HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH)

Tshering22

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Ya'll Nibbiars helicopter makes most of the IAF today if taken away IAF will be reduced to less. The fixed wing aviation transport section is small compared to the Russian, Mleechas and the Amerike. We can't so little with such a small defenc budget compared to the them expect the Russians.
Then it makes even more sense for IAF to not spend so much on helicopters and focus those funds on fixed-wing. Army has a bigger budget and should take it over. IAF will always remain a support force for both Army and Navy and that's how it works. Even USAF is only secondary to the Army and Navy.
 

Akula

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IAF is idiotic and lives in the 80s even today. Helicopters are CAS and logistical assets and should therefore be under the Army Aviation. All Mi-17s, Dhruvs, Apaches, LUHs, LCHs, Rudra, and Chinooks should be with the Army except come VVIP and commander-user helicopters with IAF.
Rudra is enough for IAF, for protecting their bases.
 

Haldilal

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Then it makes even more sense for IAF to not spend so much on helicopters and focus those funds on fixed-wing. Army has a bigger budget and should take it over. IAF will always remain a support force for both Army and Navy and that's how it works. Even USAF is only secondary to the Army and Navy.
Ya'll Nibbiars there is nkt enough budget for the fixed Wing transports to replace the entire helicopter fleets.
 

Gandaberunda

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IAF is idiotic and lives in the 80s even today. Helicopters are CAS and logistical assets and should therefore be under the Army Aviation. All Mi-17s, Dhruvs, Apaches, LUHs, LCHs, Rudra, and Chinooks should be with the Army except come VVIP and commander-user helicopters with IAF.
You know UNAF tried to grab Navy aviation and Naval career aircraft operations. UNAF wants anything that flies in armed forces should come under them 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
 

Tshering22

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Ya'll Nibbiars there is nkt enough budget for the fixed Wing transports to replace the entire helicopter fleets.
I understand. India's defense budget is abysmally low compared to the threats we have on our borders. The simple conclusion from our debate is that IAF and IN need to a boost to their capital budgets.
 

Dark Sorrow

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I understand. India's defense budget is abysmally low compared to the threats we have on our borders. The simple conclusion from our debate is that IAF and IN need to a boost to their capital budgets.
Our defense budget is adequate percentage wise.
What needs to be done is increase increase the budget of IAF and IN.
We also need to reduce IA man-power bellow 1 million. War fought in today's era are high tech wars. You don't need so much man-power. I would prefer if we send Unmanned Vehicles in the front-line instead if putting our soldiers in harm's way.
Even PRC is reducing its personal count and is deploying more and more UAV's .
Our pension and salary bill itself is huge.
 
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Javelin_Sam

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Our defense budget is adequate percentage wise.
What needs to be done is increase increase the budget of IAF and IN.
We also need to reduce IA man-power bellow 1 million. War fought in today's era are high tech wars. You don't need so much man-power. I would prefer if we send Unmanned Vehicles in the front-line instead if putting our soldiers in harm's way.
Even PRC is reducing its personal count and is deploying more and more UAV's .
Our pension and salary bill itself is huge.
2 front border from Gujarat to Arunachal. One of the largest mountain frontier in the world facing the Chinese. None of the fancy unmanned or manned vehicle can do what a soldier can do in mountains. Mountain warfare is another ball game. It needs twice or thrice the number of soldiers compared to plains to hold same length of frontier. Reverse slope of Mountains offer excellent protection for soldiers with manpads and anti-aircraft guns that can make life hell for fancy uavs. Even if they have to release payload flying outside of AD range, they nees accurate target info and visuals.

Unmanned platforms can only assist in war. But to hold ground and consolidate, only soldiers can do that. During operation snow leapord in south bank of Pangong Tso, where did all these UAVs and UGVs of PLA go? PLA had to fire in the air and charge up the mountain but IA outmanuared them and occupied the peaks. If PLA had deployed UAV/UGV, they would be as dud as chicken soup. Show me any ground UGV that can climb up atleast 100 meter slope up the himalayan terrain in a manner stable enough to accurately point its firing arm or gun. Even if one can magically create such a UGV, it can be easily taken out by a sniper on top. Can the UGV has human like real time decision making ability and instinct to duck down behind a rock, sneak away to another place where sniper has no line of sight. Same complexities exists in Jungles also.
Unmanned Vehicles in current form of technology cannot replace human soldiers atleast till robotic soldiers as smart and intelligent and have motor skills like humans arrive in scene.
 

