Indian Infantry Battalion TO&E

Okabe Rintarou

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
104
Likes
288
Country flag
Aim of thread
This thread aims to collect open source information on the Organisation and Equipment of an Indian Infantry Battalion. This will enable awareness about the capabilities of the Indian Infantry Battalion which forms the largest part of Indian Army. The thread further aims to make sense of the degree to which modernization has occurred in the Indian Infantry Battalions given the recent modernization of Infantry that has gathered pace under General Bipin Rawat. For example, to make sense of the requirement of rifles in Infantry to the amount of rifles ordered (72,000 ordered + 36,000 optional), it is necessary to know how many Infantry soldiers would carry them in an Infantry Battalion

The aim of opening this thread in knowledge repository section is to ensure that this particular discussion does not get buried in the news, updates, discussions and endless fantasies for Infantry Equipment Modernization. This thread is not only about Infantry Gear Modernization, the discussion thread for which, already exists. This is for making sense of what that modernization means on the ground: who gets issued what and how the tactics and capability change based on that.


Information from Internet Sources

Indian Army has 350 Light Infantry Battalions. This thread will further refer to them as "battalions". Other than them, there are 15 Parachute and SF Battalions in the Parachute Regiment and 50 Mechanised Infantry Battalions Mechanised Infantry Regiment and Brigade of the Guards. Their and Rashtriya Rifles' TO&E will not be considered here.

Sources from 2006 on the Bharat Rakshak detail, what I believe to be, the old structure, roster and equipment of battalions.
Structure:
OldOrgInf.png


Roster:-
AUTHORISED PERSONNEL:
Officers19
JCOs (Junior Commissioned Officers)24
Other Ranks (ORs)787
NC(E)s40
Officer (Army Medical Corps)1
OR (Army Medical Corps)22
OR (Army Educational Corps)6
OR (Electrical & Mechanical Engineers)8
OR Others2
Total909

Equipment:-
AUTHORISED EQUIPMENT - BATTALION LEVEL:
Rifles697
Light Machine Guns40
9mm Sub-Machine Guns128
Pistols61
81mm Mortar?
30mm AGS-17?
84mm Carl Gustav?
2" Mortar10
3" Mortar8
Sig Pistol20
75mm RCL4

Source: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ARMY/units/4-infantry-bn-structure.html

Updated chart in Bharat Rakshak (uploaded in 2016, data from a 1980s document)

Source: http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/ARMY/...isation-of-a-standard-infantry-battalion.html

Now this 2016 source ( https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/eac...n-battle-why-the-army-cannot-downsize-1284838 ) from NDTV notes following changes in the structure and equipment:-
  • 10 man section now has:-
    • 2 LMG
    • "1 Rocket Launcher" (RCL?)
    • 700 LMG rounds on each LMG gunner.
    • 500 rounds distributed and carried separately by soldiers of the section.
    • In all, soldiers in a section carry 1400 rounds of LMG ammunition packed in 34 magazines on them. (confusing, should be (700X2)+500=1900)
    • Four "rockets" carried with the "launcher", the section carries another six rounds on them.
    • Bayonet strength a.k.a Assault Group is 6 man strong.
    • LMG a.k.a. Support Group is 4 man strong now (earlier was 3).
  • "Regiment" (Battalion) Level, comprising:-
    • Four combat companies
    • One Support and Logistic Company
    • Headquarter Company
  • Each regiment(Battalion) carries with it :-
    • Battle field surveillance radars (BFSR-SR? first time I heard about Infantry having them)
    • Snipers with at least 200 rounds of ammunition ( how many? )
    • Three Multi-Barrel Grenade Launchers (MBGL)
    • Three Automatic Grenade Launchers (AGL)
    • Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs)
    • Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) (They mean mini UAV like Netra? and ones on order like Scan Eagle? Again, hard to believe that all battalions have them)
    • Heavy communication equipment
  • "Over the years, vehicle drivers for instance have been trained as electricians, or to fire ATGM, man radars, double up as nursing assistant for injuries since number of battlefield nursing attendants have been cut down. Some are trained as mechanics to repair vehicles on the spot "
Rohit Vats on his blog ( https://vatsrohit.blogspot.com/2017/08/indian-army-and-anti-tank-guided.html ) notes that Mountain Infantry have 1 long range and 1 short range ATGM launchers per battalion, while in the plains, Infantry Battalions are issued 4 each.

