Indian Armed Forces
|Indian Armed Forces
Bharatiya Shashastra Senaen
Emblem of India
|Service branches|| Indian Army
|Commander-in-Chief||President Pranab Mukherjee|
|Minister of Defence||A. K. Antony|
|Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee||Air Chief Marshal N.A.K. Browne|
|Military age||18 years of age|
|319,129,420 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
296,071,637 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
|249,531,562 males, age 16–49 (2010 est.),
240,039,958 females, age 16–49 (2010 est.)
|12,151,065 males (2010 est.),
10,745,891 females (2010 est.)
|Active personnel||1,325,000 (ranked 3rd)|
|Budget||US$ 46.1 billion (FY12) (ranked 8th)|
|Percent of GDP||2.5% (2012 est.)|
|Domestic suppliers||Indian Ordnance Factories
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
Bharat Electronics Limited
Bharat Earth Movers Limited
Bharat Dynamics Limited
Mazagon Dock Limited
Goa Shipyard Limited
Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers
Mishra Dhatu Nigam
|Foreign suppliers|| Russia
|Annual imports||US$ 24 billion (2000-2011)|
|Annual exports||US$ 167 million (2000-2011)
US$ 184 million (2010-12)
|History||Military history of India
British Indian Army
Indian National Army
The Indian Armed Forces (Devanāgarī: भारतीय सशस्त्र सेनाएं, Bhāratīya Saśastra Sēnāēn) are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force supported by Paramilitary forces (Indian Coast Guard, Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force) and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defense.
The Indian armed forces have been engaged in a number of major military operations, including the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Sino-Indian War, the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish, the Kargil War, and the Siachen conflict among others. India honours its armed forces and military personnel annually on Armed Forces Flag Day, 7 December. Since 1962, the IAF has maintained close military relations with Russia, including cooperative development on programs such as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA). The Indian armed forces are steadily undergoing modernization, with investments in such areas as a missile defense system and a nuclear triad.
The Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence is responsible for the indigenous production of equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces. It comprises the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories under control of the Ordnance Factories Board and 8 Defence PSUs namely, HAL, BEL, BEML, BDL, MDL, GSL, GRSE and Midhani. The Indian Armed Forces are currently the world's largest arms importer, with Russia, Israel, and to some extent, France and United States being the primary foreign suppliers of military equipment.
India has one of the longest military histories, dating back several millennia. The first reference of armies is found in the Vedas as well as the epics Ramayana and Mahabaratha. Classical Indian texts on archery in particular, and martial arts in general are known as Dhanurveda.
Ancient to medieval era
Indian maritime history dates back 5,000 years. The first tidal dock is believed to have been built at Lothal around 2300 BC during the Indus Valley Civilization, near the present day Mangrol harbour on the Gujarat coast. The Rig Veda written around 1500 BC, 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 organization devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BC. 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) . 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.
Sea lanes between India and neighboring 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, Chola, Vijayanagara, Kalinga, Mughal and Maratha empires. 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 Pal and Qalbat participated. The Maratha Kanhoji Angre and Kunjali Marakkar, the Naval chief of Saamoothiri were two notable naval chiefs of the period.
British India (1857 to 1947)
The Royal Indian Navy was first established by the British while much of India was under the control of the East India Company. The first Indian to be granted a commission was Sub Lieutenant D. N. Mukherji, who joined the Royal Indian Marine as an engineer officer in 1928. Indian sailors started a rebellion known as the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in 1946, on board ships and in shore establishments which spread all over India. A total of 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors were involved in the rebellion.
Republic of India (1947 to present)
When India became a republic on 26 January 1950, the navy became known as the Indian Navy, and its vessels as Indian Naval Ships (INS). On 22 April 1958 Vice Admiral R. D. Katari assumed office as the first Indian Chief of the Naval Staff. India fought four major wars with its neighbour Pakistan in 1949, 1965, 1971 and 1999, and with China in 1962. The beginning of the 21st century saw reorientation for India in the global stage from a regional role in the subcontinent to a major role in the Indian ocean region stretching from Gulf of Aden to the Malacca Strait.
