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In This Issue
Smerch BM-30 can be used as an independent artillery system, with shoot-and-scoot capabilities, in the highaltitude mountainous areas of Jammu and Kashmir BRIGADIER (RETD) VINOD ANAND ?
Issue 2 • 2009
Vo l 6 N o 2
AN SP GUIDE P U B L I C AT I O N
Sponsor of International Seminar - BMS - organised by Indian Army and CII
A Battle Management System would provide situational awareness to a unit/subunit/ detachment commander and networking him down to an individual soldier or a tank LT. GENERAL (RETD) V.K. KAPOOR ?
T h e O N LY j o u r n a l i n A s i a d e d i c a t e d t o L a n d F o r c e s
M-109 has been continually upgraded and improved to today’s current version, the M-109A6 “Paladin”, which is used in US Army in its armoured and mechanised divisions.
LT GENERAL (RETD) R.S. NAGRA ?
E diit orial E d torial
The situation in Pakistan is deteriorating rapidly. While on one hand we have seen the assertion of the popular will in the reinstatement of Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, on the other hand the internal security situation in Pakistan is in shambles. The suicide bombing of a mosque in Jamrud in Khyber agency on March 27, 2009, was followed by an audacious assault on the Police Training Centre at Manawan on March 30 on the outskirts of Lahore. Sunday April 05, saw yet another suicide blast this time by a teenager, in a Shia mosque in Chakwal in Punjab which was executed a few hours after the targeting of the security forces near the UN office, in the heart of Islamabad. It is obvious that Pakistan’s capacity and will to tackle Al Qaida, Taliban and other jihadi groups is lacking. Analysts in New York and in Washington who are already putting forward apocalyptic timetables for Pakistan feel that the US is running out of time to help Pakistan change its present course. David Kilcullen, a specialist in guerrilla warfare and counter insurgency, who advised Gen. David H. Petraeus when he was the American commander in Iraq, has said that Pakistan could be facing internal collapse within six months. President Obama’s new strategy for Af-Pak region calls for a virtual remaking of Pakistan’s institutions and even of the national psyche. While officially, Pakistan’s government welcomed Mr. Obama’s strategy, with its massive dose of monetary aid of $1.5 billion a year for 5 years, however its people and the official machinery including the military are continuing to deny that a threat from Al Qaeda and the Taliban, is so imminent. In light of the above India needs to effectively protect it’s economic and security interests from the menacing developments in the neighbourhood. India should hone its intelligence gathering capabilities in all dimensions and virtually seal its land and maritime borders with rapid reaction forces available to manage crises within and to strike across the border based on real-time intelligence. Publication and release of this issue is coinciding with the Battle Management Systems (BMS) Seminar in mid-April 2009 and hence it carries the interview of the Director General Information Systems along with two articles on BMS and other interesting pieces including Limited Wars in Asia, Chinas Asymmetric Warfare capability, Multi Barreled Rocket Launchers, Self Propelled Guns in artillery and the status of the Army Air Defence in India.
Fa c e t o Fa c e
Photographs: SP Guide Pubns
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
LT GENERAL (RETD) PRAN PAHWA Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor EDITOR
In an interview to SP’s Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal and Editor of SP’s Land Forces Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor, Director General Information Systems Lt General P.C. Katoch, UYSM, AVSM, SC, pinpoints the loopholes and challenges facing the Indian Army in its quest to achieve network centric capability.
“In a network centric environment, where we are looking at seamless integration, communications policies need to be formulated and implemented centrally.”
mations and achieve network enabled status by about middle of the next decade.
SP’s: Are we prepared to deal with the threats that the networks are going to face?
DGIS: Our networks have robust inbuilt security and will be operating on secure gateways. However, national expertise toward tackling the embedded threats is at present limited and needs to be developed.
SP’s: Is the IA planning to network all weapon platforms for ‘situational awareness’ or is this going to be done selectively? What are the costs involved?
DGIS: Networking in the army is being planned right from the Army Headquarters level down to the individual soldier and the tanks. This networking, however, will be done in a phased manner. Costs involved are as per the long term perspective plans of modernisation of the army.
SP’s: Apart from digitised communications, what are the other essentials necessary to convert the army’s stand alone weapon systems into situational awareness platforms? What could be the cost incurred for digitising a formation, like a division?
SP’s Land Forces (SP’s): Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is an information superiority-enabled concept at the heart of which lie digital communication networks. How is the Indian Army (IA) visualising transformation to this type of warfare?
