Sunday, 18 December 2011


Indian Army

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indian Army
Flag of the Indian Army

Indian Army Seal
Founded 15 August 1947 – Present
Country India
Type Army
Size 1,100,000 Active personnel
960,000 Reserve personnel
Equipment of the Indian Army
Part of Ministry of Defence
Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Colour Gold, red and black
Chief of the Army Staff General V K Singh[1]
Field Marshal Cariappa
Field Marshal Manekshaw
The Indian Army (IA, Devanāgarī: भारतीय थलसेना, Bhāratīya Thalasēnā) is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service[2][3] and about 960,000 reserve troops,[2] the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army.[1][4] Its primary mission is to ensure the national security and defence of the Republic of India from external aggression and threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders. It also conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), a General, is a four star commander and commands the army. There is typically never more than one serving general at any given time in the Army. Two officers have been conferred the rank of field marshal, a 5-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
The Indian Army came into being when India gained independence in 1947, and inherited most of the infrastructure of the British Indian Army that were located in post-partition India. It is a voluntary service and although a provision for military conscription exists in the Indian constitution, it has never been imposed. Since independence, the army has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the army has also been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.




Indian Army
Flag of the Indian Army
New Delhi
History and traditions
Indian military history
British Indian Army
Indian National Army
Army Day (15 January)
Equipment of the Indian Army
Chief of Army Staff
Ranks and insignia
Indian Army provides that "The Indian Army is the land component of the Indian Armed Forces which exists to uphold the ideals of the Constitution of India." As a major component of national power, along with the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, the roles of the Indian Army are as follows:
  • Primary: Preserve national interests and safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India against any external threats by deterrence or by waging war.
  • Secondary: Assist Government agencies to cope with ‘proxy war’ and other internal threats and provide aid to civil authority when requisitioned for the purpose."[5]


British Indian Army

A Military Department was created in the Supreme Government of the East India Company at Kolkata in the year 1776, having the main function to sift and record orders relating to the Army issued by various Departments of the Government of the East India Company[6]
With the Charter Act of 1833, the Secretariat of the Government of the East India Company was reorganized into four Departments, including a Military Department. The army in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay & Madras functioned as respective Presidency Army until April 1895, when the Presidency Armies were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four commands at that point of time, namely Punjab (including the North West Frontier), Bengal, Madras (including Burma) and Bombay (including Sind, Quetta and Aden).
The British Indian Army was a critical force in the primacy of the British Empire in both India, as well as across the world. Besides maintaining the internal security of the British Raj, the Army fought in theaters around the world - Anglo-Burmese Wars, First and Second Anglo-Sikh Wars, First, Second and Third Anglo-Afghan Wars, First and Second Opium Wars in China, Abyssinia, Boxer Rebellion in China.

First World War

Indian Army personnel during Operation Crusader in Egypt, 1941.
In the 20th century, the British Indian Army was a crucial adjunct to the British forces in both the World Wars.
1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War I (1914–1918) for the Allies after the United Kingdom made vague promises of self-governance to the Indian National Congress for its support. Britain reneged on its promises after the war, following which the Indian Independence movement gained strength. 74,187 Indian troops were killed or missing in action in the war.[7]
The "Indianisation" of the British Indian Army began with the formation of the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College at Dehradun in March 1912 with the purpose of providing education to the scions of aristocratic and well to do Indian families and to prepare selected Indian boys for admission into the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Indian officers given a King's commission after passing out were posted to one of the eight units selected for Indianisation. Political pressure due to the slow pace of Indianisation, just 69 officers being commissioned between 1918 and 1932, led to the formation of the Indian Military Academy in 1932 and greater numbers of officers of Indian origin being commissioned.[8]

Second World War

In World War II Indian soldiers fought for the Allies. In 1939, British officials had no plan for expansion and training of Indian forces, which comprised about 130,000 men. (In addition there were 44,000 men in British units in India in 1939.) Their mission was internal security and defense against a possible Russian threat through Afghanistan. As the war progressed, the size and role of the Indian Army expanded dramatically, and troops were sent to battle fronts as soon as possible. The most serious problem was lack of equipment.[9]
Indian units served in Burma, where in 1944-45 five Indian divisions were engaged along with one British and three African divisions. Even larger numbers operated in the Middle East. Some 87,000 Indian soldiers died in the war. On the opposing side, an Indian National Army was formed under Japanese control, but had little effect on the war.[10]


Upon independence and the subsequent Partition of India in 1947, four of the ten Gurkha regiments were transferred to the British Army. The rest of the British Indian Army was divided between the newly created nations of Republic of India and Republic of Pakistan. The Punjab Boundary Force, which had been formed to help police the Punjab during the partition period, was disbanded,[11] and Headquarters Delhi and East Punjab Command was formed to administer the area.

Conflicts and Operations

First Kashmir War (1947)

Immediately after independence, tensions between India and Pakistan began to boil over, and the first of three full-scale wars between the two nations broke out over the then princely state of Kashmir. Upon the Maharaja of Kashmir's eagerness to accede to India against the will of the 95% Muslim population of Kashmir, a 'tribal' invasion of parts of Kashmir began with mostly people from the NWFP region helping out the local Kashmiri population.[12] The men included Pakistan army regulars. Soon after, Pakistan sent in more of its troops to prevent Indian annexation by force. The Maharaja, Hari Singh, appealed to India, and to Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the Governor General, for help. He signed the Instrument of Accession which was largely seen as a deal by the Kashmiri population and Kashmir acceded to India (a decision ratified by Britain). Immediately after, Indian troops were airlifted to Srinagar.[12] This contingent included General Thimayya who distinguished himself in the operation and in years that followed, became a Chief of the Indian Army. An intense war was waged across the state and former comrades found themselves fighting each other. Both sides made some territorial gains and also suffered significant losses.
An uneasy UN sponsored peace returned by the end of 1948 with Indian and Pakistani soldiers facing each other directly on the Line of Control, which has since divided Indian-held Kashmir from Pakistan-held Kashmir. A host of UN Resolutions(38-47) were passed calling for a plebiscite to be held in Kashmir to determine accession to India or Pakistan. These Resolutions however were never accepted by India. Tensions between India and Pakistan, largely over Kashmir, have never since been entirely eliminated.

Inclusion of Hyderabad (1948)

Major General El Edroos (at right) offers his surrender of the Hyderabad State Forces to Major General (later General and Army Chief) Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri at Secunderabad
After the partition of India, the State of Hyderabad, a princely-state under the rule of a Nizam, chose to remain independent. The Nizam, refused to accede his state to the Union of India. The following stand-off between the Government of India and the Nizam ended on 12 September 1948 when India's then deputy-Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ordered Indian troops to secure the state. With 5 days of low-intensity fighting, the Indian Army, backed by a squadron of Hawker Tempest aircraft of the Indian Air Force, routed the Hyderabad State forces. Five infantry battalions and one armoured squadron of the Indian Army were engaged in the operation. The following day, the State of Hyderabad was proclaimed as a part of the Union of India. Major General Joyanto Nath Chaudhuri, who led the Operation Polo was appointed the Military Governor of Hyderabad (1948–1949) to restore law and order.

Liberation of Goa, Daman and Diu (1961)

Indian troops are greeted by crowds of Goans as they march through the streets of Panaji, shortly after the Portuguese retreat.
Even though the British and French vacated all their colonial possessions in the Indian subcontinent, Portugal refused to relinquish control of its Indian colonies of Goa, Daman and Diu. After repeated attempts by India to negotiate with Portugal for the return of its territory were spurned by Portuguese prime minister and dictator, Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, India launched Operation Vijay on 12 December 1961 to evict the Portuguese. A small contingent of its troops entered Goa, Daman and Diu to liberate and secure the territory. After a brief conflict, in which 31 Portuguese soldiers were killed, the Portuguese Navy frigate NRP Afonso de Albuquerque destroyed, and over 3,000 Portuguese captured, Portuguese General Manuel António Vassalo e Silva surrendered to the Indian Army, after twenty-six hours and Goa, Daman and Diu joined the Indian Union.

Sino-Indian Conflict (1962)

The cause of the war was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely-separated Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh border regions. Aksai Chin, claimed by India to belong to Kashmir and by China to be part of Xinjiang, contains an important road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. China's construction of this road was one of the triggers of the conflict.
Small-scale clashes between the Indian and Chinese forces broke out as India insisted on the disputed McMahon Line being regarded as the international border between the two countries. Chinese troops claim to have not retaliated to the cross-border firing by Indian troops, despite sustaining losses.[13] China's suspicion of India's involvement in Tibet created more rifts between the two countries.[14]
In 1962, the Indian Army was ordered to move to the Thag La ridge located near the border between Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh and about three miles (5 km) north of the disputed McMahon Line. Meanwhile, Chinese troops too had made incursions into Indian-held territory and tensions between the two reached a new high when Indian forces discovered a road constructed by China in Aksai Chin. After a series of failed negotiations, the People's Liberation Army attacked Indian Army positions at the Thag La ridge. This move by China caught India by surprise and by 12 October, Nehru gave orders for the Chinese to be expelled from Aksai Chin. However, poor coordination among various divisions of the Indian Army and the late decision to mobilize the Indian Air Force in vast numbers gave China a crucial tactical and strategic advantage over India. On 20 October, Chinese soldiers attacked India in both the North-West and North-Eastern parts of the border and captured vast portions of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh.
As the fighting moved beyond disputed territories, China called on the Indian government to negotiate, however India remained determined to regain lost territory. With no peaceful agreement in sight, China unilaterally withdrew its forces from Arunachal Pradesh. The reasons for the withdrawal are disputed with India claiming various logistical problems for China and diplomatic support to it from the United States, while China stated that it still held territory that it had staked diplomatic claim upon. The dividing line between the Indian and Chinese forces was named the Line of Actual Control.
The poor decisions made by India's military commanders, and, indeed, its political leadership, raised several questions. The Henderson-Brooks & Bhagat committee was soon set up by the Government of India to determine the causes of the poor performance of the Indian Army. The report of China even after hostilities began and also criticized the decision to not allow the Indian Air Force to target Chinese transport lines out of fear of Chinese aerial counter-attack on Indian civilian areas. Much of the blame was also targeted at the incompetence of then Defence Minister, Krishna Menon who resigned from his post soon after the war ended. Despite frequent calls for its release, the Henderson-Brooks report still remains classified.[15] Neville Maxwell has written an account of the war.[16]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

Tanks of 18th Cavalry of the Indian Army take charge at Pakistani positions during the 1965 war.
A second confrontation with Pakistan took place in 1965, largely over Kashmir. Pakistani President Ayub Khan launched Operation Gibraltar in August 1965, during which several Pakistani paramilitary troops infiltrated into Indian-administered Kashmir and attempt to ignite an anti-India agitation in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistani leaders believed that India, which was still recovering from the disastrous Sino-Indian War, would be unable to deal with a military thrust and a Kashmiri rebellion. India reacted swiftly and launched a counter offensive on Pakistan. Pakistan launched Operation Grand Slam in reply on 1 September, invading India's Chamb-Jaurian sector. In retaliation, the India's Army launched a major offensive throughout its border with Pakistan, with Lahore as its prime target.
Initially, the Indian Army met with considerable success in the northern sector. After launching prolonged artillery barrages against Pakistan, India was able to capture three important mountain positions in Kashmir. By 9 September, the Indian Army had made considerable in-roads into Pakistan. India had its largest haul of Pakistani tanks when the offensive of Pakistan's 1st Armoured Division was blunted at the Battle of Asal Uttar, which took place on 10 September near Khemkaran.[17] The biggest tank battle of the war came in the form of the Battle of Chawinda, the largest tank battle in history after World War II. Pakistan's defeat at the battle of Assal Uttar hastened the end of the conflict.[17]
At the time of ceasefire declaration, India reported casualties of about 3,500 killed. On the other hand, it was estimated that about 3,800 Pakistani soldiers were killed in the battle.[18][19][20] About 190 Pakistani tanks were either destroyed or captured by India. India lost a total of 175 tanks during the conflict and about 100 more had to undergo repair.[17][21] the decision to return back to pre-war positions, following the Tashkent Declaration, caused an outcry among the polity[who?] in New Delhi. It was widely believed that India's decision to accept the ceasefire was due to political factors, and not military, since it was facing considerable pressure from the United States and the UN to stop hostilities.[22]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1971

An independence movement broke out in East Pakistan which was brutally crushed by Pakistani forces. Due to large-scale atrocities against them, thousands of Bengalis took refuge in neighboring India causing a major refugee crisis there. In early 1971, India declared its full-support for the Bengali rebels, known as Mukti Bahini, and Indian agents were extensively involved in covert operations to aid them.
On 20 November 1971, Indian Army moved the 14 Punjab Battalion 45 Cavalry into Garibpur, a strategically important town near India's border with East Pakistan, and successfully captured it. The following day, more clashes took place between Indian and Pakistani forces. Wary of India's growing involvement in the Bengali rebellion, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) launched a preemptive strike on 10 Indian air bases at Srinagar, Jammu, Pathankot, Amritsar, Agra, Adampur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Uttarlai and Sirsa at 1745 hours on 3 December. This aerial offensive, however, failed to accomplish its stated objectives and gave India its excuse to declare a full-scale war against Pakistan the same day. By midnight, the Indian Army, accompanied by Indian Air Force, launched a major three-pronged assault into East Pakistan. The Indian Army won several battles on the eastern front including the decisive of battle of Hilli, which was the only front where the Pakistani Army was able to build up considerable resistance. The operation also included a battalion-level airborne operation on Tangail which resulted in the capitulation of all resistance within five days.[23] India's massive early gains was largely attributed to the speed and flexibility with which Indian armored divisions moved across East Pakistan.[24]
Indian Army personnel celebrate victory at the end Battle of Basantar on top of a knocked out Pakistani Patton tank.
Pakistan launched a counter-attack against India on the western front. On 4 December 1971, the A company of the 23rd Battalion of India's Punjab Regiment detected and intercepted the movement of the 51st Infantry Brigade of the Pakistani Army near Ramgarh, Rajasthan. The battle of Longewala ensued during which the A company, though being outnumbered, thwarted the Pakistani advance until the Indian Air Force directed its fighters to engage the Pakistani tanks. By the time the battle had ended, 34 Pakistani tanks and 50 armored vehicles were either destroyed or abandoned. About 200 Pakistani troops were killed in action during the battle while only 2 Indian soldiers lost their lives. Pakistan suffered another major defeat on the western front during the battle of Basantar which was fought from 4 December to 16th. By the end of the battle, about 66 Pakistani tanks were destroyed and 40 more were captured. In return, Pakistani forces were able to destroy only 11 Indian tanks. None of the numerous Pakistani offensives on the Western front materialized.[25] By 16 December, Pakistan had lost sizable territory on both eastern and western fronts.
Under the command of Lt. General J.S Arora, the three corps of the Indian Army, which had invaded East Pakistan, entered Dhaka and forced Pakistani forces to surrender on 16 December 1971, one day after the conclusion of the battle of Basantar. After Pakistan's Lt. General A.A.K. Niazi signed the Instrument of Surrender, India took more than 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war. At the time of the signing of the Instrument of Surrender, 9,000 Pakistani soldiers were killed-in-action while India suffered only 2,500 battle-related deaths.[19] In addition, Pakistan lost 200 tanks during the battle compared to India's 80.[26]
In 1972, the Simla Agreement was signed between the two countries and tensions simmered. However, there were occasional spurts in diplomatic tensions which culminated into increased military vigilance on both sides.