My (incomplete) estimate of the current Indian Infantry Battalion structure is as follows:-
  • Infantry Battalion
    • HQ Company (Coy)
      • Battalion HQ
        • C.O. (Commanding Officer)[Colonel]
        • 2-I-C (Second-in-Command)[Lt. Colonel]
        • Provost Section?
        • Int Section?
        • ?
      • Medical Platoon
        • ?
      • Quatermaster Platoon
        • ?
      • Transport Platoon
        • ?
    • Support and Logistics Coy
      • Company HQ
        • O.C. (Officer Commanding)[Major]
        • Second in Command[Captain]
        • ?
      • MMG Platoon
        • 4XMMG Sections
          • 2X MAG 58 MMG
      • Mortar Platoon
        • 3X Mortar Sections
          • 2X 81mm Mortars
      • ATGM Platoon
        • 4X ATGM Detachments (1Xin Mountain Infantry Regiments)
          • 1X ATGM launcher and missiles (5km? range)
          • 1X ATGM launcher and missiles (2.5km range)
      • Signals Platoon
        • Radio Section
        • Line Section
      • Pioneer Platoon
        • 2X Assault Section
        • Pioneer Section
    • 4X Rifle Coy
      • Company HQ
        • O.C. (Officer Commanding)[Major]
        • Second in Command[Captain]
        • ?
      • 3XPlatoon
        • Platoon HQ
          • Platoon leader[Subedar/ Lt.]
        • 3XSection
          • Assault Group
            • Section leader [Naik]
            • 5X Riflemen
          • LMG Group
            • Section second in command [Lance Naik]
            • 2X LMG gunner
            • RCL operator

Questions that remain:-
  • Question marks in above list.
  • Composition of HQ at each level.
  • Who commands the Platoon in Rifle Companies? A Subedar or a Lt.?
  • Who has the UAV, BFSR? Battalion Intel section?
  • Where are AGL, MBGL and 51 mm mortar? Platoon HQ of rifle companies?
  • Where are snipers posted?
  • Number and make of vehicles available with Transport Platoon?
  • Where is the Ghatak platoon?
  • Will line sections of Signals platoon be retained after Software Defined Radios are introduced into service?
  • Job of Assault Pioneer Section to breach obstacles and lay mines?
 
Last edited:

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
Interesting thread. While European and American army histories are known down to the button on their shirts and bags, there is little documentation about the Indian Army's structure. Will be a great thred if we can piece together the information
 

Okabe Rintarou

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2018
Messages
104
Likes
288
Country flag
Nice info. With this we can estimate the following (caution, mostly based on my assumptions about who carries what):-

Assault rifles
  • Apart from the two LMG gunners and the one Section leader, all would carry Assault Rifle in the section => 7 Assault Rifles per Section
  • Apart from Platoon leader, all 6 remaining men in the Platoon HQ might carry it => (3X7)+6 = 27 Assault Rifles per Platoon
  • Apart from the O.C. and his second in command, all 11 men in Company HQ might carry it => (27X3)+11 = 92 Rifles per Rifle Company
  • Per Battalion numbers are tricky, but the 4 Rifle companies alone will require 4X92 = 368 Rifles. So let us assume that the 494 Rifles per Battalion is the up to date authorized holding.
  • Looking at the order of 72,000 + optional clause of 36,000 more SiG 716 rifles, (72000+39000)/494 is sufficient for 218 Battalions. Maybe 18 Battalions worth are to be given to Regimental training centers. That leaves about 200 out of the 350 Infantry Battalions of IA equipped with these rifles.
LMG
  • 1 Man per section => 1X3X3X4 = 36 LMG/Battalion
  • 2 Men per section => 2X3X3X4 = 72 LMG/Battalion
  • Maybe the information of 45 LMG/Battalion is outdated, since the NDTV article in my original post refers to the bayonet strength having fallen to just 6 men in the Assault Section.
  • Bharat Rakshak source from pre-80s era lists 40 LMG/Battalion.
  • But the numbers 45 and 40 suggest that LMG were also used outside of the Section. 4-9 such LMG are available and used, maybe by the Coy HQ or Battalion HQ? Who mans them?
  • Could be that the Battalion holding grew from 40 to 45 and then to >72 to allow for 2 LMG gunners per section today.
  • Considering previous two points, if 72 LMG/Battalion are required for sections and 4-9 LMG are required outside of sections, then the total figure is ~80 LMG/Battalion
  • Considering the recent order of 16,479 Negev NG7 LMG and the fact that there are 350 Infantry Battalions, we get the number of LMG /Battalion = 47
  • We also need to consider that some of these LMG will be going to Regimental HQs for training of soldiers. Let these be 479 LMG.
  • 16,000 of the remaining LMG can equip 200 Infantry Battalions @ 80 LMG/Battalion
  • This means that Army has placed orders to equip 200 Infantry Battalions with Negev NG7 and SiG 716
  • So maybe to equip all Battalions, the Army will consider placing a repeat order. Was there an optional purchase clause in this agreement?
Carbine
  • Pre-1980s, the authorised holding was 128 Carbines / Battalion
  • Your article puts current requirement at 230 Carbines / Battalion
  • If out of 909 men (assuming that strength of Infantry Battalion has not changed since 1980s), 494 are armed with rifles and 80 with LMG and 230 armed with carbines, that leaves about 105 men without a primary weapon.
  • Assuming 230 carbine/battalion, and the order of 93,895 CAR 816 carbines out of which let 1,895 go to various regimental training institutes, IMA and OTA, we get 92,000/230 = rifles enough for 400 battalions. Indian Infantry has only 350 infantry battalions. Maybe these 50 more rifles will go to Mechanised Infantry, Armoured and others?
  • But this report here ( https://www.livefistdefence.com/201...rmy-opens-bid-for-360000-battle-carbines.html ) says that the real requirement is to be fullfilled with a RFP for 360,000 carbines. This much should be sufficient to equip all officers along with all carbine requirements from Infantry, Mechanized Infantry, RR and Armoured units in Indian Army. Not sure what this means for this current order of 93,895 CAR 816 carbines.
SUMMARY (Assuming all the above is true)
  • Indian Army has placed orders for arming 200 Infantry Battalions / 350 Infantry Battalions with Negev NG7 LMG, SiG 716 AR and CAR 816 Carbines.
  • As per this estimate 105 men are left without a primary weapon in each Infantry Battalion. Maybe the size of the Infantry battalion has been reduced to below 1980s levels. Or maybe gunners of Automatic Grenade Launchers, Mortar men, ATGM gunners and such don't get a primary firearm? They definitely did have them before 1980s though.
  • Enough CAR 816 carbines ordered for all Infantry Battalions and maybe even all Mechanized Infantry Battalions.
 