The headquarters of the Indian Armed Forces is in New Delhi, the capital city of India. The President acts as de jure Commander in chief of the Armed Forces. while de facto control lies with the executive. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the ministry charged with the responsibilities of countering insurgency and ensuring external security of India. General Bikram Singh is the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi is the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) and Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne is the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS). The Indian armed force are split into different groups based on their region of operation. The Indian Army is administratively divided into 7 tactical commands, each under the control of different Lieutenant Generals. 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 Indian Navy operates three Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the rank of Vice Admiral. There are two joint commands whose head can belong to any of the three services. These are the Strategic Forces Command and the Andaman and Nicobar Command. The lack of an overall military commander has helped keep the Indian Armed Forces under civilian control,and has prevented the rise of military dictatorships (unlike in neighboring Pakistan).
The Armed Forces have six main tasks;
- To assert the territorial integrity of India.
- To defend the country if attacked by a foreign nation.
- To send own amphibious warfare equipment to take the battle to enemy shores.
- To follow the Cold Start doctrine, meaning that the Indian Armed Forces are able to quickly mobilise and take offensive actions without crossing the enemy's nuclear-use threshold.
- To support the civil community in case of disasters (e.g. flooding).
- To participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations in consonance with India’s commitment to the United Nations Charter.
The code of conduct of the Indian military is detailed in a semi-official book called "Customs and Etiquette in the Services", written by retired Major General Ravi Arora, which details how Indian personnel are expected to conduct themselves generally. Arora is an executive editor of the Indian Military Review.
The major deployments of the Indian army constitute the border regions of India, particularly Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, and the Northeast India, in order to engage in counter-insurgency and anti-terrorist operations. The major commitments of the Indian Navy constitute patrol missions, anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia, the 'Singapore Indian Maritime Bilateral Exercise' with the Republic of Singapore Navy in the Straits of Malacca, maintaining a military presence in Southeast Asias waters, and joint exercises with other countries, such as Brazil, South Africa, the United States and Japan, France (Varuna naval exercises), People's Republic of China, the Russian Navy (INDRA naval exercises), and others.
India currently maintains the 7th largest defence budget in the world. In 2011 the budget stood at $48.9 billion ($112 billion PPP), this represented 2.5% of GDP. Additional spending is provided separately by the government to be spent on infrastructure in border areas and for paramilitary organizations. A considerable portion of India's defense budget is allocated to the modernization of the country's armed forces, over the period 2007-2012 India was expected to spend about $50 billion on new equipment. In 2009 India increased defence expenditure by 21%.
Contemporary criticisms of the Indian military have drawn attention to several issues, such as lack of political reform, obsolete equipment, lack of adequate ammunition, discipline problems and inadequate Research and Development due to over-reliance on foreign imports. In addition, the lack of a 'strategic culture' among the political class in India is claimed to have hindered the effectiveness of the Indian military. These issues are believed by critics to hobble the progress and modernization of the military. However, analysis of the Central Intelligence Agency indicates that India is projected to possess the fourth most capable concentration of power by 2015. According to a report published by the US Congress, India is the developing world's leading arms purchaser. India is investing 99.7 billion (US$1.7 billion) to build a dedicated and secure optical fiber cable (OFC) network for exclusive use of the Army, Navy and Air Force. This will be one of the world's largest closed user group (CUG) networks.