Siachen conflict (1984)

A memorial at the headquarters of the Dogra Regiment of the Indian Army in remembrance of members of the regiment who died or served in the Siachen Conflict
The Siachen Glacier, though a part of the Kashmir region, was not officially demarcated on maps prepared and exchanged between the two sides in 1947. As a consequence, prior to the 1980s, neither India nor Pakistan maintained any permanent military presence in the region. However, Pakistan began conducting and allowing a series of mountaineering expeditions to the glacier beginning in the 1950s. By early 1980s, the government of Pakistan was granting special expedition permits to mountaineers and United States Army maps deliberately showed Siachen as a part of Pakistan. This practice gave rise to the contemporary meaning of the term oropolitics.
India, possibly irked by these developments, launched Operation Meghdoot in April 1984. The entire Kumaon Regiment of the Indian Army was airlifted to the glacier. Pakistani forces responded quickly and clashes between the two followed. Indian Army secured the strategic Sia La and Bilafond La mountain passes and by 1985, more than 1,000 square miles (2,600 km2) of territory, 'claimed' by Pakistan, was under Indian control.[27] The Indian Army continues to control all of the Siachen Glacier and its tributary glaciers. Pakistan made several unsuccessful attempts to regain control over Siachen. In late 1987, Pakistan mobilized about 8,000 troops and garrisoned them near Khapalu, aiming to capture Bilafond La.[28] However, they were repulsed by Indian Army personnel guarding Bilafond. During the battle, about 23 Indian soldiers lost their lives while more than 150 Pakistani troops perished.[29] Further unsuccessful attempts to reclaim positions were launched by Pakistan in 1990, 1995, 1996 and 1999, most notably in Kargil that year.
India continues to maintain a strong military presence in the region despite extremely inhospitable conditions. The conflict over Siachen is regularly cited as an example of mountain warfare.[30] The highest peak in the Siachen glacier region, Saltoro Kangri, could be viewed as strategically important for India because of its immense altitude which could enable the Indian forces to monitor some Pakistani or Chinese movements in the immediate area.[31] Maintaining control over Siachen poses several logistical challenges for the Indian Army. Several infrastructure projects were constructed in the region, including a helipad 21,000 feet (6,400 m) above the sea level.[32] In 2004, Indian Army was spending an estimated US$2 million a day to support its personnel stationed in the region.[33]

Counter-insurgency activities

The Indian Army has played a crucial role in the past, fighting insurgents and terrorists within the nation. The army launched Operation Bluestar and Operation Woodrose in the 1980s to combat Sikh insurgents. The army, along with some paramilitary forces, has the prime responsibility of maintaining law and order in the troubled Jammu and Kashmir region. The Indian Army also sent a contingent to Sri Lanka in 1987 as a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Force.

Kargil conflict (1999)

Map describing Kargil war.
In 1998, India carried out nuclear tests and a few days later, Pakistan responded by more nuclear tests giving both countries nuclear deterrence[disambiguation needed ] capability. Diplomatic tensions eased after the Lahore Summit was held in 1999. The sense of optimism was short-lived, however, since in mid-1999 Pakistani paramilitary forces and Kashmiri insurgents captured deserted, but strategic, Himalayan heights in the Kargil district of India. These had been vacated by the Indian army during the onset of the inhospitable winter and were supposed to reoccupied in spring. The regular Pakistani troops who took control of these areas received important support, both in the form of arms and supplies, from Pakistan. Some of the heights under their control, which also included the Tiger Hill, overlooked the vital Srinagar-Leh Highway (NH 1A), Batalik and Dras.
Once the scale of the Pakistani incursion was realized, the Indian Army quickly mobilized about 200,000 troops and Operation Vijay (1999)|Operation Meghdoot]] was launched. However, since the heights were under Pakistani control, India was in a clear strategic disadvantage. From their observation posts, the Pakistani forces had a clear line-of-sight to lay down indirect artillery fire on NH 1A, inflicting heavy casualties on the Indians.[34] This was a serious problem for the Indian Army as the highway was its main logistical and supply route.[35] Thus, the Indian Army's first priority was to recapture peaks that were in the immediate vicinity of NH1a. This resulted in Indian troops first targeting the Tiger Hill and Tololing complex in Dras.[36] This was soon followed by more attacks on the Batalik-Turtok sub-sector which provided access to Siachen Glacier. Point 4590, which had the nearest view of the NH1a, was successfully recaptured by Indian forces on 14 June.[37]
Memorial of Operation Vijay.
Though most of the posts in the vicinity of the highway were cleared by mid-June, some parts of the highway near Drass witnessed sporadic shelling until the end of the war. Once NH1a area was cleared, the Indian Army turned to driving the invading force back across the Line of Control. The Battle of Tololing, among other assaults, slowly tilted the combat in India's favor. Nevertheless, some of the posts put up a stiff resistance, including Tiger Hill (Point 5140) that fell only later in the war. As the operation was fully underway, about 250 artillery guns were brought in to clear the infiltrators in the posts that were in the line-of-sight. In many vital points, neither artillery nor air power could dislodge the outposts manned by the Pakistan soldiers, who were out of visible range. The Indian Army mounted some direct frontal ground assaults which were slow and took a heavy toll given the steep ascent that had to be made on peaks as high as 18,000 feet (5,500 m). Two months into the conflict, Indian troops had slowly retaken most of the ridges they had lost;[38][39] according to official count, an estimated 75%–80% of the intruded area and nearly all high ground was back under Indian control.
Following the Washington accord on 4 July, where Sharif agreed to withdraw Pakistani troops, most of the fighting came to a gradual halt, but some Pakistani forces remained in positions on the Indian side of the LOC. In addition, the United Jihad Council (an umbrella for all extremist groups) rejected Pakistan's plan for a climb-down, instead deciding to fight on.[40] The Indian Army launched its final attacks in the last week of July; as soon as the Drass subsector had been cleared of Pakistani forces, the fighting ceased on 26 July. The day has since been marked as Kargil Vijay Diwas (Kargil Victory Day) in India. By the end of the war, India had resumed control of all territory south and east of the Line of Control, as was established in July 1972 per the Shimla Accord. By the time all hostilities had ended, the number of Indian soldiers killed during the conflict stood at 527.[41] while more than 700 regular members of the Pakistani army were killed.[42] The number of Islamist fighters, also known as Mujahideen, killed by Indian Armed Forces during the conflict stood at about 3,000.[43]

United Nations Peacekeeping Missions

Indian Army soldiers arrive in Korea in September 1953 for peacekeeping along the neutral buffer zone
The Indian Army has undertaken numerous UN peacekeeping missions:[44]
Indian Army's T-72 with UN markings at the Belgian compound in Kismayo, Somalia, in support of Operation Continue Hope as a part of UNOSOM.
The Indian army also provided paramedical units to facilitate the withdrawal of the sick and wounded in the Korean War.

Major exercises

Indian Army T-90 tanks take part during an exercise in the Thar Desert.

Operation Brasstacks

Operation Brasstacks was launched by the Indian Army in November 1986 to simulate a full-scale war on the western border. The exercise was the largest ever conducted in India and comprised nine infantry, three mechanised, three armoured and one air assault division, and included three armoured brigades. Amphibious assault exercises were also conducted with the Indian Navy. Brasstacks also allegedly incorporated nuclear attack drills. It led to tensions with Pakistan and a subsequent rapprochement in mid-1987.[45][46]

Operation Parakram

After the 13 December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, Operation Parakram was launched in which tens of thousands of Indian troops were deployed along the Indo-Pakistan border. India blamed Pakistan for backing the attack. The operation was the largest military exercise carried out by any Asian country. Its prime objective is still unclear but appears to have been to prepare the army for any future nuclear conflict with Pakistan, which seemed increasingly possible after the December attack on the Indian parliament.[citation needed]

Operation Sanghe Shakti

It has since been stated that the main goal of this exercise was to validate the mobilisation strategies of the Ambala-based II Strike Corps. Air support was a part of this exercise, and an entire battalion of paratroops parachuted in during the conduction of the war games, with allied equipment. Some 20,000 soldiers took part in the exercise.[citation needed]

Exercise Ashwamedha

Indian Army tested its network centric warfare capabilities in the exercise Ashwamedha. The exercise was held in the Thar desert, in which over 300,000 troops participated.[47] Asymmetric warfare capability was also tested by the Indian Army during the exercise.[48]


Indian Army Structure (click to enlarge)
Recently its has been proposed to enhanse the strength of army by more than 90,000 to counter the increasing presence of Chinese troops along the LAC.Initially, the army's main objective was to defend the nation's frontiers. However, over the years, the army has also taken up the responsibility of providing internal security, especially in insurgent-hit Kashmir and north-east.
The army has a strength of about a million troops and fields 34 divisions. Its headquarters is located in the Indian capital New Delhi and it is under the overall command of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), currently General V K Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, ADC


The army operates 6 operational commands . Each command is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. Each command is directly affiliated to the Army HQ in New Delhi. These commands are given below in their correct order of raising, location (city) and their commanders. There is also the Army Training Commanded abbreviated as ARTRAC. The staff in each Command HQ is headed by Chief Of Staff (COS) who is also an officer of Lieutenant General rank.[citation needed] Besides these army officers may head tri-service commands such as the Strategic Forces command and the Andaman and Nicobar Command.


A corps is an army field formation responsible for a zone within a command theatre. There are three types of corps in the Indian Army: Strike, Holding and Mixed. A command generally consists of two or more corps. A corps has Army divisions under its command. The Corps HQ is the highest field formation in the army.
The Arjun MBT is entering service with 140 Armoured Brigade in Jaisalmer.
Indian Army HQ.jpg Headquarters, Indian Army, New Delhi

Regimental organisation

In addition to this (not to be confused with the Field Corps mentioned above) are the Regiments or Corps or departments of the Indian Army. The corps mentioned below are the functional divisions entrusted with specific pan-Army tasks.
  1. Indian Infantry Regiments
  2. Armoured Corps Regiments - The Armoured Corps Centre and School is at Ahmednagar.
  3. Regiment of Artillery - The School of Artillery is at Devlali near Nasik.
  4. Corps of Signals - Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE), Mhow is a premiere training institute of the Corps of Signals.
  5. Corps of Engineers - The College of Military Engineering is at Dapodi, Pune. The Centers are located as follows - Madras Engineer Group at Bangalore, Bengal Engineer Group at Roorkee and Bombay Engineer Group at Khadki, Pune.
  6. Corps of Army Air Defence-Center at Gopalpur in Orissa State.
  7. Mechanised Infantry - Regimental Center at Ahmednagar.
  8. Army Aviation Corps(India)
The Indian Territorial Army has units from a number of corps which serve as a part-time reserve.
  1. Army Dental Corps
  2. Army Education Corps - Centered at Pachmarhi.
  3. Army Medical Corps - Centered at Lucknow.
  4. Army Ordnance Corps - Centered at Jabalpur and Secunderabad (HQ).
  5. Army Postal Service Corps - Centered at Kamptee near Nagpur.
  6. Army Service Corps - Centered at Bangalore and Gaya
  7. Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers - Centered at Bhopal and Secunderabad.
  8. Corps of Military Police Indian Corps of Military Police - Centered at Bangalore
  9. Intelligence Corps - Centered at Pune.
  10. Judge Advocate General's Dept. - Centered at the Institute of Military Law kamptee, Nagpur.
  11. Military Farms Service - Centered at the Military Farms School and Center, Meerut Cantt.
  12. Military Nursing Service
  13. Remount and Veterinary Corps
  14. Pioneer Corps

Other field formations

A section of the Indian Army soldier during a reconnaissance mission training exercise in Alaska.
  • Division: An Army Division is an intermediate between a Corps and a Brigade. It is the largest striking force in the army. Each Division is headed by [General Officer Commanding] (GOC) in the rank of Major General. It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8,000 support elements. Currently, the Indian Army has 37[50] Divisions including 4 RAPID (Re-organised Army Plains Infantry Divisions) Action Divisions, 18 Infantry Divisions, 10 Mountain Divisions, 3 Armoured Divisions and 2 Artillery Divisions. Each Division composes of several Brigades.
  • Brigade: A Brigade generally consists of around 3,000 combat troops with supporting elements. An Infantry Brigade usually has 3 Infantry Battalions along with various Support Arms & Services. It is headed by a Brigadier, equivalent to a Brigadier General in some armies. In addition to the Brigades in various Army Divisions, the Indian Army also has 5 Independent Armoured Brigades, 15 Independent Artillery Brigades, 7 Independent Infantry Brigades, 1 Independent Parachute Brigade,3 Independent Air Defence Brigades, 2 Independent Air Defence Groups and 4 Independent Engineer Brigades. These Independent Brigades operate directly under the Corps Commander (GOC Corps).
  • Battalion: A Battalion is commanded by a Colonel and is the Infantry's main fighting unit. It consists of more than 900 combat personnel.
  • Company: Headed by the Major, a Company comprises 120 soldiers.
  • Platoon: An intermediate between a Company and Section, a Platoon is headed by a Lieutenant or depending on the availability of Commissioned Officers, a Junior Commissioned Officer, with the rank of Subedar or Naib-Subedar. It has a total strength of about 32 troops.
  • Section: Smallest military outfit with a strength of 10 personnel. Commanded by a Non-commissioned officer of the rank of Havildar Major or Sergeant Major.


Soldiers of the Rajput Regiment.
Soldiers of the Garhwal Rifles.
Soldiers of the Sikh Light Infantry.
Soldiers of the Madras Regiment.
Soldiers of the Assam Regiment.

Infantry regiments

Upon its inception, the Indian Army inherited the British Army's organizational structure which is still maintained today. Therefore, like its predecessor, an Indian Infantry Regiment's responsibility is not to undertake field operations but to provide battalions and well trained personnel to the field formations, as such it is common to find battalions of the same regiment spread across several brigades, divisions, corps, commands, and even theaters.
Infantry Regiments of the Indian Army recruit based on certain selection criteria, such as geographical location (the Punjab Regiment), Assam Rifles etc. some regimental recruitment criteria are unique to India with some regiment's recruitment pool falling on ethnicity, caste or religion such as the Gorkha Regiments, Jatt Regiment and Sikh Regiment respectively. Over the years various political and military factions have tried to dissolve the unique selection criteria process of the regiments over a fear that loyalty to the regiment or its ethnic people opposed to loyalty to the union of India and have succeeded somewhat with the creation of caste-less, religion-less, non-regional regiments, such as the Brigade of Guards & Parachute Regiment, but have generally met with little success or gained popular support amongst the rank and file Jawans.
Like its British and commonwealth counterparts troops enlisted within the regiment are immensely loyal and take great pride in the regiment they are assigned too and generally spend their entire career within the regiment.
Regiments in order of seniority within the Indian Army are:

Artillery regiments

Artillery Insignia
The Regiment of Artillery constitutes a formidable operational arm of Indian Army. Historically it takes its lineage from Moghul Emperor Babur who is popularly credited with introduction of Artillery in India, in the Battle of Panipat in 1526.[citation needed] However evidence of earlier use of gun by Bahmani Kings in the Battle of Adoni in 1368 and King Mohammed Shah of Gujrat in fifteenth century have been recorded.[citation needed] Indian artillery units were disbanded after the 1857 rebellion and reformed only in 1935 when the Regiment was established.[citation needed]

Armoured regiments

There are 97 armoured regiments in the Indian Army. These include the following historic regiments dating back to the nineteenth century or earlier: 1st Skinner's Horse, the 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse), 3rd Cavalry, 4th Hodson's Horse, 7th Light Cavalry, 8th Light Cavalry, 9th Deccan Horse, 14th Scinde Horse, 17th Poona Horse, 15th Lancers, 16th Light Cavalry, 18th Cavalry, 20th Lancers, and the Central India Horse. A substantial number of additional units designated as either "Cavalry" or "Armoured" Regiments have been raised since Independence.