Dark Sorrow

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2 front border from Gujarat to Arunachal. One of the largest mountain frontier in the world facing the Chinese. None of the fancy unmanned or manned vehicle can do what a soldier can do in mountains. Mountain warfare is another ball game. It needs twice or thrice the number of soldiers compared to plains to hold same length of frontier. Reverse slope of Mountains offer excellent protection for soldiers with manpads and anti-aircraft guns that can make life hell for fancy uavs. Even if they have to release payload flying outside of AD range, they nees accurate target info and visuals.
This is the typical world war 2 mentality we need to get out of. It is not army's job to guard border, its to fight and win wars. If you need need army to guard border theirs is something wrong with your security apparatus.
Modern wars are won and lost by air-force. You need personal only to hold ground and sometimes paint targets. That's it.
Gone are the days of massive tank battles or two big armies engaging each other head on.
Today's war are fought mainly on economic domain, cyber domain, diplomatic domain and psychological-ops. This is an era of 5th generation warfare.
Their will be minor skirmishes and state sponsored terrorism but no country wants full scale war. Even nutcase like Pakistan doesn't.
UAV doesn't always mean aircraft. Their are even ground based UAV.
As for the reverse slope BS, aircraft and UCAVs armed with PGM (Satellite Guided, Laser Guided or EO-Guided) call easily, reliably and accurately neutralize ground based hostile force. Modern aircraft tend to fly above the range of Anti-Aircraft Guns and MANPADs and PGM are not affected by altitude of the flying aircraft.
Unmanned platforms can only assist in war. But to hold ground and consolidate, only soldiers can do that. During operation snow leapord in south bank of Pangong Tso, where did all these UAVs and UGVs of PLA go? PLA had to fire in the air and charge up the mountain but IA outmanuared them and occupied the peaks. If PLA had deployed UAV/UGV, they would be as dud as chicken soup. Show me any ground UGV that can climb up atleast 100 meter slope up the himalayan terrain in a manner stable enough to accurately point its firing arm or gun. Even if one can magically create such a UGV, it can be easily taken out by a sniper on top. Can the UGV has human like real time decision making ability and instinct to duck down behind a rock, sneak away to another place where sniper has no line of sight. Same complexities exists in Jungles also.
Unmanned Vehicles in current form of technology cannot replace human soldiers atleast till robotic soldiers as smart and intelligent and have motor skills like humans arrive in scene.
We are looking towards future and not past when we plan for future developments. Just because PRC didn't deploy UAV/UGV in past doesn't mean that neither they nor we would deploy them in future.
UAV/UGV don't need to be smart. They are controlled by humans from command centers located at a safe place. You don't needs grunts for such operations but trained and skilled manpower.
We are not in a Hollywood movie that robotic soldiers as smart and intelligent and having motor skills like humans are required.
The fact remains such a huge personal count is taking a toll on our defense budget as a large chuck of the defense budget is consumed on salaries hampering modernization.
As for all talk about diificulties of fighting in mountain, machines can do much better job than humans. They don't need to be as smart and intelligent as human by itself as it will be a human controlling and instructing it from command center.
 

Dark Sorrow

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Why Indian Army plans a reduction of 1,00,000 men?
The Army is also focusing on the infantry soldier manning the border

There's a strong possibility of you getting a forward on social media these days, criticising Indian Army's proposed move of reduction in manpower.


What it probably won't mention is that it concerns the 'non-essential' manpower. So what is it, really and, more importantly, how and when is the reduction going to happen?


Essentially, the idea is to modernise the armed forces with the heavy infusion of cutting edge technology including Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber warfare capability, space technology to serve small tech-intensive Integrated Battle Groups (IBF), of a tri-service nature.



To achieve that objective within limited budgets, the following steps are essential: Maintaining a healthy Teeth-to-Tail - or combat vs non-combat ratio The 'teeth-to-tail ratio',


in military parlance, is the amount of military personnel it takes to supply and support each combat soldier. While both 'teeth' and 'tail' soldiers may find themselves in combat or other life-threatening situations, 'teeth' soldiers are those whose primary function is to engage in combat.