The highest wartime gallantry award given by the Military of India is the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), followed by the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and the Vir Chakra (VrC). Its peacetime equivalent is the Ashoka Chakra Award. The highest decoration for meritorious service is the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. During 2012, the Indian Armed Forces has a reported strength of 1.45 million active personnel and 2.20 million reserve personnel. In addition, there are approximately 1.40 million paramilitary personnel, making it one of the world's largest military forces. A total of 1,567,390 ex servicemen are registered with the Indian Army, majority of them hailing from Uttar Pradesh(271,928), Punjab (191,702), Haryana(165,702), Maharashtra (143,951), Kerala(127,920), Tamil Nadu (103,156), Rajasthan(100,592) and Himachal Pradesh (78,321). Many of them are re-employed in various Central government sectors.
|Component||Active (2010)||Reserve (2010)|
|Indian Air Force||127,200||140,000|
|Indian Paramilitary Forces||1,300,586||987,821|
Recruitment and training
Recruitment is through five military-related academies. These include the National Defence Academy, Pune, Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Air Force Academy, Hyderabad, Officers Training Academy, Chennai and Officers Training Academy, Gaya. For entrance, one must display that they are both physically and mentally fit to be in the military by written examinations, physical endurance tests and passing medical fitness tests. After being commissioned, these officers are posted and deputed. They are at the helm of affairs not only inside the nation but also at abroad. The officers are appointed and removed only by the President of India. These officers are accorded high status of the nature of the officers of the Indian Administrative Service. The complete list of institutions training Indian army are listed in Military academies in India section.
Overseas bases and relations
In 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship, India made obligation to actively assist Nepal in national defence and military preparedness, and made both nations not to tolerate threats to each other's security. In 1958, the then-Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru visited Bhutan and reiterated India's support for Bhutan's independence and later declared in the Indian Parliament that any aggression against Bhutan would be seen as aggression against India. India started the process to bring the island country Maldives into India's security grid. India is also one of three countries with whom Japan has a security pact, the others being Australia and the United States. India and Russia have a military cooperation pact until 2010 which is likely to be extended or renewed. In 1951, India and Burma signed a Treaty of Friendship in New Delhi. Article II of the treaty stipulated that "There shall be everlasting peace and unalterable friendship between the two States who shall ever strive to strengthen and develop further the cordial relations existing between the peoples of the two countries". India had signed a pact to develop ports in Myanmar and various bilateral issues, including economic cooperation, connectivity, security and energy. India and Israel have increased cooperation in military and intelligence ventures since the establishment of diplomatic relations. While India and Israel were officially "rivals" during the Cold War, the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Islamic terrorism in both countries have generated a strong strategic alliance. India has maritime security arrangement in place with Oman and Qatar. In 2008, a landmark defense pact was signed, under which India committed its military assets to protect "Qatar from external threats". On 9 June 2012, the JIMEX 2012 naval exercise took place off the coast of Tamil Nadu in India to Tokyo in Japan. This was the first ever bilateral maritime exercise between the two nations in a long time, reflecting their similar interests, especially the ones involving spontaneous regional security against common external aggressors.
It is a completely voluntary service, the military draft having never been imposed in India. The army has rich combat experience in diverse terrains, due to India's diverse geography, and also has a distinguished history of serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations. 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 force is headed by the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army, currently General Bikram Singh. The highest rank in the Indian Army is Field Marshal, but it is a largely ceremonial rank and appointments are made by the President of India, on the advice of the Union Cabinet of Ministers, only in exceptional circumstances. (See Field Marshal (India)). Late General S.H.F.J. Manekshaw and the late General K.M. Cariappa are the only two officers who have attained this rank.
The Indian Army has seen military action during the First Kashmir War, Operation Polo, the Sino-Indian War, the Second Kashmir War, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, the Sri Lankan Civil War and the Kargil War. Currently, the Indian army has dedicated one brigade of troops to the UN's standby arrangements. Through its large, sustained troop commitments India has come in for much praise for taking part in difficult operations for prolonged periods. The Indian Army has participated in several UN peacekeeping operations, including the ones in Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia. The army also provided a paramedical unit to facilitate the withdrawal of the sick and wounded in Korea. The Indian Army has embarked on an infantry modernization program known as Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS).
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the Indian armed forces. With 58,350 men and women, including 7,000 personnel of Indian Naval Air Arm, 1,200 Marine Commandos (MARCOS) and 1,000 personnel of the Sagar Prahari Bal, it is one of the world's largest navy.