Indian army staff and equipment


The mounted President's Bodyguard during a state visit by a foreign dignitary.
Indian Army statistics
Active Troops 1,100,000[55]
Reserve Troops 960,000
Indian Territorial Army 787,000**
Main battle tanks 4,117
Artillery 4,238
Ballistic missiles ~100 (Agni-I, Agni-II, Agni-III)
Ballistic missiles ~1,000 Prithvi missile series
Cruise missiles ~1,000 BrahMos
Aircraft ~1,600+
Surface-to-air missiles 100,000
** includes 387,000 1st line troops and 400,000 2nd line troops


Soldiers from the 4th Rajput Infantry Battalion of the Indian Army handling INSAS rifles during a training mission.
  • 4 RAPIDs (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Divisions)
  • 18 Infantry Divisions
  • 10 Mountain Divisions
  • 3 Armoured Divisions
  • 2 Artillery Divisions
  • 3 Air Defence Brigades and 2 Surface-to-Air Missile Groups
  • 5 Independent Armoured Brigades
  • 15 Independent Artillery Brigades
  • 7 Independent Infantry Brigades
  • 1 Airborne Brigade
  • 4 Engineer Brigades
  • 41 Army Aviation Helicopter Units


  • 93 Tank Regiments (??)
  • 32 Mechanised Infantry Battalions
  • 50 Artillery Regiments
  • 3 Parachute Battalions
  • 7 Special Forces Battalions
  • 23 Combat Helicopter Units
  • 50 Air Defence Regiments

Rank structure

The 1st Battalion of 1 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army take position outside a simulated combat town during a training exercise.
The various rank of the Indian Army are listed below in descending order:
Commissioned Officers
Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) (Active and honorary)
Soldiers of the Indian Army's Assam Regiment stand guard near the India Gate war memorial in Delhi.
Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs)
Other Personnels
  1. Only two officers have been made Field Marshal so far: Field Marshal K M Cariappa—the first Indian Commander-in-Chief (a post since abolished)—and Field Marshal S H F J Manekshaw, the Chief of Army Staff during the Army in the 1971 war with Pakistan.
  2. This has now been discontinued. Non-Commissioned Officers in the rank of Havildar are elible for Honorary JCO ranks.
  3. Given to Outstanding JCO's Rank and pay of a Lieutenant, role continues to be of a JCO.

Combat doctrine

The current combat doctrine of the Indian Army is based on effectively utilizing holding formations and strike formations. In the case of an attack, the holding formations would contain the enemy and strike formations would counter-attack to neutralize enemy forces. In the case of an Indian attack, the holding formations would pin enemy forces down whilst the strike formations attack at a point of Indian choosing. The Indian Army is large enough to devote several corps to the strike role. Currently, the army is also looking at enhancing its special forces capabilities. With the role of India increasing and the requirement for protection of India's interest in far off shores become important, the Indian Army and Indian Navy are jointly planning to set up a marine brigade.[56]


Nag missile and NAMICA (Nag Missile Carrier).
Most of the army equipment is imported, but efforts are being made to manufacture indigenous equipment. The Defence Research and Development Organisation has developed a range of weapons for the Indian Army ranging from small arms, artillery, radars and the Arjun tank. All Indian Military small-arms are manufactured under the umbrella administration of the Ordnance Factory Board, with principal Firearm manufacturing facilities in Ichhapore, Cossipore, Kanpur, Jabalpur and Tiruchirapalli. The Indian National Small Arms System (INSAS) rifle, which is successfully inducted by Indian Army since 1997 is a product of the Ishapore Rifle Factory, while ammunition is manufactured at Khadki and possibly at Bolangir.


This is a list of aircraft of the Indian Army. For the list of aircraft of the Indian Air Force, see List of aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Army operates more than 200 helicopters, plus additional unmanned aerial vehicles. The Army Aviation Corps is the main body of the Indian Army for tactical air transport, reconnaissance, and medical evacuation, while Indian Air Force's helicopter assets are resonsible for assisting the army troop transport and close air support.
Aircraft Origin Type Versions In service[57][58] Notes
HAL Dhruv  India utility helicopter HAL Dhruv 40+
Aérospatiale SA 316 Alouette III  France utility helicopter SA 316B Chetak 100+ to be replaced by new LUH, competition to start soon.
Aérospatiale SA 315 Lama  France utility helicopter SA 315B Cheetah 50+ to be replaced by new LUH, competition to start soon.
DRDO Nishant  India reconnaissance UAV

12 on order
IAI Searcher II  Israel reconnaissance UAV
IAI Heron II  Israel reconnaissance UAV
The Indian army had projected a requirement for a helicopter that can carry loads of up to 75 kg heights of 23,000 feet (7,000 m) on the Siachen Glacier in Jammu and Kashmir. Flying at these heights poses unique challenges due to the rarefied atmosphere. The Indian Army chose the Eurocopter AS 550 for a $550 million contract for 197 light helicopters to replace its aging fleet of Chetaks and Cheetahs, some of which were inducted more than three decades ago.[59] The deal has however been scrapped amidst allegations of corruption during the bidding process.[60]


The Indian Army camouflage consists of shirts, trousers and cap of a synthetic material. Shirts are buttoned up with two chest pockets with buttoned up flaps. Trousers have two pockets, two thigh box pockets and a back pocket. The Indian Army Jungle camouflage dress features a jungle camouflage pattern and is designed for use in woodland environments. The Indian Army Desert camouflage, which features a desert camouflage pattern, is used by artillery and infantry posted in dusty, semi-desert and desert areas of Rajasthan and its vicinity.
The forces of the East India Company in India were forced by casualties to dye their white summer tunics to neutral tones, initially a tan called khaki (from the Hindi-Urdu word for "dusty"). This was a temporary measure which became standard in Indian service in the 1880s. Only during the Second Boer War in 1902, did the entire British Army standardise on dun for Service Dress. Indian Army uniform standardizes on dun for khaki.
The modern Indian Army wears distinctive parade uniforms characterised by variegated turbans and waist-sashes in regimental colours. The Gurkha and Garwhal Rifles and the Assam, Kumaon and the Naga Regiments wear broad brimmed hats of traditional style. Traditionally, all Rifle regiments and the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, Garhwal Rifles, Gurkha Rifles, and Rajputana Rifles) wear rank badges, buttons and blackened wire embroidered articles of uniform in black instead of the usual Brass (or gold) coloured as the original role of the rifle regiments was camouflage and concealment.

Recipients of the Param Vir Chakra

Listed below are the most notable people to have received the Param Vir Chakra, the highest military decoration of the Indian Army.
Major Somnath Sharma 4th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment 3 November 1947 Battle of Badgam, Kashmir, India
2 Lieutenant Rama Raghoba Rane Corps of Engineers 8 April 1948 Battle of Naushera, Kashmir, India
Naik Jadu Nath Singh 1st Battalion, Rajput Regiment February 1948 Battle of Naushera, Kashmir, India
Company Havildar Major Piru Singh 6th Battalion, Rajputana Rifles 17/18 July 1948 Tithwal, Kashmir, India
Lance Naik Karam Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment 13 October 1948 Tithwal, Kashmir, India
Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria 3rd Battalion, 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment) 5 December 1961 Elizabethville, Katanga, Congo
Major Dhan Singh Thapa 1st Battalion, 8th Gorkha Rifles 20 October 1962 Ladakh, India
Subedar Joginder Singh 1st Battalion, Sikh Regiment 23 October 1962 Tongpen La, Northeast Frontier Agency, India
Major Shaitan Singh 13th Battalion, Kumaon Regiment 18 November 1962 Rezang La
Company Quarter Master Havildar Abdul Hamid 4th Battalion, The Grenadiers 10 September 1965 Chima, Khem Karan Sector
Lt Col Ardeshir Burzorji Tarapore 17th Poona Horse 15 October 1965 Phillora, Sialkot Sector, Pakistan
Lance Naik Albert Ekka 14th Battalion, Brigade of the Guards 3 December 1971 Gangasagar
2/Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal 17th Poona Horse 16 December 1971 Jarpal, Shakargarh Sector
Major Hoshiar Singh 3rd Battalion, The Grenadiers 17 December 1971 Basantar River, Shakargarh Sector
Naib Subedar Bana Singh 8th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry 23 June 1987 Siachen Glacier, Jammu and Kashmir
Major Ramaswamy Parmeshwaran 8th Battalion, Mahar Regiment 25 November 1987 Sri Lanka
Captain Vikram Batra 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 6 July 1999 Point 5140, Point 4875, Kargil Area
Lieutenant Manoj Kumar Pandey 1st Battalion, 11th Gorkha Rifles 3 July 1999 Khaluber/Juber Top, Batalik sector, Kargil area, Jammu and Kashmir
Grenadier Yogendra Singh Yadav 18th Battalion, The Grenadiers 4 July 1999 Tiger Hill, Kargil area
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar 13th Battalion, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles 5 July 1999 Area Flat Top, Kargil Area

Future developments

The TATA Group's contribution to F-INSAS
  • Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) is the Indian Army's principal modernization program from 2012 to 2020. In the first phase, to be completed by 2012, the infantry soldiers will be equipped with modular weapon systems that will have multi-functions. The Indian Army intends to modernize all of its 465 infantry and paramilitary battalions by 2020 with this program.
  • India is currently re-organising its mechanised forces to achieve strategic mobility and high-volume firepower for rapid thrusts into enemy territory. India proposes to progressively induct as many as 248 Arjun MBT and develop and induct the Arjun MKII variant, 1,657 Russian-origin T-90S main-battle tanks (MBTs), apart from the ongoing upgrade of its T-72 fleet. The Army recently placed an order for 4,100 French-origin Milan-2T anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). Defence ministry sources said the Rs 592-crore (approximately US$120 million) order was cleared after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, with the government finally fast-tracking several military procurement plans.[61]
  • The Army gained the Cabinet Committee on Security's approval to raise two new infantry mountain divisions (with around 15,000 combat soldiers each),[62] and an artillery brigade in 2008. These divisions were likely to be armed with ultralight howitzers. In July 2009, it was reported that the Army was advocating a new artillery division, said defence ministry sources.[63] The proposed artillery division, under the Kolkata-based Eastern Command, was to have three brigades—two of 155mm howitzers and one of the Russian "Smerch" and indigenous "Pinaka" multiple-launch rocket systems.
Tanks and armored vehicles
  • T-90 bhishma - India plans to induct Total 1657 tanks by 2020. 620 already in service.
  • Arjun MBT - 248 On order - 124 inducted.
  • Arjun MBT mk 2 - Trials started 2011. Production By 2014.
  • FMBT - The FMBT will be a lighter tank of 50 tons. At conceptual stage.
  • Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
  • Cruise Missiles
  • Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Program - The Indian Ballistic Missile Defense Program is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered ballistic missile defense system to protect India from ballistic missile attacks.
  • Mahindra Axe - Light utility vehicle to be purchased.
  • Kroton - Possible sale of 80 mine laying vehicles from Poland.
  • Light Tank - 300 tanks (200 tracked 100 wheeled) to be deployed on china border.
  • AHS Krab - Possible sale of 110 from Poland. deal along with kroton .
  • PZA Loara - Possible sale of 100 from Poland. deal along with Kroton.
  • Under the Field Artillery Rationalization Plan, Indian Army plans to procure 3000 to 4000
155 mm Towed, Wheeled and Tracked Artillery Systems. The requirement for artillery guns to be met with indigenous development and production.
  • M777 howitzer - 145 British designed howitzers were planned to be acquired.
  • Modern Sub Machine Carbine - The Modern Sub Machine Carbine (MSMC) is the latest combined venture of ARDE & OFB, developed for the Indian Army on a platform of experiences from the INSAS rifle.
Army Aviation
  • Procurement process for 197 light utility helicopters (LUH) is ongoing of which 64 will be inducted in the Army Aviation to replace the Cheetak and Cheetah Helicopters.
  • HAL Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) or Light Utility helicopter (LUH) - Requirement for 384 helicopters including for army and air force.
  • HAL has obtained a firm order to deliver 114 HAL Light Combat Helicopters to the Indian Army.[66]
  • Rustom-1 UAV[67]

See also


  1. ^ a b "General V K Singh takes over as new Indian Army chief". The Times of India. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b "India's Armed Forces, CSIS (Page 24)" (PDF). 25 July 2006.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Page, Jeremy. "Comic starts adventure to find war heroes". The Times (9 February 2008).
  5. ^ Headquarters Army Training Command. "Indian Army Doctrine". October 2004. Archive link via (original url:
  6. ^ "About The Ministry". Ministry of Defence, Government of India. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  7. ^ Urlanis, Boris (1971). Wars and Population. Moscow. p. 85.
  8. ^ Khanduri, Chandra B. (2006). Thimayya: an amazing life. New Delhi: Knowledge World. p. 394. ISBN 9788187966364. Retrieved 30 Jul 2010.
  9. ^ Kaushik Roy, "Expansion And Deployment of the Indian Army during World War II: 1939-45,"Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research, Autumn 2010, Vol. 88 Issue 355, pp 248-268
  10. ^ Peter W. Fay, The Forgotten Army, India's Armed Struggle for Independence 1942-1945 (1996)
  11. ^ For the Punjab Boundary Force, see Daniel P. Marston, 'The Indian Army, Partition, and the Punjab Boundary Force, 1945-47,' War In History November 2009, vol. 16 no. 4 469-505
  12. ^ a b Indo-Pakistani War, 1947-1949. ACIG. 29 October 2003.
  13. ^ Bruce Bueno de Mesquita & David Lalman. War and Reason: Domestic and International Imperatives. Yale University Press (1994), p. 201. ISBN 978-0-300-05922-9.
  14. ^ Alastair I. Johnston & Robert S. Ross. New Directions in the Study of China's Foreign Policy. Stanford University Press (2006), p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8047-5363-0.
  15. ^ Claude Arpi. India and her neighbourhood: a French observer's views. Har-Anand Publications (2005), p. 186. ISBN 978-81-241-1097-3.
  16. ^ CenturyChina,
  17. ^ a b c R.D. Pradhan & Yashwantrao Balwantrao Chavan (2007). 1965 War, the Inside Story: Defence Minister Y.B. Chavan's Diary of India-Pakistan War.. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. pp. 47. ISBN 978-81-269-0762-5.
  18. ^ Sumit Ganguly. "Pakistan". In India: A Country Study (James Heitzman and Robert L. Worden, editors). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (September 1995).
  19. ^ a b "Indo-Pakistan Wars". Microsoft Encarta 2008. Archived 2009-10-31.
  20. ^ Thomas M. Leonard. Encyclopedia of the developing world, Volume 2. Taylor & Francis, 2006. ISBN 0415976634, 9780415976633.
  21. ^ Spencer Tucker. Tanks: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. ABC-CLIO (2004), p. 172. ISBN 978-1-57607-995-9.
  22. ^ Sumit Ganguly. Conflict unending: India-Pakistan tensions since 1947. Columbia University Press (2002), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-231-12369-3.
  23. ^ Owen Bennett Jones. Pakistan: Eye of the Storm. Yale University Press (2003), p. 177. ISBN 978-0-300-10147-8.
  24. ^ Eric H. Arnett. Military capacity and the risk of war: China, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Oxford University Press (1997), p. 134. ISBN 978-0-19-829281-4.
  25. ^ S. Paul Kapur. Dangerous deterrent: nuclear weapons proliferation and conflict in South Asia. Stanford University Press (2007), p. 17. ISBN 978-0-8047-5550-4.
  26. ^ Encyclopedia of the Developing World, p. 806.
  27. ^ Edward W. Desmond. "The Himalayas War at the Top Of the World". Time (31 July 1989).
  28. ^ Vivek Chadha. Low Intensity Conflicts in India: An Analysis. SAGE (2005), p. 105. ISBN 978-0-7619-3325-0.
  29. ^ Pradeep Barua. The State at War in South Asia. University of Nebraska Press (2005), p. 256. ISBN 978-0-8032-1344-9.
  30. ^ Tim McGirk with Aravind Adiga. "War at the Top of the World". Time (4 May 2005).
  31. ^ Sanjay Dutt. War and Peace in Kargil Sector. APH Publishing (2000), p. 389-90. ISBN 978-81-7648-151-9.
  32. ^ Nick Easen. Siachen: The world's highest cold war. CNN (17 September 2003).
  33. ^ Arun Bhattacharjee. "On Kashmir, hot air and trial balloons". Asia Times (23 September 2004).
  34. ^ Indian general praises Pakistani valour at Kargil 5 May 2003 Daily Times, Pakistan
  35. ^ Kashmir in the Shadow of War By Robert Wirsing Published by M.E. Sharpe, 2003 ISBN 0-7656-1090-6 pp36
  36. ^ Managing Armed Conflicts in the 21st Century By Adekeye Adebajo, Chandra Lekha Sriram Published by Routledge pp192,193
  37. ^ The State at War in South Asia By Pradeep Barua Published by U of Nebraska Press Page 261
  38. ^ Bitter Chill of Winter - Tariq Ali, London Review of Books
  39. ^ Colonel Ravi Nanda (1999). Kargil : A Wake Up Call. Vedams Books. ISBN 81-7095-074-0. Online summary of the Book
  40. ^ Alastair Lawson. "Pakistan and the Kashmir militants". BBC News (5 July 1999).
  41. ^ A.K. Chakraborty. "Kargil War brings into sharp focus India's commitment to peace". Government of India Press Information Bureau (July 2000).
  42. ^ Michael Edward Brown. Offense, defence, and war. MIT Press (2004), p. 393.
  43. ^ "Ill-conceived planning by Musharraf led to second major military defeat in Kargil: PML-N". PakTribune (6 August 2006).
  44. ^ "Past peacekeeping operations". United Nations Peacekeeping. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  45. ^ John Pike. "Brass Tacks". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  46. ^ John Cherian (2001-06-08). "An exercise in anticipation". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  47. ^ Indian Army tests network centric warfare capability in Ashwamedh war games
  48. ^ 'Ashwamedha' reinforces importance of foot soldiers
  49. ^, 40 Artillery Division, accessed Jul 2010
  50. ^ John Pike. "Indian Army Divisions". Retrieved 2011-03-31.
  51. ^ Army plans to raise Arunachal and Sikkim Scouts for China border
  52. ^
  53. ^
  54. ^
  55. ^ The Military Balance in Asia, 1990-2011
  56. ^ Army and navy plan to set up a marine brigade
  57. ^ Indian military aviation OrBat
  58. ^ "Land Forces Site - Army Strength". Bharat-Rakshak.
  59. ^ Eurocopter wins big Indian Army deal
  60. ^
  61. ^ "Indian Army to Purchase 4100 Milan 2T Anti Tank Guided Missiles in USD 120 million Deal". India Defence, 26 January 2009. Accessed 4 January 2010.
  62. ^ Pandit, Rajat. "Army to raise 2 mountain units to counter Pak, China". The Times of India, 7 February 2008. Accessed 4 January 2010.
  63. ^ Rajat Pandit, Eye on China, is India adding muscle on East? 2 July 2009 0325hrs
  64. ^ 155-mm gun contract: DRDO enters the fray
  65. ^ Prahaar Missile to be test-fired on Sunday
  66. ^ Shenoy, Ramnath. "India to test fly light combat helicopters shortly". Press Trust of India, 14 December 2009. Accessed 4 January 2010.
  67. ^ Rustom-1 will hit production