Director General Information Systems (DGIS): The IA is undergoing a phase of transition from conventional warfare to information-enabled warfare, that is, from platform centric to network centric warfare. The full realisation of any such revolution is possible only with technological development, organisational adaptation and, most importantly, a national will. An effective and technologically sound information technology (IT) force, along with robust communication networks, have been created to facilitate real-time sharing of information and quick decision making so as to achieve information superiority. A road map has been formulated by which we can progress steadily towards being a potent IT force. Next, we have identified development of C4I2 systems as a major thrust area for modernisation of the army. Development and fielding of automated operational information systems for various levels of operations from Army HQs to Battalion HQs and down to individual soldiers is in progress. Command Information Decision Support System, Artillery Combat Command Control System, Battlefield Surveillance System, Air Defence Control and Reporting System and Battlefield Management System are the major projects under development. Integrated together with requisite communications, these systems will provide near real time ‘Sensor to Shooter’ links to make the army a network centric force.
WWW.SPSLANDFORCES.NET SP’s: The absence of NCW capabilities is already being felt in the military. What is the current progress within the army and among the three services?
is the requirement of the day. We are making a headway towards achieving such a force keeping the primary focus of protecting our borders and sovereignty. Fighting terrorism/insurgency effectively would be a tremendous spin-off acquired through Net-centric capability. At present, we have a number of projects working towards obtaining NCW capabilities, which are following a road map and are at different stages of development. Even the networking at Tri Service level has been worked out and is being implemented.
SP’s: The military instrument of NCW will have to be forged on suitably integrated organisations, induction of new technologies, joint operational concepts and doctrines and joint training. Your comments.
skills in their respective fields. We also have a Tri-Service Defence IT Consultative Committee which incorporates leaders from the industry and academia for advice on important IT matters to the services.
SP’s: The terrorist attacks in Mumbai revealed that while even terrorists were using technologies easily available in the market to achieve effective communication, India’s elite counter-terror outfits had failed to master technologies which could lend the winning edge. Where do we lack in capability? What is the status in terms of ISR capabilities? What can be done in the interim till the IA acquires full spectrum Command, Information and Decision Support System (CIDSS) capability?
DGIS: The systems to get seamlessly meshed with the overall NCW environment require equipments and weapon systems which are network enabled. In other cases, a human interface is being adopted as an interim measure. The complete digitisation process is being done in phases and procedures are being networked selectively. The costs incurred are as per the long term perspective planning funds allocated by the army for this purpose.
SP’s: All advanced countries have some forms of Soldier Modernisation Programmes. How has India’s F-INSAS been designed and how much progress have we achieved?
DGIS: Interoperability is a problem facing not just the IA but many other armies the world over. Since the systems were conceived and developed in standalone modes, their integration into a system of systems in a seamless manner is a technological challenge. We are working towards identifying appropriate solutions and a common Network Centric Operations philosophy is being worked out. Integration at HQ Integrated Defence Staff level is ensuring interoperability and synergy at the inter-services levels.
SP’s: NCW will also demand a Defence Communication Network (DCN) to derive the full benefits of the synergy so acquired. What is the status of this project?
DGIS: The reasons for failure to detect/ intercept the intrusion of terrorists into Mumbai are being investigated by other agencies. I cannot comment on those issues. The IA is among the most advanced armies to have sophisticated surveillance systems. These surveillance devices are being networked in a phased manner for better synchronisation, speedy transfer of information and efficient decision making. Let me assure you that the IA is modernising itself to meet the challenges of the future.
SP’s: The IA’s CIDSS involves development of the following: • Artillery Command and Control, and Communication System • Air Defence Control and Reporting System • Electronic Warfare System • Battlefield Surveillance System, and • Battle Management System What is the current status of each project?
DGIS: F-INSAS is a multifaceted programme which aims at making the soldier an integral part of the war fighting system. This involves provisioning of state-of-the-art weapon system, communication equipment, and so on to make the soldier more effective and survivable in war.
SP’s: Software-Defined Radio (SDR) is a rapidly evolving technology and over the last few years, analog radio systems are being replaced by digital radio systems. How is the IA proposing to implement it?
DGIS: DCN is a futuristic project to provide communication connectivity for all the three services. The project is progressing well and will be incorporating the aspirations of the three services.
SP’s: How are India’s advanced software capabilities being exploited by the IA?
DGIS: In my opinion, so far as IA is concerned SDR is the future of military communication. It has definite advantages over the present family of radios in the IA. It is only a matter of time before SDRs are inducted in the army.
