Friday, October 21, 2011

India Goes Mountainwards


As  China builds up psychological pressure on India through massive infrastructural development along the border ,repeated incursions into the Indian territory and  troops position in POK ,India seriously considers the prophecy that China will invade India in 2012.As a result India is on a strategic overdrive to resist the occurrence of 1962. But gaps still remain in its defense preparedness.
Regarding force structure, India has raised two mountain divisions. Demands are being raised to raise a Himalayan army to guard the mountainous borders with China. An army constituted of the Tibetan refugees can be a psychological weapon for India Arunachal scouts can play a significant-role. A special force constituted of the Ladakhis is a good idea.Infact the locals can fight with greater skill.
Regarding surveillance, a lot needs to be done. There should be dedicated military satellites with all-weather, day-night surveillance radars to monitor Chinese build up along the border.Besides, mountain radars, AWACS radars like Israeli Phalcons and reconnaissance drones should be pressed into service. The air force’s AFnet is a good concept and should be pursued with vigor. Besides, cyber surveillance should be stepped up at least to get an inkling of the Chinese military plan against India. The concept of ethical hackers will not help India. Rather it should build a dedicated military cyber division with offensive capabilities as well. India urgently needs a NORAD like facility to monitor the launch of hostile rockets and missiles in the field of space monitoring, GLONASS, GAGAN and GPS should be utilized at the fullest.
Regarding weapon-systems, India is on the right track. In the selection process of the medium multi-role combat aircraft the high altitude performance played crucial role. This is a good thinking considering the hostile mountainous borders. The 145 ultra-light howitzers contracted from the US can play an outstanding role. The Block 3 version of Brahmos, with the steep diving capability, is a fantastic weapon for mountain applications. Again to increase the fire power of the military, India must increase and deploy the combat-proven Bofors- like artillery guns. In this context, India’s reported attempt to manufacture six prototypes of the Bofors guns within the next 18 months is commendable. India’s decision  to field T72 Tanks in the mountains and the test    running of theMBT through the all –weather Zojila pass, sending tanks in Sikkim all point to a resurgent and confident India. India’s opportunity to buy the Bunker Buster bombs should be utilized considering their power to destroy the deepest enemy bunkers .India is right in contracting high altitude attack choppers.
But buying the C17s and CJ130s, was the most significant decision of the Indian government. These updated aircraft, along with the existing IL76 and AN32, will help India in rapid force projection at  the time of war with Pakistan and China.
In the field of missiles, the K15 land variant, Shourya with its underground and canisterised capabilities could play a significant part in war with China. With its satellite-evading potential it can be useful. But the 5000km plus “China killer” or Agni5, to be tested in December, will be the real strategic weapon for India.   With its road –mobile, canisterised and multiple warhead capability, with the potential to target the northernmost city of China, Harbin, it has already shaken the Chinese media.
The deployment of the Akash anti-missile system in the North-East is a good move.
But whatever weapon systems India deploys ,it can not compensate for the gaping infrastructural situation that prevails along the Indo-China border .India must finish building the mountain highways, tunnels ,bridges, bunkers and railways .These projects should be hastened.
The army is rightly arranging for night- landing facilities at all the forward airbases along the border with China.
Finally, the experiences of Kargil should be studied and utilized. The military plan to convert all stations in the North –East into army-shelters deserves praise.
Hence, the government should raise the morale of the forces through adequate preparedness.

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