External links

Indian Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indian Air Force
Ensign of the Indian Air Force

Ensign of the Indian Air Force
Active 8 October 1932 – present
Country India
Size 170,000 active personnel
aprox. 1,330 aircraft
Part of Ministry of Defence
Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters New Delhi, India
Motto नभःस्पृशं दीप्तम्
Sanskrit: Nabhaḥ-Spṛśaṃ Dīptam
"Touch the Sky with Glory"[1]
Colour Navy blue, Sky blue & White
Anniversaries Air Force Day: 8th October[2]
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne
Crest Crest of the Indian Air Force
Roundel Roundel
Fin flash The IAF Fin Flash
Aircraft flown
Attack Jaguar, MiG-27, Harpy
Fighter MiG-21, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, Su-30MKI, HAL Tejas
Helicopter Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-26, Mi-25/35
Reconnaissance Searcher II, Heron
Trainer HPT-32 Deepak, HJT-16 Kiran, Hawk Mk 132
Transport Il-76, An-32, HS 748, Do 228, Boeing 737, ERJ 135, Il-78 MKI, C-130J
The Indian Air Force (IAF; Devanāgarī: भारतीय वायु सेना, Bhartiya Vāyu Senā) is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the Indian Empire and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950.
Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay - the invasion of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the IAF. The Chief of Air Staff, an Air Chief Marshal (ACM), is a four-star commander and commands the Air Force. There is never more than one serving ACM at any given time in the IAF. One officer Arjan Singh, DFC has been conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force, a five-star rank and the officer serves as the ceremonial chief.
With a strength of approximately 170,000 personnel and around 1,330 aircraft.The Indian Air Force is the world's fourth largest air force.[3] In recent years, the IAF has undertaken an ambitious expansion and modernisation program to replace its aging Soviet-era fighter jets.



[edit] Mission

Evolution of the IAF Roundel over the years:
1)1933-1942 2)1942-1945
3)1947-1950 4)1950-Present[4]
The IAF's mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, Constitution of India and the Air Force Act of 1950,[5] in the aerial battlespace, as:
Defence of India and every part thereof including preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilisation.

Thus, the IAF has the primary objective of safeguarding Indian territory and national interests from all threats in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces by defending Indian airspace. The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops in the battlefield and also provides strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. The IAF also operates the Integrated Space Cell together with the other two branches of the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to utilize more effectively the country's space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.[6][7]
The Indian Air Force along with the other branches of the Indian Armed Forces provide assistance in disaster relief such as during natural calamities by undertaking evacuation or search-and-rescue (SAR) operations and air dropping relief supplies in affected areas.[8] The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998 and the Tsunami in 2004.[8] The IAF also provides assistance to other countries during relief activities such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.[8]

[edit] History

[edit] Formation and World War II

A Westland Wapiti, one of the first aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
The Indian Air Force was established in British India as an auxiliary air force[9] of the Royal Air Force with the enactment of the Indian Air Force Act 1932 on 8 October that year[10][11] and adopted the Royal Air Force uniforms, badges, brevets and insignia.[12] On 1 April 1933, the IAF commissioned its first squadron, No.1 Squadron, with four Westland Wapiti biplanes and five Indian pilots. The Indian pilots were led by Flight Lieutenant (later Air Vice Marshal) Cecil Bouchier.[13] Until 1941, No. 1 Squadron remained the only squadron of the IAF, though two more flights were added.[13] There were only two branches in the Air Force when it was formed, namely the Ground Duty (GD) branch and the Logistics branch.
During World War II, the red center was removed from the IAF roundel to eliminate confusion with the Japanese Hinomaru ("Rising Sun") emblem.[12] The Air Force grew to seven squadrons in 1943 and to nine squadrons in 1945, equipping with Vultee Vengeance dive bombers and Hurricanes, along with a transport unit with the surviving A.W. 15 Atalantas until 1944.[13] The IAF helped in blocking the advance of the Japanese army in Burma, where its first air strike was on the Japanese military base in Arakan. It also carried out strike missions against the Japanese airbases at Mae Hong Son, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand. In recognition of the crucial role played by the IAF, King George VI conferred it the prefix "Royal" in 1945.[11][14] During the war, many youth joined the Indian National Army. Forty five of them (known as the Tokyo Boys) were sent to train as fighter pilots at the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Academy in 1944 by Subhas Chandra Bose.[15] After the war, they were interned by the Allies and were court-martialled. After Indian independence, some of them rejoined the IAF for service.[15]

[edit] First years of independence (1947–1950)

Refugees awaiting evacuation by IAF Dakota on Poonch airstrip, December 1947.
After gaining independence from the British Empire in 1947, British India was partitioned into the new states of the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan. Along the lines of the geographical partition, the assets of the air force were divided between the new countries. India's air force retained the name of the Royal Indian Air Force, but three of the ten operational squadrons and facilities, located within the borders of Pakistan, were transferred to the Royal Pakistan Air Force.[16] The RIAF Roundel was changed to an interim 'Chakra' roundel derived from the Ashoka Chakra.[12]
Around the same time, conflict broke out between them over the control of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. With Pakistani forces moving into the state, its Maharaja decided to accede to India in order to receive military help.[17] The day after instrument of accession was signed, the RIAF was called upon to transport troops into the war-zone. And this was when a good management of logistics came into help.[17] This led to the eruption of full scale war between India and Pakistan, though there was no formal declaration of war.[18] During the war, the RIAF did not engage the Pakistan Air Force in air-to-air combat; however, it did provide effective transport and close air support to the Indian troops.[19]
When India became a republic in 1950, the prefix 'Royal' was dropped from the Indian Air Force.[11] At the same time, the current IAF roundel was adapted.[12]

[edit] Congo crisis and liberation of Goa (1960–1961)

The IAF saw significant conflict in 1960, when Belgium's 75-year rule over Congo ended abruptly, engulfing the nation in widespread violence and rebellion.[20] IAF sent No. 5 Squadron, equipped with English Electric Canberra, to support United Nations Operation in the Congo. The squadron started undertaking operational missions in November.[21] The unit remained there until 1966, when the UN mission ended.[21] Operating from Leopoldville and Kamina, the Canberras soon destroyed the rebel Air Force and provided the UN ground forces with its only long-range air support force.[22]
In late 1961, the Indian government decided to deploy the armed forces in an effort to evict the Portuguese out of Goa and other Enclaves after years of negotiation.[23] The Indian Air Force was requested to provide support elements to the ground force in what was called Operation Vijay. Probing flights by some fighters and bombers were carried out from 8–18 December to draw out the Portuguese Air Force, but to no avail.[23] On December 18, two waves of Canberra bombers bombed the runway of Dabolim airfield taking care not to bomb the Terminals and the ATC tower. Two Portuguese transport aircraft (a Super Constellation and a DC-6) found on the airfield were left alone so that they can be captured intact. However the Portuguese pilots managed to take off the aircraft from the still damaged airfield and made their getaway to Portugal.[23] Hunters attacked the wireless station at Bambolim. Vampires were used to provide air support to the ground forces.[23] In Daman, Mystères were used to strike Portuguese gun positions.[23] Ouragans (called Toofanis in the IAF) bombed the runways at Diu and destroyed the control tower, wireless station and the meteorological station.[23]

[edit] Border disputes and changes in the IAF (1962–1971)

HAL HF-24 Marut, the first indigenous fighter jet to enter service with the Indian Air Force.
In 1962, border disagreements between China and India escalated to a war when China mobilised its troops across the Indian border.[24] During the Sino-Indian War, India's military planners failed to deploy and effectively use the IAF against the invading Chinese forces. This resulted in India losing a significant amount of advantage to the Chinese; especially in Jammu and Kashmir.[24]
Three years after the Sino-Indian conflict, in 1965, India went to war with Pakistan again over Kashmir in what came to be known as the Second Kashmir War. Learning from the experiences of the Sino-Indian war, India used its air force extensively during the war. This was the first time the IAF actively engaged an enemy air force.[25] However, instead of providing close air support to the Indian Army,[26] the IAF carried out independent raids against PAF bases.[27] These bases were situated deep inside Pakistani territory, making IAF fighters vulnerable to anti-aircraft fire.[28] During the course of the conflict, the PAF enjoyed qualitative superiority over the IAF as most of the jets in IAF's fleet were of post World War II vintage. Despite this, the IAF was able to prevent the PAF from gaining air superiority over conflict zones.[29] By the time the conflict had ended, Pakistan claimed to have shot down 113 IAF aircraft while the Indians claimed 73 PAF aircraft were downed.[30] More than 60% of IAF's air combat losses took place during the battles over Kalaikunda and Pathankot; where most of the aircraft were destroyed while parked on the ground.[31]
After the 1965 war, the IAF underwent a series of changes to improve its capabilities. In 1966, the Para Commandos regiment was created.[32] To increase its logistics supply and rescue operations ability, the IAF inducted 72 HS 748s which were built by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) under license from Avro.[33] India started to put more stress on indigenous manufacture of fighter aircraft. As a result, HAL HF-24 Marut, designed by the famed German aerospace engineer Kurt Tank,[34] were inducted into the air force. HAL also started developing an improved version of the Folland Gnat, known as HAL Ajeet.[35] At the same time, the IAF also started inducting Mach 2 capable Soviet MiG-21 and Sukhoi Su-7 fighters.[36]

[edit] Bangladesh Liberation War (1971)

By late 1971, the intensification of the independence movement in erstwhile East Pakistan lead to the Bangladesh Liberation War between India and Pakistan .[37] On 22 November 1971, 10 days before the start of a full-scale war, four PAF F-86 Sabre jets attacked Indian and Mukti Bahini positions at Garibpur, near the international border. Three of the four PAF Sabres were shot down by the IAF's Folland Gnats.[citation needed] On 3 December, India formally declared war against Pakistan following massive preemptive strikes by the PAF against Indian Air Force installations in Srinagar, Ambala, Sirsa, Halwara and Jodhpur. However, the IAF did not suffer significantly because the leadership had anticipated such a move and precautions were taken.[38] The Indian Air Force was quick to respond to Pakistani air strikes, following which the PAF carried out mostly defensive sorties.[39]
Within the first two weeks, the IAF had carried out almost 2,000 sorties over East Pakistan and also provided close air support to the advancing Indian Army.[40] IAF also assisted the Indian Navy in its operations against the Pakistani Navy and Maritime Security Agency in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. On the western front, the IAF destroyed more than 29 Pakistani tanks, 40 APCs and a railway train during the Battle of Longewala.[41] The IAF undertook strategic bombing of West Pakistan by carrying out raids on oil installations in Karachi, the Mangla Dam and a gas plant in Sindh.[42] Similar strategy was also deployed in East Pakistan and as the IAF achieved complete air superiority on the eastern front, the ordnance factories, runways, and other vital areas of East Pakistan were severely damaged.[43] By the time Pakistani forces surrendered, the IAF claimed that 94 PAF aircraft, including 54 F-86 Sabres had been shot down.[44] The IAF had flown over 6,000 sorties[40] on both East and West fronts; including sorties by transport aircraft and helicopters.[40] Towards the end of the war, IAF's transport planes dropped leaflets over Dhaka urging the Pakistani forces to surrender, demoralising Pakistani troops in East Pakistan.[45]

[edit] Incidents before Kargil (1984–1988)

In 1984, India launched Operation Meghdoot to capture the Siachen Glacier in the contested Kashmir region.[46] IAF's Mi-8, Chetak and Cheetah helicopters airlifted hundreds of Indian troops to Siachen.[47] Launched on 13 April 1984, this military operation was unique because of Siachen's inhospitable terrain and climate. The military action was successful, given the fact that under a previous agreement, neither Pakistan nor India had stationed any personnel in the area. The Indian forces, facing no opposition, took control over most of the heights on the glacier.[48]
IAF An-32s were used to airdrop humanitarian supplies in Operation Poomalai.
Following the failure to negotiate an end to the Sri Lankan Civil War, and to provide humanitarian aid through an unarmed convoy of ships,[49] the Indian Government decided to carry out an airdrop of the humanitarian supplies on the evening of 4 June 1987 designated Operation Poomalai (Tamil: Garland) or Eagle Mission 4.[49] Five An-32s escorted by five Mirage 2000s carried out the supply drop which faced no opposition from the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.[49][50] Sri Lanka accused India of "blatant violation of sovereignty".[49] India insisted that it was acting only on humanitarian grounds.[49]
In 1987, the IAF supported the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in northern and eastern Sri Lanka in Operation Pawan. About 70,000 sorties were flown by the IAF's transport and helicopter force in support of nearly 100,000 troops and paramilitary forces without a single aircraft lost or mission aborted.[51] IAF An-32s maintained a continuous air link between air bases in South India and Northern Sri Lanka transporting men, equipment, rations and evacuating casualties.[51] Mi-8s supported the ground forces and also provided air transportation to the Sri Lankan civil administration during the elections.[51] Mi-25s of No. 125 Helicopter Unit were utilised to provide suppressive fire against militant strong points and to interdict coastal and clandestine riverine traffic.[51]
On the night of November 3, 1988, the Indian Air Force mounted special operations to airlift a parachute battalion group from Agra, non-stop over 2000 kilometres to the remote Indian Ocean archipelago of the Maldives in response to Maldivian president Gayoom's request for military help against a mercenary invasion in Operation Cactus. The IL-76s of No. 44 Squadron landed at Hulhule at 0030 hours and the Indian paratroopers secured the airfield and restored Government rule at Male within hours.[52]

[edit] Kargil War (1999)