SP’s: Communications policy has to be uniform and the equipment should be compatible to ensure standardisation and networking. How can this be achieved in a force as large as the IA?
DGIS: The hurdles in sharing information among the various agencies of the country are not only because of lack of media or infrastructure, but also due to organisational and procedural hurdles. These are being addressed at appropriate levels by concerned agencies. War fighting is a continuously evolving affair and a Net-Centric force
DGIS: As I said earlier, all our projects are being executed by leading IT players in the industry who have established credentials. Some packages, such as various mission critical Operational Information Systems, are being designed by the DRDO and Bharat Electronics Limited, who also have advanced
DGIS: The projects are at various stages of development—from systems study stage, as in the case of Battlefield Management System, to fielding stage, as in the case of Artillery Combat Command Control System.
SP’s: Does the IA’s overall concept cater for 100 per cent NCW capable formations or is the pan to selectively transform the army formations. By when will the force be capable of engaging in NCW?
DGIS: The IA will completely network for-
DGIS: In a network centric environment, where we are looking at seamless integration, communications policies need to be formulated and implemented centrally. You are right when you mentioned that policies based for different arms are no longer tenable. I strongly feel that we need a common communication policy not just for the army but also for all three services. SP
SP’ S L AN D FO RC E S 2/ 2 0 09
GR EAT PERF OR MANCES.
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION OF ELECTRONIC DEFENCE SYSTEMS.
A i r Defence
One regiment of the Tangushka was procured, but subsequent procurement got mired in hassles and tussles, consequently the AAD now has to make do with limited equipment
ly been successfully upgraded with an Israeli radar and is in the final stages of induction. Quick Reaction SAM system: The current QR SAM system is OSA-AK, a highly mobile system for the defence of armour formations that is more than 20 years old and hence, needs to be replaced. DRDO’s efforts to develop the Trishul system did not succeed and a RFP has been issued. Among the contenders, Israel’s Spyder has already been tried and selected by the Indian Air Force (IAF), but its mobility is yet to be proved. Raytheon’s HAWK XXI is a more advanced and compact version of HAWK PIP-3 upgrade integrated with a swanky new 3D MPQ-64 Sentinel radars. The missiles are upgraded MIM-23K standard with an improved blast-fragmentation warhead that creates a larger lethal zone. Raytheon’s other system is SLAMRAAM which is the land version of air-to-air missile about to be inducted into the US defence forces. Other systems are Russia’s TOR M-1 which has a range of 12 km and Aster15 with a range of about 30 km, both seem to fall in the category of either less or more range than required. There are reports that the DRDO has entered into a joint venture with MBDA for the Mica missile, christened Maitre (friendship), under a Short Range SAM (SR SAM) system programme to replace the QR SAM. Medium Range SAM (MR SAM) system: The current system, the Kvadrat, is more than 35 years old and has the technology of the early 1960s. An RFP was issued but later withdrawn due to poor response. The DRDO’s Akash has not succeeded in mobile role although the IAF has procured limited numbers to replace the ageing Pechoras, but additional procurement appears to be through a joint venture of the DRDO and IAI of Israel. The contenders could be Russia’s BUK-M1, Aster30, Israel’s Barak ‘Next Generation’, MBDA’s MICA, Patriot Advance Capability-3 (PAC-3). The PAC-3 system incorporates many changes to the ground equipment and the missile, and is fielded in incremental steps, called Configuration 1, 2, and 3. The ultimate PAC-3/Conf.3 includes upgrades to the radar (now designated AN/MPQ-65) to increase detection in high-clutter environments, and to improve discrimination of closely spaced objects (better decoy recognition). Patriot is the obvious frontrunner as it is war proven, incorporates hit-to-kill technology, can engage aircraft, helicopters, UAVs, cruise and tactical ballistic missiles deployed with 10 nations, including the US. Since production began in 1980, 170 Patriot units and 9,000 missiles have been supplied globally. Shoulder Fired SAM systems: The current system Igla is in service with the Indian Navy and the IAF. It was to be replaced with a latest version, the Igla-M, which had a better ‘approacher mode’ capability, but there was some delay. It may still be in the reckoning along with Starstreak from Britain, Stinger Block 2 of the US and the Mistral of France. Quite evidently, the army, bureaucrats and the ministers have to work in synergy and with complete transparency to ensure the process does not become ‘king’—and modernisation is taken to its logical conclusion. SP
Photographs: SP Guide Pubns, Rheinmetall and Raytheon
A candid review of the incumbent government’s achievements in the context of modernisation reveals a rather sorry state of affairs
LT GENERAL (RETD) NARESH CHAND