Last edited:

aditya g

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2014
Messages
1,839
Likes
4,109
Country flag
Interesting thread. 2 cents:

There are 2 related questions - what is the organisation of an Indian Army Infantry battalion, and what is consequently the TOE for these battalions? The other ongoing discussion on how the latest SIG Sauer rifles will be distributed comes from this.

There is not one single Indian infantry organisation. For example, there are circa 60 Rashtriya Rifle units, each of which is almost like a Battalion Group with 6 rifle companies + integrated support functions including transport company. Then there is parachute regiment and Para SF which follow their own organisation. At its basic, Para SF's lowest unit is a 6 man squad called hit/prahaar vs 10 man infantry section.

@Bhadra @Mikesingh
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
If anyone on twitter, you can ask the questions related to this to informed civvies like Vatsrohit and other vets who are active on twitter.
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
Also reorganisation talks for cost cutting and IBG are there.

https://www.business-standard.com/a...-manpower-intensive-force-118091600265_1.html

Reorganisation of combat units

Practically guaranteeing resistance from within, Rawat has directed that flab cutting must include that holiest of holy cows, the infantry battalion. Since the Army has 450 infantry battalions (each with 22 officers and 850 soldiers) paring 25 men from each battalion would result in the reduction of 11,250 men.

Wisely, the Army chief has formulated an operational rationale for this reorganisation, which will be overseen by the Army’s “perspective planning” chief Lieutenant General Rajeshwar. An infantry battalion currently has four rifle companies, each with about 125 men. This is partly based on the logic that when the battalion is given a task, such as attacking an enemy position, it can attack with two companies, with the other two in reserve, in case added punch is needed. Now, it will be considered whether, instead of pessimistically catering for reinforcing both forward companies, it would be wiser to keep just one company in reserve, while adding to the probability of initial success by strengthening each company to 170 men. In the new proposals, a company would also be authorised a ghatak (commando) section of 14 soldiers for special tasks. For example, a company attacking a hill feature could send its ghatak section to lay an ambush to cut off the enemy’s withdrawal. With three strengthened companies, the infantry battalion’s bayonet strength would remain the same, but eliminating one company headquarters would save 25 men.

Infantry reorganisation would extend to the grassroots, with a 10-man infantry section being strengthened to 14 soldiers, thus empowering the section commander, normally a havaldar (sergeant). A platoon, with three strengthened sections, would go up from the current 36 soldiers to 50 men.