During the Kargil conflict IAF Mirage 2000Hs, along with MiG-27s carried out strikes against enemy positions.
On 11 May 1999, the Indian Air Force was called in to provide close air support to the Indian Army at the height of the ongoing Kargil conflict with the use of helicopters.[52] The IAF strike was code named Operation Safed Sagar.[52] The first strikes were launched on the 26 May, when the Indian Air Force struck infiltrator positions with fighter aircraft and helicopter gunships.[53] The initial strikes saw MiG-27s carrying out offensive sorties, with MiG-21s and later MiG-29s providing fighter cover.[54] The IAF also deployed its radars and the MiG-29 fighters in vast numbers to keep check on Pakistani military movements across the border.[55] Srinagar Airport was at this time closed to civilian air-traffic and dedicated to the Indian Air Force.[53]
On 27 May, the first fatalities were suffered when a MiG-21 and a MiG-27 were lost.[notes 1][56][57] The following day, a Mi-17 was lost- with the loss of all four of the crew- when it was hit by three stingers while on an offensive sortie.[49] These losses forced the Indian Air Force to reassess its strategy. The helicopters were immediately withdrawn from offensive roles as a measure against the man-portable missiles in possession of the infiltrators. On 30 May, the Indian Air Force called into operation the Mirage 2000 which was deemed the best aircraft capable of optimum performance under the conditions of high-altitude seen in the zone of conflict. Mirage 2000s not only had better defence equipment compared to the MiGs, but also gave IAF the ability to carry out aerial raids at night. The MiG-29s were used extensively to provide fighter escort to the Mirage 2000.[58] The Mirages successfully targeted enemy camps and logistic bases in Kargil and within days, their supply lines were severely disrupted.[59] Mirage 2000s were used for strikes on Muntho Dhalo[49] and the heavily defended Tiger Hill and paved the way for their early recapture.[49] At the height of the conflict, the IAF was conducting over forty sorties daily over the Kargil region.[58] By 26 July, the Indian forces had successfully liberated Kargil from Pakistani forces.[60]

[edit] Post Kargil incidents (1999–present)

On 10 August 1999, IAF MiG-21s intercepted a Pakistan Navy Breguet Atlantic which was flying over the disputed region of Sir Creek. The aircraft was shot down killing all 16 Pakistani Navy personnel on board.[61] India claimed that the Atlantic was on a mission to gather information on IAF air defence,[62] a charge emphatically rejected by Pakistan which argued that the unarmed aircraft was on a training mission.[63] On December 14, 2004, IAF crossed International Border but were stopped by PAF jets.[64]
Since the late 1990s, the Indian Air Force has been modernising its fleet to counter challenges in the new century. The fleet size of the IAF has decreased to 33 squadrons during this period because of the retirement of older aircraft. Still, India maintains the fourth largest air force in the world. The squadron strength is being raised to 42 squadrons.[65]

[edit] Structure

Ex-Air Chief Marshal Pradeep Vasant Naik
The President of India is the Supreme Commander of all Indian armed forces and by virtue of that fact is the notional Commander-in-chief of the Air Force. Chief of the Air Staff with the rank of Air Chief Marshal is the Commander of the Indian Air Force. He is assisted by six officers: a Vice Chief of the Air Staff, a Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, the Air Officer in Charge of Administration, the Air Officer in Charge of Personnel, the Air Officer in Charge of Maintenance, and the Inspector General of Flight Safety.[66] In January 2002, the government conferred the rank of Marshal of the Air Force on Arjan Singh making him the first and only Five-star officer with the Indian Air Force and ceremonial chief of the air force.[67]

[edit] Commands and structure

The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. The purpose of an operational command is to conduct military operations using aircraft within its area of responsibility, whereas the responsibility of functional commands is to maintain combat readiness. Aside from the Training Command at Bangalore, the centre for primary flight training is located at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, followed by operational training at various other schools. Advanced officer training for command positions is also conducted at the Defence Services Staff College; specialised advanced flight training schools are located at Bidar, Karnataka, and Hakimpet, Andhra Pradesh (also the location for helicopter training). Technical schools are found at a number of other locations.[68]
Operational Commands
Functional Commands

[edit] Bases

The IAF operates over sixty air bases, with more being built or planned.[69] Western Air Command is the largest Air Command. It operates sixteen air bases from Punjab to Uttar Pradesh. Eastern Air Command operates fifteen Air bases in Eastern and North-eastern India. Central Air Command operates seven Air Bases in Madhya Pradesh and surrounding states of central India. Southern Air Command, a strategically important Air command, in line with India's latest doctrine of protecting the vital shipping routes. It operates nine Air bases in Southern India and two in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. South Western Air Command is the front line of defence against Pakistan, this important Command operates twelve air bases in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. India also operates the Farkhor Air Base in Tajikistan.[70]

[edit] Wings

A Wing is a formation intermediate between a Command and a Squadron. It generally consists of two or three IAF Squadrons and Helicopter Units, along with Forward Base Support Units (FBSU). FBSUs do not have or host any Squadrons or Helicopter units but act as transit airbases for routine operations. In times of war, they can become fully fledged air bases playing host to various Squadrons. In all, about 47 Wings and 19 FBSUs make up the IAF.[71][72]

[edit] Squadrons

Squadrons are the field units and formations attached to static locations. Thus, a Flying Squadron is a sub-unit of an air force station which carries out the primary task of the IAF. All fighter squadrons are headed by a Commanding Officer with the rank of Wing Commander.[73] Some Transport squadrons and Helicopter Units are headed by a Commanding Officer with the rank of Group Captain.
Within this formation structure, IAF has several service branches for day-to-day operations. They are:[74]
Flying Branch
  • Flying

Technical Branch
  • Engineering
  • Logistics

Ground Branch
  • Administration
  • Accounts
  • Education
  • Medical & Dental
  • Meteorological

[edit] Garud Commando Force

In September 2004, the IAF established its own special operation unit called the Garud Commando Force, consisting of approximately 1500 personnel. The unit derives its name from Garuda, a divine bird-like creature of Hindu Mythology, but more commonly the word for eagle in Sanskrit. Garud is tasked with the protection of critical installations; search and rescue during peace and hostilities and disaster relief during calamities.[75]

[edit] Integrated Space Cell

An Integrated Space Cell, which will be jointly operated by all the three services of the Indian armed forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has been set up to utilize more effectively the country's space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.[6][7] This command will leverage space technology including satellites. Unlike an aerospace command, where the air force controls most of its activities, the Integrated Space Cell envisages cooperation and coordination between the three services as well as civilian agencies dealing with space.[76]
India currently has 11 remote sensing satellites in orbit. Though most are not meant to be dedicated military satellites, some have a spacial resolution of 1 metre or below which can be also used for military applications. Noteworthy satellites include the Technology Experiment Satellite (TES) which has a panchromatic camera (PAN) with a resolution of 1 metre,[77] the RISAT-2 which is capable of imaging in all-weather conditions and has a resolution of one metre,[78] the CARTOSAT-2, CARTOSAT-2A[79] (a dedicated military satellite)[80] and CARTOSAT-2B[81] which carries a panchromatic camera which has a resolution of 80 centimetres (black and white only).

[edit] Display Teams

HAL HJT-16 Kirans of the Surya Kiran display team flying in formation.
Surya Kiran (Sanskrit for Sun Rays) is an aerobatics demonstration team of the Indian Air Force. The Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) was formed in 1996 and are successors to the Thunderbolts.[82] The team has a total of 13 pilots (selected from the fighter stream of the IAF) and operate 9 HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 trainer aircraft[82] painted in a "day-glo orange" and white colour scheme. The Surya Kiran team were conferred squadron status in 2006, and presently have the designation of 52 Squadron, Air force ("The Sharks").[83] Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team is based at the Indian Air Force Station at Bidar.[82] The HJT-16 Kiran is to be replaced by the HAL HJT-36 Sitara. The IAF have already given an order for 12 Limited Series Production aircraft for the Surya Kiran team.[84] Meanwhile, IAF has begun the process of converting Surya Kirans to BAE Hawks. It will take 2–3 years for the team to completely shift to Hawks.[84]
Sarang is the Helicopter Display Team of the Indian Air Force. The name Sarang (Sanskrit for Peacock) is symbolic as it is the national bird of India. The team was formed in October 2003 and their first public performance was at the Asian Aerospace Show, Singapore, 2004.[85] The team flies four HAL Dhruvs[86] painted in red and white with a peacock figure at the each side of the fuselage. The Sarang display team is based at the Indian Air Force base at Air Force Station Sulur, Coimbatore.

[edit] Personnel

Officers of the IAF in their uniform.
The IAF has a strength of 170,000 personnel. Its rank structure is based on that of the Royal Air Force.[87] The highest rank attainable in the IAF is Marshal of the Indian Air Force, conferred by the President of India after exceptional service during wartime. MIAF Arjan Singh is the only officer to have achieved this rank. The head of the Indian Air Force is the Chief of the Air Staff, who holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal. The current Chief of the Air Staff is Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne with effect from 1 August 2011.

[edit] Officers

Anyone holding Indian citizenship can apply to be an officer in the Air Force as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria. There are four entry points to become an officer. Male applicants, who are between the ages of 16½ and 19 and have passed high school graduation, can apply at the Intermediate level.[88] Men and women applicants, who have graduated from college (three year course) and are between the ages of 18 and 28, can apply at the Graduate level entry.[89] Graduates of engineering colleges can apply at the Engineer level if they are between the ages of 18 and 28 years. The age limit for the flying and ground duty branch is 23 years of age and for technical branch is 28 years of age.[90] After completing a master's degree, men and women between the ages of 18 and 28 years can apply at the Post Graduate level. Post graduate applicants do not qualify for the flying branch. For the technical branch the age limit is 28 years and for the ground duty branch it is 25.[91] At the time of application, all applicants must be single.[92] The IAF selects candidates for officer training from these applicants. After completion of training, a candidate is commissioned as a Flying Officer.[93]
Ranks of the Indian Air Force- Officer Ranks
Shoulder Marshal of the IAF.png Air Chief Marshal of IAF.png Air Marshal of IAF.png Air Vice Marshal of IAF.png Air Commodore of IAF.png Group Captain of IAF.png Wing Commander of IAF.png Squadron Leader of IAF.png Flight Lieutenant of IAF.png Flying Officer of IAF.png Pilot Officer of IAF.png
Sleeve IAF Marshal of the AF sleeve.png IAF Air Chief Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Vice Marshal sleeve.png IAF Air Commodore sleeve.png IAF Group Captain sleeve.png IAF Wing Commander sleeve.png IAF Squadron Leader sleeve.png IAF Flight Lieutenant sleeve.png IAF Flying Officer sleeve.png IAF Pilot Officer sleeve.png
Rank Marshal of
the Air Force
Air Chief
Air Marshal Air Vice

  • ¹ Honorary/War time rank.
  • 2 Rank no longer exist.

[edit] Airmen

A Squadron Leader leading the IAF Airmen during a guard of honour ceremony to Lula da Silva at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The duty of an airman in the Indian Air Force is to make sure that all the air and ground operations run smoothly. From operating Air Defence systems to fitting missiles, they are involved in all activities of an air base and give support to various technical and non-technical jobs.[94] The recruitment of personnel below officer rank is conducted through All India Selection Tests and Recruitment Rallies. All India Selection Tests are conducted among 14 Airmen Selection Centres (ASCs) located all over India. These centres are under the direct functional control of Central Airmen Selection Board (CASB), with administrative control and support by respective commands. The role of CASB is to carry out selection and enrolment of airmen from the Airmen Selection Centres for their respective commands.[94] Candidates initially take a written test at the time of application. Those passing the written test undergo a physical fitness test, an interview conducted in English, and medical examination. Candidates for training are selected from individuals passing the battery of tests, on the basis of their performance. Upon completion of training, an individual becomes an Airman.[94] Some MWOs and WOs are granted honorary commission in the last year of their service as an honorary Flying Officer or Flight Lieutenant before retiring from the service.[94]
Ranks of the Indian Air Force - Enlisted Ranks

Junior Commissioned Officer
Shoulder IAF MWO Shoulder.png IAF WO Shoulder.png IAF JWO Shoulder.png Arm IAF Sgt Arm.png IAF Cpl Arm.png IAF LAC Arm.png IAF AC Arm.png
Sleeve IAF MWO Sleeve.png IAF WO Sleeve.png IAF JWO Sleeve.png
Rank Master
Warrant Officer
Warrant Officer Junior
Warrant Officer

Sergeant Corporal Leading

[edit] Non Combatants Enrolled and civilians

Non Combatants Enrolled (NCs(E)) were established in British India as personal assistants to the officer class, and are equivalent to the orderly or sahayak of the Indian Army.[95]
Almost all the commands have some percentage of civilian strength which are central government employees. These are regular ranks which are prevalent in ministries. They are usually not posted outside their stations and are employed in administrative and non-technical work.[96][97]

[edit] Training and education

The Sudan Block of the National Defence Academy (NDA). NDA serves as the joint services academy for the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.
The Indian Armed Forces has set up numerous military academies across India for training its personnel. Military schools, Sainik Schools, and the Rashtriya Indian Military College were founded to broaden the recruitment base of the Defence Forces. The three branches of the Indian Armed Forces jointly operate several institutions such as the National Defence Academy (NDA), Defence Services Staff College (DSSC), National Defence College (NDC) and the College of Defence Management (CDM) for training its officers. The Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) at Pune is responsible for providing the entire pool of medical staff to the Armed Forces by giving them in service training.
Besides these Tri-service institutions, the Indian Air Force has a Training Command and several training establishments. While technical and other support staff are trained at various Ground Training Schools, the pilots are trained at the Air Force Academy located at Dindigul. The Pilot Training Establishment at Allahabad, the Air Force Administrative College at Coimbatore, the School of Aviation Medicine at Bangalore, the Air Force Technical College, Bangalore at Jalahalli and the Paratrooper’s Training School at Agra are some of the other training establishments of the IAF.

[edit] Aircraft inventory

The Indian Air Force has aircraft and equipment of Russian (erstwhile Soviet Union), British, French, Israeli, U.S. and Indian origins with Russian aircraft dominating its inventory. HAL produces some of the Russian and British aircraft in India under licence. The exact number of aircraft in service with the Indian Air Force cannot be determined with precision from open sources. Various reliable sources provide notably divergent estimates for a variety of high-visibility aircraft.[98]

[edit] Fighter and multi-role combat aircraft

Sukhoi Su-30 MKI
The fighter aircraft in the IAF inventory are the primary means to achieve and maintain air supremacy over the battle field. These aircraft are designed for air-to-air combat in order to achieve their goals.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is the IAF's primary air superiority fighter with the capability to conduct strike missions. The IAF have placed an order for a total of 272 Su-30MKIs[99] of which 178 are in service as of June 2011.[100]
The Mikoyan MiG-29 known as Baaz (Hindi for Hawk) is the IAF's dedicated air superiority fighter and forms the second line of defence for the IAF after the Sukhoi Su-30MKI. The IAF operates 68 MiG-29s, all of which are currently being upgraded to the MiG-29UPG standard.[101]
The Dassault Mirage 2000, known as Vajra (Sanskrit for Thunderbolt) in Indian service, is the IAF's primary multirole fighter. The IAF currently operates 51 Mirage 2000Hs.[102]
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 serves as an Interceptor aircraft in the IAF. The IAF currently operates about 200 MiG-21s, 121 of which have been upgraded to MiG-21 Bison standard.[103] While the MiG-21 Bison is likely to be in service till 2017, the remaining aircraft are expected to be phased out by 2013. The MiG-21s are planned to be replaced by the indigenously built HAL Tejas.[104][105]

[edit] Strike, attack and close support aircraft

These are military aircraft designed to attack targets on the ground. They are often deployed as close air support for, and in proximity to, their own ground forces, requiring precision strikes from these aircraft.
The SEPECAT Jaguar known as Shamsher and the Mikoyan MiG-27 known as Bahadur (Hindi for Valiant) serve as the IAF's primary ground attack force.[106] The IAF currently operates 139 Jaguars[107] and over 100 MiG-27s.[108]

[edit] Airborne early warning aircraft

IAF Beriev A-50EI Mainstay AEW&C
These aircraft are designed to detect and distinguish hostile aircraft. The system can be used to direct fighters and strike aircraft to their targets and warn them of hostile enemy aircraft in the area.
The IAF currently operates the EL/M-2075 Phalcon AEW&C. A total of 3 such systems are currently in service, with possible orders for 2 more.[109]