ince World War II, Army Air Defence (AAD) has emerged a vital component for any modern army. The Battle of Britain, for instance, showcased the use of airpower in the 1940s wherein the German Air Force made a sustained effort to gain air superiority over the Royal Air Force, especially the Fighter Command. In a speech made on June 18, 1940, in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: “The Battle of France is over. I expect the Battle of Britain is about to begin...” The first major campaign to be fought entirely by air forces, the Battle of Britain witnessed the largest and most sustained bombing campaign attempted till then. Britain employed pure air power to counter Germany primarily because the ground-based AD weapons had not reached the level of maturity required to effectively engage and destroy an aerial target moving at great speed in three dimensions simultaneously. The development of radar and missiles added teeth to the existing gun systems and since then AD has not looked back in its march towards becoming an effective counter to air power. Nor has the development of air power and aerial platforms—including supersonic fighter aircraft with superior avionics and aeronautics, beyond the visual range armament, UAVs, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles—stopped. Alarmingly deteriorating security environment in the immediate neighbourhood and relentless terrorist strikes have compelled Indian government to get its act together to defend the nation from all types of external and internal threats. With a new regime likely to be in place in about two months, it would be pertinent to review the incumbent UPA government’s achievements during its
full tenure in the context of defence modernisation and the challenges it leaves behind for the future government.
Current AD scenario
AAD of the Indian Army at present comprises systems of varying vintage ranging from 45 (L70 gun) to 15 years old (Tangushka). However, a majority of the remaining guns and missiles are about 20 to 25 years old. The technology, especially in the field of ammunition, missiles, sensors and active seekers, has advanced very rapidly, thereby necessitating upgrade and replacement of
AAD of the Indian Army at present comprises systems of varying vintage ranging from 45 (L70 gun) to 15 years old (Tangushka)
the existing AD weapon systems at least every 10 to 15 years so that these remain current. Considering the vintage, the current AAD picture is rather dismal when reviewed system by system. L/70 Gun system: L/70 is the mainstay and has been the war horse of AAD since 1964. It was to be completely replaced by 2000; however, there has been no progress. The Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) effort has kept its replacement at a limb for about two decades. Not many gun systems are currently available but a possible choice is Skyshield of
Rheinmetall Defence which has an effective range of 4 km and rate of fire of 1,000 rounds per minute. A match for any fire control radar, its most redeeming feature is the Advance Hit Efficiency And Destruction (AHEAD) technology—ammunition which contains 152 heavy tungsten metal, spin stabilised sub-projectiles, ejected by a time fuze. It is reportedly very effective against small targets. There is a strong case for transfer of technology for the gun for manufacture at Jabalpur’s Gun Carriage Factory after reviving the defunct L/70 production line as a large number of guns are to be replaced. The same system can replace ZU-23mm twin barrel guns, if found suitable, and thereby reduce the inventory. A project for its upgrade with a better optronics sighting system and a ballistic computer has been in progress for more than five years, but as to when it will fructify is anybody’s guess. Schilka System: A highly mobile system for supporting armour formations, the Schilka has been in service since the early 1970s. One regiment of its successor, the Tangushka, was procured, but subsequent procurement of additional mounts got mired in hassles and tussles, consequently the AAD now has to make do with limited equipment that does not meet current operational requirement. Worse, there are hardly any choices globally. One option is to take dispensation for diluted operational requirement and ‘single vendor’, and procure more numbers of Tangushka mounts. Alternatively, Skyshield gun, fire control radar and a suitable missile can be co-mounted on a chassis like T-72/ T-90 through a joint venture of the Ordnance Factory Board and Rheinmetall Defence, thereby rendering it an indigenous flavour. Meanwhile, the Schilka has reported-
Skyshield 35 by Rheinmetall
US Patriot Air Defence missile
SP’ S L AN D FO RC E S 2/ 2 0 09
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Lethality & Precision
BRIGADIER (RETD) VINOD ANAND
R ocket Ar tiller y
India should continue to develop its indigenous rocket launching systems and produce MLRS with capabilities similar to that of Smerch or even better
Therefore, it is necessary to develop corresponding capabilities by acquiring suitable UAVs and satellite systems that can provide continuous surveillance. Russians are developing a miniature aerial vehicle with stabilised camera which can be launched from the Smerch launcher to enable the Smerch commander to obtain real time battlefield surveillance data. The aerial vehicle uses Global Positioning System and has the same range and can transmit data up to 30 minutes.