Another measure that Rajeshwar will consider is flattening the hierarchy of higher headquarters. Currently, the division, with about 18,000-20,000 soldiers, is the lowest formation that comprises all the elements needed for combat — infantry, armour, artillery, engineers, signals and logistics. In wartime, those elements are often decentralised to constitute a self-sufficient “brigade group” for independent missions. Extending that model of decentralisation to peacetime as well would eliminate numerous manpower-heavy division headquarters, placing the brigades directly under corps headquarters.

Naturally, a divisional headquarters would be useful for coordinating an operation that involves two or three brigades, such as a strike corps offensive, which requires several armoured brigades to operate in unison. Strike formations, therefore, might as well retain the divisional structure.


Some more
https://theprint.in/opinion/bureauc...s-ill-advised-orders-for-armed-forces/411671/
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com...ger-for-surveillance/articleshow/66308003.cms

The ministry of defence is in the process of procuring 12,389 hand-held thermal imagers (HHTIs)

These features, if integrated, will certainly give advantage to the troops during the operations,” said an infantry colonel, who has served extensively in Kashmir, adding that, at least 16 HHTIs are required for an infantry battalion


If one batallion has 04 companies with 03 platoons each, we have 12 platoons in total. So each platoon will get 01 HHTI ? and remaining 04 HHTIs being given to the 04 company commanders or held as reserve?
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
http://www.spsmai.com/experts-speak/?id=454&issue=137&q=Different-rifle-for-infantry-and-otherse

It may be recalled that the global tender floated in 2011 (with MoD approval) for new generation assault rifles with interchangeable barrels for conventional warfare and CI operations was finally scrapped in June 2015 despite being termed "Priority I" for the 382 infantry battalions. (??)

If the media is to be believed, even within an infantry battalion, not every one of its 800-odd soldiers will be issued a 7.62 mm assault rifle. These will go only to soldiers who can expect to be in direct contact with the enemy: its four rifle companies and the commando platoon, totaling up to about 565 persons per battalion.
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
Looking at the order of 72,000 + optional clause of 36,000 more SiG 716 rifles, (72000+39000)/494 is sufficient for 218 Battalions. Maybe 18 Battalions worth are to be given to Regimental training centers. That leaves about 200 out of the 350 Infantry Battalions of IA equipped with these rifles.
https://theprint.in/defence/indian-...-72000-sig-716-assault-rifles-from-us/459438/

Indian Army to order second batch of 72,000 Sig 716 assault rifles from US
The new rifles will replace the existing Indian Small Arms System (Insas) rifles used by the forces and manufactured locally by the Ordnance Factories Board.

so now its 72000+72000 = 144000 Sig 716 rifles. Looks like all battalions will get it.
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
Most news reports mention 382 infantry batallions.

few examples
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/archive/features/soldier-s-life-no-cheap-sir-325511

Yet the Infantry’s 382 battalions, which comprise the largest arm of the Army, are also among the most neglected and lacking even in some basic equipment
The depletion of the WWR is partly also because the Army is being forced to divert resources to raise a new Mountain Strike Corps (17 Corps). The first of its kind Mountain Strike Corps, sanctioned in July 2013 and to be raised by 2021, is being established at a cost of Rs 65,000 crore and will add 90,274 more soldiers and 32 new Infantry battalions. This will increase the number of existing Infantry battalions to 414.


So as of now we have 382 infantry battalions + 63 Rashtriya rifle Battalions + 46 Assam Rifles Battalions

So we will calculate as per 382 battallions
 

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag

Tanmay

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2017
Messages
1,127
Likes
2,415
Country flag
www.sps-aviation.com/experts-speak/?id=414&h=Indigenous-Sniper-Rifles

September 17, 2019
By Lt. General P.C. Katoch (Retd)


...... that the larger procurement of quantity 5719 new 8.6mm sniper rifles to equip all 382 infantry battalions (each battalion is authorised 10 sniper rifles) will take "another couple of years"

So we have a good idea of sniper rifles per battalion now

http://thepatriot.in/2018/05/03/ind...n is authorised 10,part of the Ghatak Platoon.

Indian Army needs more snipers

BY LT GEN H S PANAG ON MAY 3, 2018 [Another good source]

The term ‘sniper’ may have originated in India, but we are far short of ‘making a mark’ with the rifles we have



In the Indian Army, up to late 1950s, there used to be Sniper Section of 10 men in each Infantry Battalion. This squad operated directly under the Commanding Officer. They would use the Lee Enfield .303 No 4 Mark 1(T) Rifle, considered to be one of the greatest sniper rifles which proved its mettle during the Second World War. A very tough sniper course was also run at the Infantry School until l970.