The Army said, as detailed in the 20th standing committee report released last month, that some reduction in manpower remains the ultimate goal.


"It is an ongoing process; if you recollect, when Gen. V.P. Malik was the Chief, he thought of a reduction of 50,000 men. Our aim in the next three to four years is a reduction of about 1,00,000 men and this money that we are going to save because of the manpower costs, the government has assured us that this money will be cycled back to us for imbibing technology," the committee was told.

Outsourcing, the new age mantra


So, while several blueprints of plans to reduce the Army manpower have been prepared over the past couple of decades, the reduction of the 'non-essential' manpower may finally begin after the massive upgradation of internal infrastructure done in the recent years, especially in the border areas.


The repair workshops are opening in forward locations and the Indian Army is consistently working on shortening its logistics tail and work on the Integrated Battle Group, or the IBG, concept. The small units will have a small logistics tail which too shall be outsourced.

The committee was told that, if in need of repair or service, an Army Tata vehicle no longer needs to be sent to Army Base Workshops (ABWs). With Tata workshops now operating even in places like Silchar and Guwahati, it can be sent straight to the facility run by the manufacturing company.


A couple of years ago, while reviewing the functioning of different organisations including defence workshops, the government had decided to corporatize eight Army Base Workshops on Government Owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) model while disbanding two ABWs, one Static Workshop and four ordnance depots.

With workshops being put on the GOCO model, the manpower can be shifted to other divisions, including space, cyber and Artificial Intelligence.


Saving manpower, infusing technology


Last year, during the first anniversary of Balakot air strikes, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had termed hybrid warfare a reality and had emphasised the need to reorient the training of soldiers to meet the challenges posed by it. With AI, high-speed weapons and space-based sensors and tools having a significant impact, he stressed that there was an urgent need to imbibe new technologies and use existing capabilities in innovative ways.


With India being a witness to a number of skirmishes in the region, CDS General Rawat too realises the fast-changing geopolitics around the globe. Time and again, he has called for maintaining credible deterrence in land, air and at sea at all times, saying that the three Services must work together concurrently to deal with any potential threats, based on the principle of theater commands.


"Credible deterrence comes from the will of the military leadership and intent of the political class while taking tough decisions. This was amply shown after the Kargil, Uri and Pulwama attacks," General Rawat had said earlier.


With the whole concept of war undergoing transition, the Ministry of Defence is now working on introducing modern technologies, which though costly will save on manpower and even money in the long run.


"For example, let us say there is a hill feature which we are occupying. Today we occupy that hill feature with 120 men which is a company. But if that same company is given technology which ensures that it has got a complete transparency within 2000 meters of what is available there and has got weapon systems to engage, it can do the same task with about 80 men. That is what we are looking at in the future," the committee was told.


At the same time, while looking at imbibing technology, the Army is also focusing on the infantry soldier manning the border.


"We want to give him a modern rifle; we want to give him a modern surveillance system; we want to give him technology that he can imbibe."

 

Dark Sorrow

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Indian Army to cut 150,000 jobs as force plans to go ‘lean and mean’

 

Dark Sorrow

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Indian Army set to cut 1.5 lakh jobs, money to be used to buy modern weapons

In a massive overhaul, the Indian Army plans to cut around 1.5 lakh jobs, latest media reports said on Monday. The money saved will be used to buy modern weapons as the focus shifts on ‘lean and mean’ force.

‘Merging of some verticals and rationalising roles are likely to result in cutting 50,000 troops over the next two years. A reduction of 100,000 more personnel may be possible by 2022-23. But all this is in the study phase right now,’ a military official was quoted as saying by the HT.

An NDTV report said that the job cuts will help the army in saving around Rs 7,000 crore. The money will be sued to buy weapons, the report said.

The Indian Army has been facing severe fund crunch. In June, there was a report that said that the army had placed an order for only 250,000 modern assault rifles despite its total requirement of 800,000 rifles.

According to the Bloomberg report, only a third of its total requirement was to be placed to speed up deliveries of rifles.

