In­dian Army mov­ing to­wards a ‘ca­pa­bil­ity based mo­du­lar and re­spon­sive struc­ture’

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

SP’s M.A.I. has be­gun 2017 on an op­ti­mistic note, start­ing with the ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with the new Chief of the Staff of the In­dian Army, Gen­eral Bipin Rawat. In an ex­haus­tive in­ter­view, the Gen­eral has rightly pointed out how im­por­tant it is to carry forth the great tradition of the In­dian Army, even while ac­cel­er­at­ing the pace of mod­erni­sa­tion.

The in­ter­view with our team, he has touched upon var­i­ous as­pects of the In­dian Army, wherein the Gen­eral has pointed out how the Army is do­ing its best to ex­pe­dite the pro­cure­ment and max­imise op­er­a­tional readi­ness, by set­ting achiev­able tar­gets. Some of the ini­tia­tives have been to re­duce the pro­cure­ment time­lines as we all know in many in­stances how pro­cure­ment de­ci­sions have pro­tracted for years to­gether, im­pact­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces. The Gen­eral has said ef­forts were on to strengthen pro­cure­ment or­gan­i­sa­tions, en­sure con­cur­rent pro­cure­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, faster de­ci­sion mak­ing and es­tab­lish­ment of a ro­bust mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nism.

On the need to be ever alert, the Gen­eral has said the prin­ci­pal re­gional and ex­tra re­gional threats are from across the land fron­tiers. The threats need to be de­terred by main­tain­ing req­ui­site ‘strike for­ma­tions’. The ac­tive bor­ders char­ac­terised by harsh and in­hos­pitable ter­rain man­date a 365 days vigil with ‘boots on ground’. These threats need to be de­terred by main­tain­ing com­bat ready ‘strike for­ma­tions’ thus trans­lat­ing into force struc­ture im­per­a­tives. He has un­der­scored how In­dia needs a multi-role force ca­pa­bil­i­ties wherein con­ven­tional and sub­con­ven­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties can be bal­anced to re­spond across the spec­trum of con­flict, with min­i­mum re­struc­tur­ing and at op­ti­mum costs. “We need to make a tran­si­tion from the present ‘threat-cum-ca­pa­bil­ity based force struc­tur­ing’, which has its un­der­lin­ing theme as ‘war pre­ven­tion through de­ter­rence’, to­wards a ‘ ca­pa­bil­ity based mo­du­lar and re­spon­sive struc­ture’ based on en­vis­aged fu­ture force ap­pli­ca­tion sce­nar­ios. Right-siz­ing com­men­su­rate to on­go­ing mod­erni­sa­tion is also a key im­per­a­tive that im­pacts cur­rent and fu­ture force struc­tures.”

As the New Year dawned, the In­dian Air Force (IAF) wel­comed Air Chief Mar­shal B.S. Dhanoa, a fighter pi­lot of re­pute and with an im­pec­ca­ble pro­fes­sional cre­den­tials and an im­pres­sive ca­reer profile, who took over as the 25th Chief of the Air Staff from Air Chief Mar­shal Arup Raha who had been at the helm of af­fairs since Jan­uary 1, 2014. Soon af­ter tak­ing over, Air Chief Mar­shal Dhanoa set a fine ex­am­ple of ‘lead­ing from the front’ when he em­barked on a solo mis­sion on a MiG-21 Type 96 fighter air­craft at an air force base in the Western Sec­tor. This has helped re­vi­talise con­fi­dence of fighter pi­lots in the MiG-21 fleet and had a pos­i­tive im­pact on the morale of per­son­nel in the IAF.

In his fort­nightly view­point, Lt. Gen­eral P.C. Ka­toch (Retd) has said that In­dia should never join the CPEC (China-Pak­istan Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor) as it does not give land ac­cess to In­dia to Afghanistan and Cen­tral Asia through Pak­istan; it may in­crease In­dia-China trade but with the ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral im­bal­ance heav­ily in favour of China, it would in­crease the im­bal­ance man­i­fold and also Chi­nese bel­liger­ence; and it would le­git­imise PLA lodge­ment and projects in Gil­git-Baltistan (In­dian ter­ri­tory) un­der­taken with­out any ref­er­ence to In­dia; it would also in­di­cate In­dia’s in­tran­si­gence to Pak­istan’s geno­cide in Balochis­tam; and it will fit into Chi­nese plans to keep In­dia boxed into South Asia.

We wrap up this edi­tion on a good note, the launch of Agni-V and In­dia join­ing the ex­clu­sive ICBM 5,000+ league. This in­deed is a proud mo­ment and a feather in the cap of the DRDO.

We wish all our read­ers a Very Happy New Year!

Happy read­ing!

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