[edit] Tanker aircraft

These aircraft are used for aerial refueling which allows IAF aircraft to remain airborne for longer periods, hence enhancing their effective range. Aerial refueling also allows aircraft to take-off with greater payload (by carrying less fuel during take-off). The IAF currently operates 6 Ilyushin Il-78MKIs for aerial refueling roles.[110][111]

[edit] Transport aircraft

IAF Il-76 landing at Leh airfield.
Transport aircraft are typically used to deliver troops, weapons, supplies and other military equipment to the IAF field of operations. The IAF currently operate different types of transport aircraft for different roles.
The IAF operates Ilyushin Il-76s known as Gajraj (Hindi for King Elephant) for military transport roles such as strategic or heavy lift at all operational levels.[112] The IAF currently operates 17 Il-76s.[113] The Il-76s are to be replaced by C-17 Globemaster IIIs.[114][115]
The C-130J of the IAF is used by special forces for combined Army-Air Force operations.[116] There are currently 6 C-130Js in service.[117]
The Antonov An-32 known as Sutlej (name of an Indian river) serves as medium transport aircraft in the IAF. The aircraft is also used in bombing roles and para-dropping operations.[118] The IAF currently operates 105 An-32s, all of which are being upgraded.[118]
The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 once formed the backbone of the IAF's transport fleet, but are now used mainly for transport training and communication duties.[119] The Dornier Do 228 serves as light transport aircraft in the IAF.[120] The IAF also operates Boeing 737s[121] and Embraer ECJ-135 Legacy aircraft[122] as VIP Transports. The IAF operates aircraft for the President of India as well as the Prime Minister of India under the call sign Air India One.[123]

[edit] Training aircraft

Training aircraft are used to develop piloting and nagivational skills in pilots and air crew.
The HAL HPT-32 Deepak is IAF's basic flight training aircraft for cadets.[124] The HPT-32 was grounded in July 2009 following a crash that killed two senior flight instructors,[125] but was revived in May 2010[125] and is to be fitted with a parachute recovery system (PRS) to enhance survivability during an emergency in the air and to bring the trainer down safely.[125] The HPT-32 is to be phased out soon.[125]
The IAF uses the HAL HJT-16 Kiran mk.I for intermediate flight training of cadets, while the HJT-16 Kiran mk.II provides advanced flight and weapons training.[126][127] The HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 is also operated by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) of the IAF.[128] The Kiran is to be replaced by the HAL HJT-36 Sitara.[129]
The BAE Hawk Mk 132 serves as an advanced jet trainer in the IAF and is progressively replacing the Kiran Mk.II. The IAF has begun the process of converting the Surya Kiran display team to Hawks.[84] A total of 106 BAE Hawk trainers have been ordered by the IAF of which 39 have entered service as of July 2010.[130]

[edit] Helicopters

IAF Mi-8 at Aero India 2011.
HAL Dhruv of the Indian Air Force Sarang Helicopter Display Team
An important objective of the IAF is to support ground troops by providing air cover and by transporting men and essential commodities across the battlefield. For this purpose the Air Force maintains a fleet of helicopters.
The HAL Dhruv serves primarily as a light utility helicopter in the IAF. In addition to transport and utility roles, Dhruvs are also used as attack helicopters.[131] 4 Dhruvs are also operated by the Indian Air Force Sarang Helicopter Display Team.[86]
IAF Mil Mi-35 Hind Akbar
The HAL Chetak is a light utility helicopter and is used primarily for training, rescue and light transport roles in the IAF.[132] The HAL Chetak is scheduled to be replaced by HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter.[132]
The HAL Cheetah is a light utility helicopter used for high altitude operations. It is used for both transport and search-and-rescue missions in the IAF.[133]
The Mil Mi-8 and the Mil Mi-17 are operated by the IAF for medium utility roles. The Mi-8 is being progressively replaced by the Mi-17.[134][135] The IAF has ordered 80 Mi-17V-5s to replace and augment its existing fleet of Mi-8s and Mi-17s, with an order for 59 additional helicopters to follow soon.[136]
The Mil Mi-26 serves as a heavy lift helicopter in the IAF. It can also be used to transport troops or as a flying ambulance. The IAF currently operates 4 Mi-26s.[137]
The Mil Mi-35 serves primarily as an attack helicopter in the IAF. The Mil Mi-35 can also act as a low-capacity troop transport. The IAF currently operates 2 squadrons (No.104 Firebirds and No.125 Gladiators) of Mi-25/35s.[138]

[edit] Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The primary role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is to provide aerial surveillance and reconnaissance. UAVs can also be used as unmanned combat aircraft or pilotless target aircraft.
The IAF currently uses the IAI Searcher II[139] and IAI Heron[140] for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes. The IAI Harpy serves as an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) which is designed to attack radar systems.[141] The IAF also operates the DRDO Lakshya which serves as realistic towed aerial sub-targets for live fire training.[142]

[edit] Land-based air defence

[edit] Surface-to-air missile systems

The IAF currently operates the S-125 Pechora[143][144] and the 9K33 Osa[95][144] as Surface-to-air missile systems. The IAF is also currently inducting the Akash medium range surface-to-air missile system. A total of 8 squadrons has been ordered so far.[145]

[edit] Ballistic missiles

The IAF currently operates the Prithvi-II short-range ballistic missile (SRBM). The Prithvi-II is an IAF-specific variant of the Prithvi ballistic missile.[146]

[edit] Anti-ballistic missile systems

The S-300 SAM[147] serves as an Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile (ATBM) system in the IAF. The S-300 is also able to detect, track, and destroy incoming cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft.[148]

[edit] Future

The number of aircraft in the IAF has been decreasing from the late 1990s due to retirement of older aircraft and several crashes. To deal with the depletion of force levels, the IAF has started to modernize its fleet. This includes both upgrade of existing aircraft, equipment and infrastructure as well as induction of new aircraft and equipment, both indigenous and imported. As new aircraft enter service and numbers recover, the IAF plans to have a fleet of 42 squadrons.[149] IAF will induct 126-200 MRCAs, 150-200 LCAs and 214 FGFA/PAK-FAs.

[edit] Upgrades

The air launched version of Brahmos.
The IAF is currently upgrading its 68 MiG-29s (to the UPG standard)[101] and 105 An-32s.[118] IAF's HAL HPT-32 Deepak trainers are to be fitted with a parachute recovery system (PRS) to enhance survivability during an emergency in the air and to bring the trainer down safely.[125] There are also plans to upgrade its 51 Mirage 2000Hs to the Mirage-2000-5 Mk 2 variant[150] and 40 Su-30MKIs with new radars, on-board computers, electronic warfare systems[151] and the capability of carrying the air launched version of the BrahMos cruise missile.[152][153]

[edit] Under procurement

The IAF has placed orders for 48 indigenous HAL Tejas aircraft,[154] 72 HAL HJT-36 Sitara trainers[84] and 65 HAL Light Combat Helicopters,[155] The IAF has agreed to order 10 C-17 Globemaster III strategic air-lifters,[156] 6 C-130J Super Hercules modified for special mission roles, under which 5 was inducted recently[157][158] 139 Mi-17V-5 helicopters,[136][159] 12 VVIP-configured AgustaWestland AW101 helicopters,[160] and IAI Harop UCAVs.[141][161] The IAF has also ordered 18 Israeli SPYDER Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs).[162]
The IAF is to acquire 126 fighters through the Indian MRCA competition. The Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale are the remaining bidders in the competition.[163] Pilatus PC-7 is selected for a tender to equip the IAF with 75 basic trainer aircraft.[164] The IAF has selected and ordered 22 AH-64D Apache Longbow as its new heavy attack helicopter in order to replace the Mi-24/35s in service. As part of this order, it has the option to acquire 22 additional helicopters. It is planning to procure 15 heavy lift helicopters for which the CH-47 Chinook and Mi-26 are being considered.[165] A Request for Proposal for 6 additional tanker aircraft was issued, for which the EADS A330 MMRT and the Il-78 are the competing aircraft.[166] The IAF has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for 16 C-27J Spartan medium military transport aircraft.[167] The IAF also submitted a request for information to international suppliers for a stealth unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV)[168] and the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) will float a tender for 125 light helicopters.

[edit] Under development

Indian defence companies such as HAL and DRDO are developing several aircraft for the IAF such as the HAL Tejas,[104][105] Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA),[169] DRDO AEW&CS (revived from the Airavat Project),[170] NAL Saras,[171] HAL HJT-36 Sitara,[172] HAL HTT-40, HAL Light Combat Helicopter (LCH),[173] HAL Light Observation Helicopter (LOH),[174] DRDO Rustom[175] and AURA (Autonomous Unmanned Research Aircraft) UCAV.[176] DRDO has developed the Akash missile system for the IAF[177][178] and is developing the Maitri SAM with MBDA.[179] DRDO is also developing the Prithvi II ballistic missile.[180]
HAL has undertaken the joint development of the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA (Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft)[181] (a derivative project of the Sukhoi PAK FA) and the UAC/HAL Il-214 Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA)[182] with Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). DRDO has entered in a joint venture with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to develop the Barak II SAM.[183] DRDO is developing the air launched version of the Brahmos cruise missile in a joint venture with Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia. DRDO is also developing the nuclear capable Nirbhay cruise missile.[184]

[edit] See also

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ According to an Indian reports, a MiG-27 crashed from engine trouble and the escorting MiG-21 was shot down by Pakistani fire while trying to aid the downed pilot. The MiG-21 pilot was killed and the MiG-27 pilot was taken as a war prisoner. Pakistan claims both jets were downed by Pakistani air defence after they crossed into its territory. India claims they were lost over Indian territory.

[edit] Footnotes

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[edit] References

[edit] External links

Indian Navy

Indian Navy
Indian Navy crest.svg

Indian Navy crest
Active 1947–Present
Country  India
Branch Navy
Size 55,000 personnel
175+ Ships
250+ aircraft
Part of Ministry of Defence
Indian Armed Forces
Headquarters New Delhi
Motto शं नो वरुणः Transliteration: Sham No Varunah (May the Lord of the Oceans be auspicious unto us)
Colors Navy Blue, White         
Anniversaries Navy Day: 4th December
Engagements Portuguese-Indian War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Bangladesh Liberation War
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Decorations Indian Military Honour Awards
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma
Admiral S. M. Nanda
Indian Navy Ensign Naval Ensign of India.svg
Aircraft flown
Attack BAE Sea Harrier
Dornier Do 228
Fighter BAE Sea Harrier, Mikoyan MiG-29K
Helicopter HAL Dhruv, Kamov Ka-28, Kamov Ka-31, Sea King Mk.42C, UH-3 Sea King
Patrol Ilyushin Il-38, Tupolev Tu-142
Reconnaissance Dornier Do 228, IAI Heron, IAI Searcher Mk II
Trainer HAL HJT-16, Harrier T-60
The Indian Navy (Devanāgarī: भारतीय नौ सेना, Bhāratīya Nau Senā) is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy. As of 2006 the navy has 55,000[1] personnel on active duty, including 5,000 members of the naval aviation branch, 1,200 marine commandos[2] and 1,000 Sagar Prahari Bal soldiers,[3] making it the world's fourth largest navy.[4][2] The Indian Navy currently has around 170 major vessels in commission, including the aircraft carrier INS Viraat, along with operational jet fighters.[5]
Though the primary objective of the navy is to secure national maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief. In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone extensive modernisation and expansion as part of its aim to transition to a blue water navy.[6][7][8][9]



[edit] Role

The Indian Navy sees several principal roles for itself:
  • In conjunction with other armed forces of the union, act to deter or defeat any threats or aggression against the territory, people or maritime interests of India, both in war and peace;
  • Project influence in India's maritime area of interest, to further the nation’s political, economic and security objectives;
  • In cooperation with the Indian Coast Guard, ensure good order and stability in India's maritime zones of responsibility.
  • Provide maritime assistance (including disaster relief) in India's maritime neighbourhood.[10]
  • To play a key role as part of 'a pluralistic security order' for a better world.[11]

[edit] History

[edit] Early maritime history

India has a maritime history dating back to 7,600 years.[12][13][14][15] The first tidal dock is estimated to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BCE during the Indus Valley Civilization, near the present day Mangrol harbour on the Gujarat coast.[16][17] The Rig Veda written around 1500 BCE, credits Varuna with knowledge of the ocean routes and describes naval expeditions. There is reference to the side wings of a vessel called Plava, which give stability to the ship under storm conditions. A compass, Matsya yantra, was used for navigation in the fourth and fifth century AD.
The earliest known reference to an organisation devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BCE. Emperor Chandragupta Maurya's Prime Minister Kautilya's Arthashastra devotes a full chapter on the state department of waterways under navadhyaksha (Sanskrit for Superintendent of ships) [3]. The term, nava dvipantaragamanam (Sanskrit for sailing to other lands by ships, i.e. Exploration) appears in this book in addition to appearing in the Buddhist text, Baudhayana Dharmasastra as the interpretation of the term, Samudrasamyanam.
Chola territories during Rajendra Chola I, c. 1030
Sea lanes between India and neighbouring lands were the usual form of trade for many centuries, and are responsible for the widespread influence of Indian Culture on other societies. Powerful navies included those of the Maurya, Satavahana, Gupta, Chola, Pandya, Vijayanagara, Kalinga, Mughal and Maratha empires.[18] The Cholas excelled in foreign trade and maritime activity, extending their influence overseas to China and Southeast Asia.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Maratha and Kerala fleets were expanded, and became the most powerful Naval Forces in the subcontinent, defeating European Navies at various times (See the Battle of Colachel). The fleet review of the Maratha navy took place at the Ratnagiri fort in which the ships Gurabs, Galbat, Pal & small ships called as "Sangmeshwari" participated. The 'Pal' was a three masted fighter with guns peeping on the broadsides.[19] Kanhoji Angre and Kunjali Marakkar, the Naval chief of Saamoothiri, were two notable naval chiefs of the period.

[edit] Origins

In 1612, the British East India Company established the Honourable East India Company's Marine to protect its merchant shipping off the Gulf of Cambay and up the Narmada and Tapti rivers. Its first fighting ships in India were acquired on 5 September 1612.
This force evolved into Her Majesty's Indian Navy in 1830, while most of India was under British rule. While the force at this time had British officers and Indian sailors. The Navy saw action in the First Opium War of 1840 and in the Second Anglo-Burmese War in 1852. During World War I, the force then known as the Royal Indian Marine undertook minesweeping, as well as supply and support operations for the Allies.

[edit] Early 20th century

Sub Lieutenant D. N. Mukherji was the first Indian to be granted a commission as an engineer officer in 1928. In 1934, the navy was renamed as the Royal Indian Navy (RIN).
The onset of World War II led to an expansion in numbers of vessels and personnel. The navy was actively involved in operations during the war around the world. Its sloops HMIS Sutlej and HMIS Jumna played a key role in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily.[20] It was heavily involved in operations around the Indian Ocean, including convoy escorts, mine-sweeping, supply, as well as supporting amphibious assaults.
At the end of the war, the navy underwent rapid, large-scale demobilization of vessels and personnel. In 1946, Indian sailors started the Royal Indian Navy Mutiny, a rebellion on board ships and on shore establishments to protest discrimination against Indian officers and sailors by the British. A total of 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors were involved in the rebellion, which spread all over India.
After the independence of India on 15 August, 1947 and the ensuing partition, the RIN's depleted fleet of ships and remaining personnel were divided between the newly independent Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan.
When India became a republic on 26 January 1950, the Royal prefix was dropped and the name Indian Navy was officially adopted. The prefix on her ships was changed to Indian Naval Ship (INS).

[edit] Independence to the 1960s

During the early years following independence, the navy still had many British officers who continued to serve with the Indian Navy. Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari was the first Indian to assume office as the Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy on 22 April 1958.
The first engagement in action of the Indian Navy was against the Portuguese Navy during the liberation of Goa in 1961. Operation Vijay followed years of escalating tension due to Portuguese refusal to relinquish its colonies in India. On 21 November 1961, Portuguese troops fired on the passenger liner Sabarmati near Anjadip Island, killing one person and injuring another. During Operation Vijay, the Indian Navy supported troop landings and provided fire support. INS Delhi (1948) sank one Portuguese patrol boat, while frigates INS Betwa (1960) and INS Beas (1960) destroyed the Portuguese frigate NRP Afonso de Albuquerque.[21]
The 1962 Sino-Indian War was largely fought over the Himalayas and the Navy had only a defensive role in the war.
Indian Naval activity in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 largely involved coastal patrols. During the war, the Pakistani Navy attacked the Indian coastal city of Dwarka, although there were no military resources in the area. While this attack was insignificant,[22] India deployed naval resources to patrol the coast and deter further bombardment.
Following these wars in the 1960s, India resolved to strengthen the profile and capabilities of its Armed Forces.