"Plans to buy new equipment from overseas, however, have been held back by bureaucratic delays and the military’s desire to balance the needs of its troops against efforts to build equipment domestically under Modi’s ‘Make in India’ program, a key plank in his drive to boost local manufacturing," the report had said.



In March, just after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union Budget, Army Vice Chief Lt General Sarath Chand had said that the budget allocation for 2018-19 "dashed the hopes" of the Army. He had also said that the marginal increase was barely enough to meet inflation as 68% of the force's equipment falls in the "vintage category".

In the oral deposition to the Parliamentary panel, the Vice Chief had said the allocation of Rs 21,338 crore for modernisation is way below the committed payments of Rs 29,033.

 

Dark Sorrow

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Indian Army Must Downsize — But Here’s What It Needs To Do First
Before cutting down on manpower, the Army must adopt compensatory technology-intensive precision systems/platforms.

he 20th standing committee report (released in March 2021) indicates that the Indian Army is aiming at reducing about 1,00,000 troops in the next three to four years, with the money saved on manpower costs being cycled back into technology assimilation, upgradation and induction.

This from an organisation which has constantly sought additional manpower (post-Kargil; raising of mountain strike corps) (11,80,940 soldiers in 1995 to 14,38,717 in 2019) in an era when all other modern armies were downsizing.

So, what changed? The answer lies:
  • in timely adoption of technology by armies
  • some recent developments
Timely Adoption of Tech & the Bombing of Germany & Japan in WW-II
As firearms matured, they promised a capability to kill from great distances. However, there remained a great weakness — soldiers required extraordinary training and aptitude to hit targets under stressful, battlefield conditions. To compensate for this failing and increase ‘hit-probability’, nations initially took to increasing the number of firers, and by corollary, the size of their armies.
It was presumed that the development of automatic weapons, mechanised and armoured platforms, aircraft, modern battleships, etc, would result in lower troop levels. Instead, they raised the tempo of fighting and led to warfare turning industrial – on account of firepower being imprecise, on an average, in World War-I, about 10,000 small arms rounds were expended for every soldier killed (this rose to 45,000 in WW-II, and to 50,000 in the Vietnam War).
Thus, by WW-II, huge factories, plants and depots were required for mass production of weapons systems, ammunition, etc to support the battlefield efforts of large armies.
This led to air power strategists like US General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell and Britain's Hugh Trenchard advocating massed aerial bombing to annihilate entire cities as a means of winning a full-scale war.
Thus began the strategic bombing of Germany and Japan to destroy their industry, dams, kill workers, etc.
However, the numerous ‘1000-bombers’ raids undertaken, which banked on dropping huge quantities of inaccurate bombs, were very time-consuming — and on account of massive losses of aircraft, unsustainable.

How Need for Large Armies Reduced: Gulf War & Iraq War Bear Testimony
However, as conventional warfare continued to require large armies, the ‘one-bomb-one-target’ quest finally led to the first ‘smart’ bombs. In April 1972, eight F-4 Phantoms of the US Air Force used electro-optically and laser guided bombs to destroy the vital Thanh Hoa bridge in Vietnam. Earlier, from 1965, the USAF had flown about 873 missions against this bridge dropping hundreds of tons of ‘dumb’ ordnance.
As ‘smart’ munitions led to precision munitions, the need for large armies also reduced.
A single ‘smart’ artillery shell (example: Copperhead) could do the work of an artillery battery firing for five minutes. Similar breakthroughs in hand-held anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, mortars, rifles, UAVs, etc — when combined with electro-optical devices and ISR platforms — began facilitating far higher kill-probabilities with much less ammunition and troops.
The 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq War exemplify how small-sized militaries equipped with precision munitions can defeat far larger legacy-equipment equipped armies.
The imperative to assimilate technology was clear.

 

Tridev123

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Indian Army Must Downsize — But Here’s What It Needs To Do First
Before cutting down on manpower, the Army must adopt compensatory technology-intensive precision systems/platforms.

he 20th standing committee report (released in March 2021) indicates that the Indian Army is aiming at reducing about 1,00,000 troops in the next three to four years, with the money saved on manpower costs being cycled back into technology assimilation, upgradation and induction.

This from an organisation which has constantly sought additional manpower (post-Kargil; raising of mountain strike corps) (11,80,940 soldiers in 1995 to 14,38,717 in 2019) in an era when all other modern armies were downsizing.