In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone modernization and expansion with the intention of countering growing Chinese maritime power in the Indian Ocean and reaching the status of a recognized blue-water navy. New equipment programs include; the lease of a nuclear-powered submarine INS Chakra from Russia, the ex soviet carrier INS Vikramaditya and the first of the indigenously built Arihant class ballistic missile submarines by 2012, the first of the Scorpene class submarines by 2015 and the indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant by 2017. The plan in the near future is to have two aircraft carriers at sea at all times, with a third docked up in maintenance. Other programs include the Talwar and Shivalik frigates and the Kolkata class destroyers, all of which will be equipped with the BrahMos cruise missile.
The production of INS Arihant makes the Indian Navy one of six navies world wide that are capable of building and operating nuclear-powered submarines - others include China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force 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 British Raj 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.
Historically, the IAF has generally relied on Soviet, British, Israeli and French military craft and technology to support its growth. However, in recent times India has manufactured its own aircraft such as the HAL Tejas, a 4th generation fighter, and the HAL Dhruv, a multi-role helicopter, which has been exported to several countries, including Israel, Burma, Nepal and Ecuador. India also maintains UAV squadrons which can be used to carry out ground attacks and aerial surveillance. India is also testing its own long range BVR air to air missile named Astra. and also building a Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) called Rustom.
Indian Coast Guard
The Indian Coast Guard is a maritime Para-Military Force (PMF) created to patrol and secure India's vast coastline. It was created on 18 August 1978 as an independent entity as per the Coast Guard Act. The coast guard works closely with the Indian Navy and the Indian Customs Department, and is usually headed by a naval officer of the rank of Vice-Admiral. India's coast guard has a large number of fast craft including hovercrafts and hydrofoils. They patrol the seas and river mouths. The coast guard has performed a number of commendable tasks of rescuing distressed personnel. It has also apprehended pirates on high seas and cleaned up oil spills. Heavy patrolling of sensitive areas such as Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal and Mumbai have resulted in the nabbing of a large number of smugglers and illegal immigrants.
Weapons of mass destruction
India has been in possession of nuclear weapons since 1974 and maintains a no-first use and a nuclear deterrence policy against nuclear adversaries. India's nuclear missiles include the Prithvi, the Agni, the Shaurya, Sagarika, Dhanush, and others. India has long range strategic bombers like the Tupolev Tu-22 M3 and Tupolev Tu-142 as well as fighter jets like Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, MiG-29 and HAL Tejas capable of being armed with nuclear tipped bombs and missiles. Since India doesn't have a nuclear first use against an adversary, it becomes important to protect from a first strike. Presently, this protection is provided by the two layered Anti-ballistic missile defense system. India conducted its first test with the Agni-V, a MIRV ICBM, in April 2012.
India's Strategic Nuclear Command controls its land-based nuclear warheads, while the Navy controls the ship and submarine based missiles and the Air Force the air based warheads. India's nuclear warheads are deployed in four areas:
- Ship based mobile, like Dhanush. (operational)
- Land-based mobile, like Agni. (operational)
- Submarine based, like Sagarika. (operational)
- Air-based warheads of the Indian Air Forces' strategic bomber force (operational)
Missile defence programme
Phase 1 Development of ABM System began in 1999. Around 40 public and private Companies were involved in the development of ABM System. They include Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Astra Microwave, ASL, Larsen & Toubro, Vem Technologies Private Limited and KelTech. Development of LRTR (Long Range Tracking Radar) and MFCR (Multi-function Fire Control Radar) was led by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (ERDE).
For the AAD Missile System, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) developed the mission control software. Research Centre, Imarat (RCI) developed navigation, electromechanical actuation systems and Active Radar Seeker. Advanced System Laboratory (ASL) provided the motors, jet vanes and structures for the two missiles. High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) supplied the propellants for the missile.