[edit] Late 20th century

Aircraft carrier INS Vikrant (R11) played a crucial role in enforcing the naval blockade on East Pakistan and ensuring India's victory during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
The dramatic change in the Indian Navy's capabilities and stance was emphatically demonstrated during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. Under the command of Admiral Sardarilal Mathradas Nanda, the navy successfully enforced a naval blockade of West and East Pakistan.[23][24]
Pakistan's lone long-range submarine PNS Ghazi was sunk following an attack by the destroyer INS Rajput (1942) off the coast of Visakhapatnam around midnight of 3-4 December 1971.[25][26][27][28][29] On 4 December, the Indian Navy successfully executed Operation Trident, a devastating attack on the Pakistan Naval Headquarters of Karachi that sank a minesweeper, a destroyer and an ammunition supply ship. The attack also irreperably damaged another destroyer and oil storage tanks at the Karachi port. This was followed by Operation Python on 8 December 1971, further deprecating the Pakistan Navy's capabilities. Indian frigate INS Khukri was sunk by the PNS Hangor (S131), while INS Kirpan (1959) was damaged on the west coast.
In the Bay of Bengal, INS Vikrant (R11) was deployed off the coast of East Pakistan to successfully prevent delivery of supplies to Pakistani military forces in the East. Sea Hawk and the Alizés aircraft from the aircraft carrier sank numerous gunboats and Pakistani merchant marine ships.[30] To demonstrate its solidarity as an ally of Pakistan, the United States of America sent Task Force 74 centered around the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise into the Bay of Bengal. In retaliation, Soviet Navy submarines trailed the American task force, which moved away from the Indian Ocean towards Southeast Asia to avert a confrontation.[31]
In the end, the Indian naval blockade of Pakistan choked off the supply of reinforcements to the Pakistani forces,[32] which proved to be decisive in the overwhelming defeat of Pakistan.[33][34]
Since playing a decisive role in the victory, the navy has been a deterrent force maintaining peace for India in a region of turmoil. In 1988, India launched Operation Cactus, to successfully thwart a coup d'état by PLOTE in the Maldives.[35] Naval maritime reconnaissance aircraft detected the ship hijacked by PLOTE rebels. INS Godavari (F20) and Indian marine commandos recaptured the ship and arrested the rebels.[36]
During the 1999 Kargil War, the Western and Eastern fleets were deployed in the Northern Arabian Sea, as a part of Operation Talwar.[37] They safeguarded India's maritime assets from a potential Pakistani naval attack, as also detered Pakistan from attempting to block India's sea-trade routes.[38] The Indian Navy's aviators flew sorties and marine commandos fought alongside Indian Army personnel in the Himalayas.[39][40]

[edit] 21st century

In the 21st century, the Indian Navy has played a vital role in maintaining peace for India on the maritime front, in spite of the state of ferment in its neighborhood.[41] It has been deployed for humanitarian relief in times of natural disasters and crises across the globe, as well as to keep India's maritime trade routes free and open.
The Indian Navy was a part of the joint forces exercises, Operation Parakram, during the 2001–2002 India–Pakistan standoff. More than a dozen warships were deployed to the northern Arabian Sea.[42]
In 2001, the Indian Navy took over operations to secure the Strait of Malacca, to relieve US Navy resources for Operation Enduring Freedom.[43]

[edit] Humanitarian operations

Indian Navy Surgeon listens to the heart of a patient during MEDCAP at Pohpein, Micronesia.
The navy has played a crucial role in providing humanitarian relief in times of natural disasters, including floods, cyclones and tsunamis.
In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Indian Navy launched massive disaster relief operations to help affected Indian states as well as Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Over 27 ships, dozens of helicopters, at least 6 fixed-wing aircraft and over 5000 personnel of the navy were deployed in relief operations.[44] These included Operation Madad in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Operation Sea Waves in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Operation Castor in Maldives, Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka and Operation Gambhir in Indonesia.[45] This was one of the largest and fastest force mobilisations that the Indian Navy has undertaken. Indian naval rescue vessels and teams reached neighboring countries less than 12 hours from the time that the tsunami hit.[44][46] Lessons from the response led to decision to enhance amphibious force capbilities, including the acquisition of Landing Platform Docks such as the INS Jalashwa (L41), as well as smaller amphibious vessels.[47][48]
During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, the Indian Navy launched Operation Sukoon to evacuate 2,286 Indian nationals and expatriates, besides 436 Sri Lankan and 69 Nepali citizens, from war-torn Lebanon.[49][50] In 2006, Indian naval doctors served for 102 days on board USNS Mercy to conduct about medical camps in Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia and East Timor.[51]
In 2007, Indian Navy supported relief operations for the survivors of Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh.[52] In 2008, Indian Naval vessels were the first to launch international relief operations for victims of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar.[53][54]

[edit] Anti-piracy operations

INS Mysore on deployment in the Gulf of Aden to check piracy
In October 1999, a coordinated effort by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard led to the rescue of pirated Japanese cargo ship, MV Alondra Rainbow.[55]
In 2008, the navy deployed INS Tabar (F44) and INS Mysore (D60) into the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy in Somalia.[56] Tabar prevented numerous piracy attempts,[57][58][59] and escorted hundreds of ships safely through the pirate-infested waters.[60][61][62] The navy also undertook anti-piracy patrols off Seychelles, upon that country's request.[63][64][65]
In 2011, the navy launched Operation Island Watch to deter piracy attempts by Somali pirates off the Lakshadweep archipelago. This operation has had numerous successes in preventing pirate attacks.[66][67][68][69][70]

[edit] Personnel

[edit] Commissioned officers

Rank Insignia
Shoulder IN Admiral of the NAVY Shoulder curl.png IN Admiral Shoulder curl.png IN Admiral Shoulder Board.png IN Vice Admiral Shoulder curl.png IN Vice Admiral Shoulder Board.png IN Rear Admiral Shoulder curl.png IN Rear Admiral Shoulder Board.png IN Commodore.png IN Commodore Shoulder Board.png IN Captain.png IN Commander.png IN Lieutenant Commander.png IN Lieutenant.png IN Sublieutenant.png
Sleeve IN Admiral of Navy Sleeve.png IN Admiral Sleeve.png IN Vice Admiral Sleeve.png IN Rear Admiral Sleeve .png IN Commodore Sleeve.png IN Captain Sleeve.png IN Commander Sleeve.png IN Lieutenant Commander Sleeve.png IN Lieutenant Sleeve.png IN Sublieutenant Sleeve.png
Rank Admiral of
the Fleet
[note 1]
Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant
Lieutenant Sublieutenant

The Commander of the Navy is the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS). Admiral Nirmal Kumar Verma, who was formerly the Eastern Naval Commander at Visakhapatnam, has assumed responsibility as the head of Navy from incumbent Admiral Sureesh Mehta, who retires from service.[71]
While the provision for the rank of Admiral of the Fleet exists, it is primarily intended for major wartime use and honour. No officer of the Indian Navy has yet been conferred this rank. (Both the Army and Air Force have had officers who have been conferred with the equivalent rank – Field Marshals Sam Manekshaw and Cariappa of the Army and Marshal of the Indian Air Force (MIAF) Arjan Singh.)

[edit] Enlisted personnel

[edit] Organisation

Indian Naval establishments.
The Indian Navy is divided into the following broad categories:
  • Administration
  • Logistics and Material
  • Training
  • Fleets
  • Naval Aviation
  • Submarines

[edit] Commands

The Indian Navy operates three Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the rank of Vice Admiral.
Commands HQ Location Current FOC-in-C
Western Naval Command Mumbai Vice Admiral D K Joshi
Eastern Naval Command Visakhapatnam Vice Admiral Anil Chopra
Southern Naval Command Kochi Vice Admiral K N Sushil
Two of the three commands have a two-star commanded Fleet, the Eastern and Western Fleets, and each also has a Commodore Commanding Submarines. Southern Naval Command is home to Flag Officer Sea Training.
Additionally, the Andaman and Nicobar Command at Port Blair under Vice Admiral D K Joshi is a joint command reporting to the Chief of Integrated Service Command (CISC) in New Delhi. The Andaman and Nicobar Command, a joint Navy, Indian Army and Indian Air Force command was set up in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 2001.[72] It was created to safeguard India's strategic interests in Southeast Asia and the Strait of Malacca.[73]
The Indian Navy plays a major role in patrolling the area with the Indonesian Navy, Royal Malaysian Navy and Royal Thai Navy.[74][not in citation given] India and Australia signed an agreement to provide maritime security in the Asia Pacific region.[75]

[edit] Bases

Indian Navy Tu-142 and IL-38SD stationed at Arakkonam Naval Air Station
In 2005, the Indian Navy commissioned INS Kadamba at Karwar, 100 km from Goa. This is the third operational naval base after Mumbai and Vishakapatnam and the first to be controlled exclusively by the Navy. (The other bases share port facilities with civilian shipping, but this one is for purely naval use.) Built under Phase I of the multi-billion dollar Project Seabird, it is the largest naval base in the region.[76] Asia's largest Naval academy INS Zamorin, was inaugurated at Ezhimala, in January 2009 by the Prime Minister of India.[77]
Another naval base is being planned for the eastern shores, near Vishakapatnam at a cost of US$350 million.[78] The base, which will be located fifty km south of Vishakapatnam in Rambilli Mandal, will have comprehensive anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and amphibious capability.[79] This east coast base expansion program is in direct response to Chinese PLA Navy activities in the region.[80]
The Indian Navy is setting up a naval station in Madagascar,[81][82] to monitor and patrol the coast of Mozambique as well as the Southern Indian Ocean.[83]
The Indian Navy also has berthing rights in Oman and Vietnam.[84]
Indian Navy's marine commandos during an exercise in the Philippine Sea.

[edit] Marine Commando Force

The Marine Commando Force (MCF), also known as MARCOS, is a special forces unit that was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism. In 1988, the MARCOS successfully rescued several hostages, including Maldives' then-Minister of Education, aboard a ship hijacked by PLOTE mercenaries during Operation Cactus. The MARCOS are also deployed to prevent infiltration through the Jhelum and Wular Lake and are involved in covert counter-terrorism operations in and around lakes and rivers in Jammu and Kashmir.[85][86]
The MARCOS were also involved in the rescue mission of hostages captured by the terrorists in Taj Mahal Palace & Tower luxury hotel in Mumbai as part of a large terrorist attack in Mumbai metropolis in November 2008.[citation needed]

[edit] Ships

The names of all commissioned ships (and Naval Bases) of the Indian Navy are prefixed with the letters INS, designating Indian Naval Ship or Indian Navy Station.
The fleet of the Indian Navy is a mix of domestic built and foreign vessels and is expanding rapidly with new inductions.

[edit] Destroyers

The Indian Navy currently operates the Delhi and Rajput class guided-missile destroyers.
The next-generation, Kolkata class vessels are expected to be commissioned starting in 2012.
INS Shivalik the first indigenous stealth ship of the Indian navy.

[edit] Frigates

The guided-missile frigates currently in service are the Shivalik class , Talwar class, Brahmaputra class and Godavari class. The Nilgiri class (variants of the British Leander class) vessels have all except 2 been decommissioned. The three Advanced Talwar class frigates (Krivak IV) are also scheduled for delivery by 2012.
Further vessels of the Shivalik class are undergoing sea trials and expected to be commissioned in 2011.

[edit] Corvettes

The Indian Navy currently operates the Kora, Khukri, Veer and Abhay class corvettes.
The next-generation Project 28 and Project 28A class of corvettes are expected to be commissioned starting in 2012.

[edit] Amphibious warfare vessels

The Indian Navy has an Amphibious transport dock of the Austin class, re-christened as INS Jalashwa in service. Besides, it also maintains a fleet of tank landing ships and other smaller vessels. It currently has no dedicated helicopter carrier in its possession which is a shortcoming as other navies in the world with aspiring blue water navy capabilities have them, the gap formed is hence filled by indian navy by operating the helicopters from its aircraft carrier to carry out amphibious operations along with anti submarine warfare roles.

[edit] Aircraft carriers

The Indian Navy presently has one aircraft carrier in active service — INS Viraat. The carrier is planned for decommissioning after the induction of the first domestically built Vikrant class aircraft carrier. The Indian Navy will also induct the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya in 2012.[87]

[edit] Submarines

[edit] Diesel submarines

The Indian Navy operates a fleet of diesel-electric submarines of the Sindhughosh and Shishumar classes.
India has started construction of six Scorpène class submarines with MESMA air-independent propulsion. These submarines will join the Indian Navy from second half of 2015 onwards.[88] India issued a request for information for another six submarines in 2011.[89][90]

[edit] Nuclear powered submarines

In 1988, India acquired an ex-Soviet Charlie class nuclear powered guided missile submarine with eight Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) anti-shipping missile launchers on a 3-year lease. In the Indian Navy, the vessel was commissioned as INS Chakra, and the submarine was manned by an Indian crew. Upon expiration of the lease term in 1991, the submarine was returned to Russia and joined the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.
CGI of INSArihant, India's first ballistic missile nuclear submarine.
India paid US$2 billion for the completion of two Akula-II class submarines which were 40–60% completed.[91] Three hundred Indian Navy personnel were trained in Russia for the operation of these submarines. India has finalized a deal with Russia, in which at the end of the lease of these submarines, it has an option to buy them. The first submarine is named INS Chakra, was supposed to be handed over in August 2010, but delayed for unknown reasons until end of 2011.[92][93][94]
India's indigenously designed and built nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines of the Arihant class are expected to be commissioned starting in 2012.[95] The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant, was launched for sea-trials on 26 July 2009 in Visakhapatnam.[96] The Navy plans to have six SSBN's in service.[97]

[edit] Fleet tankers

The Indian Navy currently operates 3 replenishment tankers and one has been launched.They are the Jyoti Class Tanker , INS Aditya (A59) and the new Deepak class fleet tanker.The Deepak class tankers will be the mainstay till the 1st half of the 21st century. The 2nd of the Deepak class will be named 'Shakti'.