So, what changed? The answer lies:
  • in timely adoption of technology by armies
  • some recent developments
Timely Adoption of Tech & the Bombing of Germany & Japan in WW-II
As firearms matured, they promised a capability to kill from great distances. However, there remained a great weakness — soldiers required extraordinary training and aptitude to hit targets under stressful, battlefield conditions. To compensate for this failing and increase ‘hit-probability’, nations initially took to increasing the number of firers, and by corollary, the size of their armies.
It was presumed that the development of automatic weapons, mechanised and armoured platforms, aircraft, modern battleships, etc, would result in lower troop levels. Instead, they raised the tempo of fighting and led to warfare turning industrial – on account of firepower being imprecise, on an average, in World War-I, about 10,000 small arms rounds were expended for every soldier killed (this rose to 45,000 in WW-II, and to 50,000 in the Vietnam War).

This led to air power strategists like US General William ‘Billy’ Mitchell and Britain's Hugh Trenchard advocating massed aerial bombing to annihilate entire cities as a means of winning a full-scale war.

However, the numerous ‘1000-bombers’ raids undertaken, which banked on dropping huge quantities of inaccurate bombs, were very time-consuming — and on account of massive losses of aircraft, unsustainable.

How Need for Large Armies Reduced: Gulf War & Iraq War Bear Testimony
However, as conventional warfare continued to require large armies, the ‘one-bomb-one-target’ quest finally led to the first ‘smart’ bombs. In April 1972, eight F-4 Phantoms of the US Air Force used electro-optically and laser guided bombs to destroy the vital Thanh Hoa bridge in Vietnam. Earlier, from 1965, the USAF had flown about 873 missions against this bridge dropping hundreds of tons of ‘dumb’ ordnance.

A single ‘smart’ artillery shell (example: Copperhead) could do the work of an artillery battery firing for five minutes. Similar breakthroughs in hand-held anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons, mortars, rifles, UAVs, etc — when combined with electro-optical devices and ISR platforms — began facilitating far higher kill-probabilities with much less ammunition and troops.

The imperative to assimilate technology was clear.

You are strongly pitching for a major reduction in the strength of the Army.
Putting forward quite well researched propositions.

But, but as they say the theoretical needs to be validated by actual on the ground performance.

If you were an Army Commander on the northern front facing China, can you guarantee an decisive victory against the PLA using the tactics advocated. An large reliance on technology, AI enabled machines, unmanned platforms etc.

The United States could have probably used such a strategy against a country like Iraq(hypothetically speaking) because of vast asymmetry in technological capabilites between the 2 countries.

Does India presently enjoy the same kind of technological superiority over China and the PLA. To the contrary it seems that the Chinese are ahead of us in Drone technology.

We have to play to our strengths. Remember it is the large number of well acclimatised, combat experienced and reasonably well equipped troops who have stopped the PLA in their tracks. Not an army of UAV's or UGV's.

Also since these new age technology warriors are heavily dependent on AI and microprocessors, they may be vulnerable to DEW's which can disable the electronics. An EMP generating weapon can theoretically cause a mass failure of the robotic systems.

Relying too much on these new age weapons might prove counterproductive.

I am not ruling out the employment of such weapons and tactics in the future, maybe within the next two decades. But presently I don't think we have many alternatives to a large well equipped Army to blunt the PLA. Especially in mountain warfare where the targets are not always easy to spot.

I concede that maintaining an large standing Army is an expensive proposition and our pension bill is ballooning. But in the present geopolitical situation and considering our relative position vis-a-vis China where we have the Chinese developing new weapons technology quite fast, there is no alternative to maintaining an minimum strength of the Army to help deter the PLA.

One way of addressing the situation is to grow faster economically which will provide more money to meet defence expenditure.


Rationalisation of the strength of the Army is a long term objective. But it must be done at the right time.

I think a majority of infantry experts will advise against down sizing the Army in the immediate future due to the collusive threat from the Chinese and the Pakistanis.

Who knows, if our defence R&D and defence manufacturing take an exponential leap in capability, then anything is possible. We might well field an 5th or 6th generation Army making extensive use of AI and robotics. Truly lean and mean.
 

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