched carries nuclear or conventional warhead, how does the enemy respond in such a situation?

Anyone got word on the organisation of 59 Infantry division? I believe the same force structure will be used as a template for all other Infantry Divs in the 17 Mountain Strike Corps (including the 72 Division). Are we going to see an artillery division as a part of the 17 Corps too?

I hope that in the future, we also get to see the deployment of AAD and PDV missiles in air defence units of the Army deployed along the LAC.
 

Adioz

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The Corps is spread from Ladakh to Arunachal? Wow! What kind of deployment is this? One of the principles of war is 'Concentration of Force'. Deploying the corps in penny packets from the East to West is not understood! Or am I missing somethinghere?
May be at important passes.. from everywhere we and the cant cross boder..
Most likely it is an ad-hoc arrangement until the next Mountain Strike Corps can be raised.
 

Chinmoy

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The Corps is spread from Ladakh to Arunachal? Wow! What kind of deployment is this? One of the principles of war is 'Concentration of Force'. Deploying the corps in penny packets from the East to West is not understood! Or am I missing something here?
17 corps have two infantry division under it. 59th division based in Panagarh at East and 72nd division based at Pathankot in West. 17 corps in itself is under Eastern command.
So with two divisions in West and East, it is basically spread out from Ladakh to Arunachal. Although for Arunachal end, there is 2nd, 5th, 21st and 71st mountain division in addition.
 

Mikesingh

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17 corps have two infantry division under it. 59th division based in Panagarh at East and 72nd division based at Pathankot in West. 17 corps in itself is under Eastern command.
So with two divisions in West and East, it is basically spread out from Ladakh to Arunachal. Although for Arunachal end, there is 2nd, 5th, 21st and 71st mountain division in addition.
But then 71 Mountain Div is not part of the 'strike corps' which is being raised specifically against China. Neither are the other divs in the East. These are basically for the defence of Arunachal and not part of the strike corps.
 

Chinmoy

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But then 71 Mountain Div is not part of the 'strike corps' which is being raised specifically against China. Neither are the other divs in the East. These are basically for the defence of Arunachal and not part of the strike corps.
Yes, 71st is not 'strike corps'. We have 59 and 72 as strike corps. But for defensive purpose we do have 4 division spread across North east specifically for Arunachal.
 

scatterStorm

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The Corps is spread from Ladakh to Arunachal? Wow! What kind of deployment is this? One of the principles of war is 'Concentration of Force'. Deploying the corps in penny packets from the East to West is not understood! Or am I missing something here?
Maybe army is trying for dispersed artillery tactics, so that if chinkies decide to target some of them, they don't find it all at one place. Further could it be unsymmetrical warfare?
 

IndianHawk

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The one thing that I cannot understand is how the escalation ladder to nuclear works in the case we launch a ballistic missile. Given that the Ballistic missile is nuclear-capable and yet there is no way for the enemy to figure out if the missile launched carries nuclear or conventional warhead, how does the enemy respond in such a situation?
Enemy has limited options. Very first thing enemy will do is to trace the trajectory of incoming missile as to where is the target . If the target is of tactical significance and not strategic then the enemy can deduce that missile might be non nuclear and can delay it's response for some time to be sure. This is specifically true about maritime targets such as aircraft carrier , islands.

But if the target seems to be strategic then it doesn't have much of a choice to wait and see. And we might be in for a nuclear shoot out.
 

IndianHawk

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Maybe army is trying for dispersed artillery tactics, so that if chinkies decide to target some of them, they don't find it all at one place. Further could it be unsymmetrical warfare?
More probably this is to cover all bases with limited resources. As the money pours in army can raise more division and keep adding them to both north east and laddakh region. Once all the necessary force is raise and equipped army can simply divided corps in two regions .
 

lcafanboy

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Army will equip new Mountain Strike Corp with Brahmos, Agni, M-777 and Apaches to challenge China
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 By: Defence News


The Indian Army has begun recruiting men for the second infantry division of the first strike corps specifically trained and equipped to do battle against units of the People's Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) operating along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Despite a funding shortfall, the army is determined to raise the new 72nd Infantry Division that will be deployed to the northern border with China. Division headquarters will be at Pathankot in Punjab State.

The division will become fully operational in three years and will have three brigades when fully formed.

It will become part of the new 17 Mountain Strike Corps formed in January 2014. The corps provides quick-reaction ground offensive capabilities against the PLAGF and is the first strike corps organized specifically to combat the Chinese.

The other three strike corps are trained and equipped to do combat against Pakistan.

The 17th Mountain Strike Corps will fight in high-altitude combat. When fully organized, the corps will have over 90,000 men and will be equipped with tanks, artillery, helicopters, air defense and engineering units geared to fight in high altitude conditions.

The corps has been designed mainly for offensive operations against the Chinese. It will operate the latest version of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile and Agni Nuclear callable Ballistic Missiles.

The corps will also receive new U.S.-made M-777 ultra-light howitzers and additional Apache Helicopters recently ordered from the United States.

The reason for the formidable firepower being bestowed on the corps is to achieve "credible deterrence" against the PLAGF.

"All adversaries respect strength, which comes from having the capability to strike across the border," said Gen. Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army.

The other unit in 17 Corps is 59 Infantry Division stationed in West Bengal, which is fully operational.

17 Corps will hold its first military exercise at Ladakh from August to September.

http://www.defencenews.in/article/A...,-M-777-and-Apaches-to-challenge-China-262334
 

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