Phase 2 Two new anti-ballistic missiles that can intercept IRBM/ICBMs are being developed. These high speed missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) are being developed to intercept ballistic missiles with the range of 5000 km. The test trials of these two systems is expected to take place in 2011. The new missile will be similar to the THAAD missile deployed by the U.S.A. These missiles will have to travel at hypersonic speeds and will require radars with scan capability of over 1500 kilometers to successfully intercept the target.
India is also planning to develop a laser based weapon system as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence to intercept and destroy missiles soon after they are launched towards the country. DRDO's Air Defence Programme Director V K Saraswat says its ideal to destroy a ballistic missile carrying nuclear or conventional warhead in its boost phase. Saraswat further added that it will take another 10–15 years for the premier defence research institute to make it usable on the ground.
Peace keeping and anti-piracy missions
In November 2008, an Indian navy warship destroyed a suspected Somali pirate vessel after it came under attack in the Gulf of Aden. India is regular contributor to United Nations and other Peacekeeping missions. The troop-contributions to UN peacekeeping operations as of March 2007 were 9,471. It also suffered 127 soldier deaths while serving on peacekeeping missions. India also provided army contingent performing a peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990 as Indian Peace Keeping Force and in November 1988, India also helped restore government of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in Maldives under Operation Cactus.
India sought to augment its naval force in the Gulf of Aden by deploying the larger INS Mysore to patrol the area. Somalia also added India to its list of states, including the U.S. and France, who are permitted to enter its territorial waters, extending up to 12 nautical miles (22 km; 14 mi) from the coastline, in an effort to check piracy. An Indian naval official confirmed receipt of a letter acceding to India's prerogative to check such piracy. "We had put up a request before the Somali government to play a greater role in suppressing piracy in the Gulf of Aden in view of the United Nations resolution. The TFG government gave its nod recently." India also expressed consideration to deploy up to four more warships in the region. And in response increased activity of the INS Tabar. On 2010-09-06 A crack team of Indian marine commandos(MARCOS)from INS Delhi boarded the boat and overpowered the pirates - seven heavily armed Somalians and one Yemeni national. A cache of arms, several drums of fuel and ship boarding equipment was also found. As part of the Indian response to the piracy menace in the area, the Indian Navy has escorted over 1,200 ships so far.
Relief operations of IAF
Indian Air Force provides regular relief operation for food and medical facility around the world by its cargo aircraft most notably Ilyushin Il-76. The most recent relief operation of the IAF was in Kyrgyzstan. During the Leh floods, two Ilyushin Il-76 and four Antonov-32 aircraft of the IAF carried 30 tonnes of load, which include 125 rescue and relief personnel, medicines, generators, tents, portable X-ray machines and emergency rescue kits. A MI-17 helicopter and Cheetah helicopter were pressed to increase effectiveness of the rescue operations.
IAF efforts in eclipse study
The Indian Air Force successfully undertook sorties to help Indian scientists study the total solar eclipse that took place on 23 July 2010. Two separate missions from Agra and Gwalior were flown along the path of the moon's shadow, a mission that was deemed hugely successful by scientists associated with the experiment. While one AN-32 transport aircraft carrying scientific equipment, cameras and scientists that took off from Agra landed back after a three-hour flight, a Mirage-2000 trainer from Gwalior took spectacular images of the celestial spectacle from 40,000 feet. With weather being clear at such altitudes and coordinates planned by the IAF pilots, both AN-32 and Mirage-2000 pilots were able to accomplish the mission successfully.
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- Paramilitary Forces of India
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- Equipment of the Indian Army
- Indian Naval Air Arm
- Ships of the Indian Navy
- Weapon systems of the Indian Navy
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- Ordnance Factories Board
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- List of regiments of the Indian Army
- Military operations of India
- List of missiles
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Military of India|
- Indian Armed Forces - Indian military's official website
- Indian Air Force Official website
- Indian Navy Official website
- India Defence - Military & Defence News
- Indian-Military.org- Website dedicated to Indian Military
- xisf.org- Website of XISF Foundation, focussed on welfare of ex-services personnel from Indian Military
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Vehicles used by Indian Armed Forces|