[edit] Planned acquisitions

The Navy is purchasing from Russia the Kiev class aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya), which will be delivered to India by 2012.[98]
The Indian Navy is also negotiating with Russia for the acquisition of further Advanced Talwar class frigates, and six conventional submarines.
India started a programme in 1985 to develop indigenous technologies for building a nuclear-powered submarine, known as the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project .The first Advanced Technology Vessel is called INS Arihant, was launched on 26 July 2009.[99] The hull for the vessel has been built by Larsen & Toubro at its A naval version of a nuclear reactor has been developed at the Indira Gandhi Centre For Atomic Research, Kalpakkam and will be deployed on the submarine's hull after miniaturisation. The Prototype Testing Centre (PTC) will be used to test the submarine's turbines and propellers. A similar facility is operational at Vishakapatnam to test the main turbines and gear box.
Once the vessel is completed, it may be equipped with K-15 as well as Sagarika/Agni-III ballistic missiles and advanced Indian made sonar systems. According to defence sources, the ATV is expected to be commissioned in 2010. Each unit will cost US$1 billion.[100] Government has given approval for constructing the follow on SSBN's which will be larger than the Arihant class submarines. Approval has also been given for the construction of SSN's which will escort the SSBN's.[101]

[edit] Aircraft

MiG-29K of the Indian Navy.
The naval air-arm is an important component of the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy air arm consists of Sea Harrier jets that operate from the aircraft carrier INS Viraat and also from INS Jalashwa. The Kamov-31 provide the Airborne Early Warning cover for the fleet. In the anti-submarine role the Sea King, Ka-28 and the domestic built HAL Dhruv are used. The MARCOS use Sea King and HAL Dhruv helicopters while conducting operations. Reconnaissance operations are carried out by Tupolev 142, Ilyushin 38, Dornier Do 228 aircraft, as well as HAL Chetak helicopters. The Aircraft used for carrying out roles of a strategic bomber and as a maritime strike are carried out by 4(3 more on order) Tupolev Tu-22M, which is also capable of performing reconnaissance missions. The UAV arm consists of around 30 UAVs like Heron and Searcher-IIs that are operated from ships and shore for better surveillance. The Indian Navy also maintains a four aircraft aerobatic display team, the Sagar Pawan. The Sagar Pawan team will be replacing their present Kiran HJT-16 aircraft with the newly developed HJT-36 aircraft.[102] The Indian Navy has also placed an order for 8 P-8I Poseidon long-range maritime reconnaissance (LRMR) aircraft.,[103] with further orders for four more aircraft awaiting approval from the Government of India.[104]
In January 2004, the Indian Navy signed a contract for the delivery of 12 MiG-29K and 4 MiG-29KUB which will be operated from INS Vikramaditya.[105] The first MiG-29KUB manufactured for the Navy took to the skies in May 2008.[106] The first four aircraft were delivered to India in February 2009.[107] There were also reports that the Indian Navy would purchase an additional 30 MiG-29Ks and -KUBs for the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier.[108][109] The Indian Navy has a requirement of 50 Naval Tejas aircraft. The first prototype NP-1 is expected to fly in December 2011.[110]
The Indian Air Force also has a maritime strike role, providing support to the Indian Navy. It operates SEPECAT Jaguar[111][112] and Sukhoi Su-30MKI[113] Aircraft in this role. The Jaguars are armed with the Sea Eagle missile, which will be replaced with the Harpoon missile.[114] Su-30MKI and the Il-38 will be armed with the air-launched version of the Brahmos cruise missile.

[edit] Weapon systems

Brahmos supersonic cruise missile is becoming the primary anti-ship missile of the Indian Navy.
The Indian Navy uses modern technology and weapon systems, most of which are imported from foreign countries. Others, like the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, are jointly developed. There are reports on the joint development by India and Israel of the Barak-II missile system, an improved, longer range version of the Barak-I air defence missile which is operational on Indian Navy ships.[115] The Barak-I is used on most of the main ships of the Indian Navy. The Indian Navy's nuclear deterrence capability is based on Sukanya class ships armed with the Dhanush ballistic missiles that has a range of 350 km.
India has a number of foreign made cruise missile systems, including the Klub SS-N-27. It also has its own Nirbhay cruise missile systems under development. The Sagarika (Oceanic) submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM), which has a range of at least 700 km (some sources claim 1000 km) forms part of India's nuclear triad. Another successful programme has been the adaptation of the Yakhont anti-ship missile system into the BrahMos by the NPO and the DRDO. The BrahMos has been tailored to Indian needs and uses a large proportion of Indian-designed components and technology, including its fire control systems, transporter erector launchers, and its onboard navigational attack systems. The successful test of Brahmos from INS Rajput (D51) provides Indian Navy with precision land attack capability.[116]

[edit] Electronic warfare and systems management

Fregat-MAE 3D Radar onboard the destroyer INS Delhi.
Sangraha is a joint electronic warfare programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Navy. The system comprises a family of electronic warfare suites, such as Ajanta and Ellora, for use on different naval platforms capable of intercepting, detecting, and classifying pulsed, carrier wave, pulse repetition frequency agile, frequency agile and chirp radars. The systems employ a modular approach facilitating deployment on various platforms like helicopters, vehicles, and small ships. Certain platforms, apart from ESM (electronic support measures), have ECM (electronic countermeasure) capabilities. Advanced technologies like multiple-beam phased array jammers are employed in the system for simultaneous handling of multiple threats.[117]
The Indian Navy also relies on information technology to face the challenges of the 21st century. The Indian Navy is implementing a new strategy to move from a platform centric force to a network-centric force by linking all shore-based installations and ships via high-speed data networks and satellites.[118][119] This will help in increased operational awareness. The network is referred to as the Navy Enterprise Wide Network (NEWN). The Indian Navy has also provided training to all its personnel in Information Technology (IT) at the Naval Institute of Computer Applications (NICA) located in Mumbai. Information technology is also used to provide better training, like the usage of simulators and for better management of the force.[120]

[edit] Fleet reviews

The President of India is entitled to inspect his/her fleet, as he/she is the supreme commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The first President's fleet review by India was hosted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad on 10 October 1953. President's reviews usually take place once in the President's term. In all, nine fleet reviews have taken place, the most recent being in February 2006, when President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam took the review.[121] The Indian Navy also conducted an International fleet review named Bridges of Friendship in February 2001 in Mumbai. Many ships of friendly Navies from all around the world participated, including two from the U.S. Navy.[122][123]
Once in two years navies from the Indian Ocean region meet at the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the event is named as MILAN (Sanskrit: Get together).[124] MILAN included a passage exercise in 2010.[125]

[edit] Naval exercises and cooperation

Naval ships from five nations in formation during Malabar 2007, the largest war-game hosted by India.[126]
India often conducts naval exercises with other friendly countries designed to increase naval interoperability and also to strengthen cooperative security relationship. Some such exercises take place annually like the Varuna with the French Navy, Konkan with the Royal Navy, Indra with Russian Navy, Malabar with the U.S. Navy, Simbex[127] with the Republic of Singapore Navy and IBSAMAR[128] with the Brazil and South African navies.[129] The Indian Navy also conducted exercise with the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2003 and will send ships to the South China Sea to participate in the fleet review.[130] In 2007, the TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercises) was held during which Indian Navy experimented the doctrine of influencing a land and air battle to support the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force.[131] Apart from the Indian Ocean, India has steadily gained influence in the Pacific Ocean. In 2007, Indian Navy conducted naval exercise with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and U.S Navy in the Pacific[132] and also signed an agreement with Japan in October 2008 for joint naval patrolling in the Asia-Pacific region.[133]
India has also held naval exercise with Vietnam,[134] Philippines and New Zealand.[135] In 2007, India and South Korea decided to conduct annual naval exercise[136] and India participated in the South Korean international fleet review.[137] In addition, Indian Navy will also be increasing naval cooperation with other allies, particularly with Germany[138] and Arab states of the Persian Gulf including Kuwait, Oman,[139] Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.[140][141] India held the first Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS)[142] with an objective to provide a forum for all the littoral nations of the Indian Ocean to cooperate on mutually agreed areas for better security in the region.[143] The Indian Navy is increasingly used in international diplomacy.[144] Since 2000, the Indian naval ships have made port calls in Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Greece, Oman, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, South Africa,[145] Kenya,[146] Qatar, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait[147] and other countries in 2005–2007.
The first Atlantic Ocean deployment of the Indian Navy happened in 2009. During this deployment, the Indian Naval fleet will conduct exercise with the French, German, Russian and British Navies.[148]
Tropex 2010 is currently underway with the Western and Eastern fleets taking part along with elements from the airforce.[149] In 2010, Indian naval warships were deployed in the Asia pacific region, and conducted courtesy calls at friendly ports.[150]
Recently,Indian Navy carried out a Joint Naval exercise with Sri Lanka Navy codenamed SLINEX-II from 19th to 24th September'11.The exercise was aimed at increasing the capabilities of the two nations in carrying out anti-pirate operations and exchanging professional knowledge.[151]

[edit] Exploration

INS Tarangini is the only sail training ship in the Indian Navy and is an icon of India's rich maritime history.
The Indian Navy regularly conducts adventure expeditions. The sailing ship and training vessel INS Tarangini began circumnavigating the world on 23 January 2003, intending to foster good relations with various other nations; she returned to India in May of the following year after visiting 36 ports in 18 nations.[152] INS Tarangini returned to port, after a ten month long overseas voyage named Lokayan 07.[153] Lt. Cdr. M.S. Kohli led the Indian Navy’s first successful expedition to Mount Everest in 1965; the Navy’s ensign was again flown atop Everest on 19 May 2004 by a similar expedition. Another Navy team also successfully scaled Everest from the north face, the technically more challenging route.[154] The expedition was led by Cdr Satyabrata Dam, belonging to the elite submarine arm. Cdr. Dam is a mountaineer of international repute and has climbed many mountains including the Patagonias, the Alps among others. This team's record is unmatched by any other navy. The Navy was also the first to send a submariner to summit Everest.[155]
An Indian Navy team comprising 11 members successfully completed an expedition to the Arctic pole. To prepare, they first travelled to Iceland, where they attempted to summit a peak.[156] The team next flew to eastern Greenland; in the Kulusuk and Angmassalik areas, they used Inuit boats to navigate the region’s ice-choked fjords. They crossed northward across the Arctic Circle, reaching seventy degrees North on skis. The team scaled an unnamed peak of height 11,000 feet (3,400 m) and named it ‘’Indian Peak’’.[157]
The Indian Naval ensign first flew in Antarctica in 1981.[158] The Indian Navy succeeded in Mission Dakshin Dhruv 2006 by traversing to the South Pole on skis. With this historic expedition, they have set the record for being the first military team to have successfully completed a ski traverse to the Geographic South Pole.[159] Also, three of the ten member team – the expedition leader – Cdr. Satyabrata Dam, leading medical assistants Rakesh Kumar and Vikas Kumar are now amongst the few people in the world to have visited the two poles and summited Mt. Everest.[160][161] Indian Navy became the first organisation to reach the poles and Mt.Everest.[162] Cdr. Dilip Donde completed the first solo circumnavigation by an Indian citizen on 22 May, 2010.[163][164]

[edit] Ongoing expansion

The P-8 Poseidon will complement the Tu-142 ME in service.[165]
LCA Tejas
In 2004, India bought the Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov for the equivalent of US$1.5 billion. It will cost an additional US$1.5 billion to refit, and is expected to join the Indian Navy in 2012 as INS Vikramaditya. A further US$700 million will be spent to purchase 12 single-seat MiG-29K and four dual-seat MiG-29KUB fighters, six Kamov-31 attack and reconnaissance anti-submarine helicopters; also included are training facilities for pilots and technical staff, delivery of simulators and spare parts, and establishment and maintenance of Indian Navy facilities. Upgrades include removing missiles from the carrier foredeck to make way for a 14.3-degree ski-jump.[166] The Mig-29's will be delivered to the Indian Navy in 2009.[167]
In April 2007, India began construction of a 40,000 tonne Vikrant class aircraft carrier at a cost of US$800 million and scheduled to operate 30 aircraft, including Naval LCA,[168] MiG-29K, and Sea Harrier combat aircraft, as well as HAL Dhruv, Ka-31, and Sea King Mk.42 helicopters. Four turbine engines will power the ship. The carrier is being constructed by state-run Cochin Shipyard Limited.[169] and will be commissioned by 2012–13. The Indian Minister of State for Defence, Pallam Raju, went on record in September 2006 stating that the aircraft carrier is likely to be commissioned by 2011.[170] There are plans to build more aircraft carriers domestically.[171]
The Indian Navy is currently undergoing rapid expansion and modernisation.[172] Yantar, a plant in Kaliningrad, Russia, was awarded a US$1.56 billion contract to build three additional 1135.6 frigates. The increased price is due to more sophisticated armaments such as BrahMos cruise missiles. The Navy has government approval for an additional eight warships.
The Indian Navy has signed a deal with Boeing to supply twelve P-8 Poseidon Anti Submarine Warfare/Maritime Surveillance Aircraft. The first aircraft will be delivered 4 years after the signing of the contract, that is 2012.[173] Also there are plans to induct four AEW&C aircraft that will be based on carriers.[174]

[edit] Future prospects

India is expected to spend about US$40 billion on military modernisation from 2008 to 2013.[175] A major chunk of those purchases were made for the Indian Navy. Design of a third 65,000 ton aircraft carrier called Indigenous Aircraft Carrier II (IAC-II)is ongoing and will be inducted into the Navy by 2017.[176] Order has been placed for seven Project 17A class frigates.[177] India is currently focusing on expanding its submarine fleet. Also newer technology like the Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) is being developed for the Indian Navy.[178][179]
After ordering six Scorpene submarines as part of Project 75, Indian Navy is now on the look out for six next-generation submarines in a project worth over INR50,000 crore (US$9.5 billion).[180] These six diesel-electric submarines built in India under Project-75I, will be equipped with air-independent propulsion boosting their operational capabilities and will have high degree of stealth, land-attack capability and ability to incorporate futuristic technologies. While according to the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), three of the six submarines will be constructed at the Mazagon Dock Ltd (MDL) in Mumbai and one at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) in Visakhapatnam, the two remaining submarines will either be imported or constructed at a private shipyard in India. RFI has been issued to Rosoboronexport, French (Armaris), Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft and other firms, two rounds of discussions have already taken place.
Indian Navy has shown interest in the Air Force's Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft
The RFP (request for proposal) for six MRMR aircraft with anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities was issued on 11 July 2008 to Italian Alenia Aeronautica's ATR-72-500MP aircraft, Brazilian Embraer P-99 , French Dassault's Falcon 900DX and Russian Antonov-72P. The contract is expected to be signed in 2011 and deliveries to begin by 2012/2013. The contract is estimated to cost INR1,600 crore (US$304 million). The Navy is also planning to induct more UAVs. The India-Israel joint venture to convert the Chetak helicopters into unmanned UAV's that can operate from ships is progressing steadily. All these will be linked with space-based reconnaissance systems.[181] On 13 January 2009, India has issued a request for proposals (RFPs) for six Medium Range Maritime Reconnaissance (MRMR) aircraft. The new aircraft, which will replace the ageing fleet of 10 Islander aircraft in service, are to be equipped with an Airborne Early Warning system. The Indian Coast Guard has an additional requirement for six MRMRs without an Airborne Early Warning system. The MRMR is required to have a range of 500 nautical miles (930 km) and an endurance of 6 hours. Aircraft competing for the order include a variant of Boeing's P-8I, and possibly the turboprop ATR-72MP, EADS C-295, Dassault's Falcon 900MPA and Embraer P-99A platforms. For the Coast Guard RFP, contenders could be the ATR-42MP, C-295 or CN-235MP.
In August 2009, the U.S. Navy and Northrop Grumman briefed the Indian Navy on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. This covered potential use of this platform to satisfy its current shore-based and future carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) requirements. The Indian Navy reportedly expressed interest in acquiring up to six Hawkeyes.[182][183]
Indian Navy has issued a tender for procurement of 16 advanced, multi-role naval helicopters to AgustaWestland, EADS and Sikorsky. The order is likely to be expanded to 60 helicopters. The helicopters will be equipped with anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare equipment including cruise missiles and torpedoes, and also be capable of being refuelled in flight. The type will operate from both naval vessels and land bases.[184]
Global bids has been floated to acquire eight mine countermeasure vessels (MCMVs), to replace the twelve Pondicherry class ocean minesweepers in service. France's DCN International, Fincantieri of Italy, Izar of Spain, Kangnam Shipbuilding Co. of South Korea and Northrop Grumman of the U.S have been invited to participate in the bidding process. Six of the craft will be produced at Goa shipyard under transfer of technology.[185]
With the recent and ongoing upgrades and inductions, independent analysts expect that the Indian Navy may soon become a blue-water navy.[186] India's navy is already the most powerful in the region,[187] and with further upgrades in the future, aims to control the Indian Ocean Region, from the coast of East Africa to Australia.[188] India is also the only Asian navy to regularly operate aircraft carriers.[189] The aim is to have a total of three Aircraft carriers resulting in two fully operational Carrier battle groups and an additional Aircraft carrier eventually in refit making India an operating Blue-water navy.[190]
The ambitious long term plan that was recently revealed shows a road-map to blue water navy with six aircraft carriers.[191]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

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  116. ^ Brahmos naval version tested successfully
  117. ^ Sangraha electronic warfare system
  118. ^ Navy building high-speed data network
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  121. ^ President's fleet review
  122. ^ Bridges of friendship gallery
  123. ^ Bridges of Friendship
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  125. ^ Milan exercise concludes with passage exercise
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  128. ^ India-Brazil-South Africa ‘Tango’ at Sea
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