India has approximately 360 Infantry Battalions, 50 Assam Rifles Battalions and 62 Rashtriya Rifles Battalions — a total 472 battalions. Each battalion is authorised 10 sniper rifles, which adds up to an approximate total of 4720 sniper rifles.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.co...r-rifles-by-about-70/articleshow/72142685.cms
The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition,




I think the Support Company will have this Sniper Platoon


Some foreign concepts for Battalion structure. I think both Ghataks and Sniper Platoon come under Support Company in our battalions (given below as Recon Platoon and Sniper Platoon)

https://wavellroom.com/2019/08/29/the-universal-battalion-possible-future-infantry-unit-structures/

01.PNG
 

Bhadra

Professional
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
11,257
Likes
18,135
Country flag
Lot of confusion about Infantry battalion....

To begin with : Understand Basics or Fundamentals.
* Infantry battalion is a functional organisation organised around a capability to fulfill a role - In Defense to hold ground against all kinds of attacks including CBRN attacks and in attack to close in with enemy by fire and move and destroy enemy by relentless close combat.
* Both these roles are required to be fulfilled in all operations of war - advance, attack, defense. withdrawal, airborne, heliborne. amphibious, CI/CT or any other operations and in all terrains.
* Infantry organisations should be able to fulfill its roles independently in self reliant manner.

Basic Infantry Tactics. Fire and Move (that is to say one leg on ground). The entire structure of Indian Army Infantry is based on this fundamental tactics. Be it a section. a platoon or a company or battalion - all are organised for fire and move. All those organisations are capable of being split into fire group and movement group with capability of interchanging the roles.
.
The capability of an Infantry battalion in Defense is its capability to cover the ground by fire and evict the penetration by counterattack. In attack. it is capable of presenting the required combat superiority ratio (normally 1:3 or 1:6 including reserves) to destroy and capture enemy position.

Organisation Types. An Infantry battalions is capable of being organised under various standards.

* Standard Infantry Battalions. Organised to conduct operations in plains. riverine and obstcle ridden terrain.

* Modification Mountains. Organised to conduct operations in mountains and high altitude areas.

* Modification Deserts. Organised for operations in Deserts and semi deserts.
* Modification Island Territories. Organised to conduct amphibious operations and protection of Island territories.

Weapons and equipment and vehicles undergo changes as per modification mode under which an Infantry battalion functions.

Hence the above given structures are not so accurate.
 

Bhadra

Professional
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
11,257
Likes
18,135
Country flag
Basic Tactics and Infantry organisations .

All infantry organisations from section upwards - section, platoon, comapny and battalions are organisation for fire and move. This is termed a maneuver in Western and US armies. Hence all organisations have two basic components - Fire support elements and movement elements. Since the basic role is is to close in with enemy and destoy him by CQB - the last resort of CQB is the bayonet. Hence the movement element is called the beyonet strength.
Beyonet strength is derived from rifle equipped infantry soldiers..

In a section, the fire base element is LMG group headed by section 2IC and movement or bayonet strength is composed of the Riflemen commanded by section commander.

A Platoon can organised itself into two groups by localisation one section as fire group and the two sections as move group or pool on all platoon LMGs and Mortar and RL to form a fire base. Similarly maneuver by a company is organised between platoons and the company is able to organise a fire base by additio of 2 X MMGs. 2 X ATGM.

At battalion level. six 81mm Mortars. eight ATGMs. eight MMGs are the basic fire support elements.

In defense the same organisation functions to restore situation by local counter attacks.
 

Bhadra

Professional
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
11,257
Likes
18,135
Country flag
What Changes in Modifications :

Number of LMG (two or one)
Number of ATGM (eight or four)
Number and types Vehicles (lighter vehicles for mountains)
Number of RLs
Rest all remains the same...
 

Bhadra

Professional
Joined
Jul 11, 2011
Messages
11,257
Likes
18,135
Country flag
Other Peculier aspects of Infantry ;

*Infantrymen have only one trade - Infantry man ... nothing else
* But he is supposed to be -
* A good humble. motivated, disciplined and quite human being
* A Rifle and platoon weapons expert
- A driver
* A gunner as mortar operators
* A missile Pilot
* A Radar operator
* A Recce and intelligence expert
* A Sniper
* A MMG gunner
* An sapper (specially in handling mines and demining as also explosive expert).
* A signalar
* A logistician
* A Mechanic, armourer and electrician
* A Cammando and a Ghatak.
* A tactician


He does all that but his trade is Infantryman... unlike all other people of the Indian Army who have a trade like Gunner, driver, operator, sapper, mechanic, electrician, signalar so on.
 

Global Defence

Articles

Top