The 9A52-2T Smerch MLRS is an upgraded variant of the original Smerch based on the Tatra chassis
cquisition of multi-barrel rocket launching systems has been considered mandatory to add punch to the artillery support fires. In the initial stages, India had acquired 122 mm multi-barrel GRAD BM-21 rocket launching systems (MRLS) from Russia to provide fire support to the country’s assaulting echelons and neutralizing the enemy positions. Aim was to cover a wider area with saturation fire in a very short time—the large number of unguided free flight rockets provided the required dispersion and the shock effect at the target end. Of late, however, there is a trend in the new MRLS to have a smaller number of larger-diameter rockets, often using cluster sub-munitions rather than a large number of small rockets. Further, to improve their accuracy and lethality there is a trend towards providing guidance to the rockets. Together with the 122 mm MRLS, the Russians had also given GRAD (P) Increment, a single rocket launching system which was not required by India. However, nowadays such single barrel rocket launchers have become common weapons of choice for militants with little accuracy but a great deal of portability.
The Pinaka MBRL
The MRLS are generally grouped with the corps level artillery. These systems are light and, therefore, highly mobile and provide flexibility to the commander for both employment and deployment. The MRLS are light because they are not burdened with the heavy recoil systems of the artillery guns. However, 122 mm GRAD has a limited reach of 20 km compared to medium guns like 155 mm which have a maximum range of 40 km with rocket assisted projectiles. Therefore, the Indian Army needed longer range rocket systems. Combined with the necessity of indigenising the country’s defence production, the Defence Research and Development Organisation commenced research and development (R&D) on a longer range multi-barrel rocket launcher (MBRL), christened Pinaka. Not only was the R&D successful in devel-
oping Pinaka, it was also the first major weapon system which was contracted to private enterprises for production. In April 2006, the Advanced Material Division of Tata Power and the Heavy Engineering division of Larsen & Toubro bagged orders to produce around 40 Pinaka MBRLs each. Pinaka 214 mm MBRLS is all weather, indirect fire, free flight, area saturation weapon system. It consists of a vehicle mounted with 12 tubes, three replenishment vehicles, a loader-cumreplenishment vehicle and a fire control system. It can fire rockets with a range of 40 km, in a salvo of 12 rockets with 1.2 tonnes of high explosives within 40 seconds. It can be fitted with a variety of warheads ranging from blast-cum-pre-fragmented high explosives to anti-tank anti-personnel mines. In the Kargil conflict of 1999 a development version of Pinaka had been used. Some of the shortcomings identified then and in the range tests later were improved upon before handing over the same for series production. However, one of the critical needs felt during Kargil conflict was the lack of Indian artillery’s ability to bring down mass fires in rear areas of the adversary and on terror camps which were outside the range of artillery. If a MRLS with a range of 70 to 90 km, like the Russian Smerch, had been available then the terrorists logistic support infrastructure, for instance, at Muzaffarabad and Skardu could have been attacked with positive results.
that can cover wide areas with anti-armor or fragmentation munitions, neutralizing concentrations of armour and troops well beyond the range of any of India’s present artillery systems. There is also thermo-baric warhead however it is not clear whether that has been included in the contract. Smerch BM-30 has also been tested for its
Smerch BM-30 can be used as an independent artillery system, with shoot-and-scoot capabilities, in the highaltitude mountainous areas of Jammu and Kashmir
transportability on high mountain ranges, including half-way up to Leh. All operational and qualitative parameters were met during the trials. It can be used as an independent artillery system, with shoot-and-scoot capabilities, in the high-altitude mountainous areas of Jammu and Kashmir. First contract of Smerch was for 38 systems; a second contract for supply of 18 additional systems was concluded last year. It is believed that new systems would have munitions with the extended range of 90 km and improved accuracy. The projectile with extended range is known as 9M528- uses high energy composite propellant and it can also carry and scatter 25 anti-tank mines. Smerch also has ‘smart’ munitions fitted with infra red sensors for terminal guidance and kinetic energy fragment warheads which can defeat armour of 70 mm at 30 degrees angle. To reduce costs, the Indian version, Smerch 9A52-2T, uses indigenous vehicles. However, acquisition of a long range weapon system with guidance capabilities is of no use without matching real-time surveillance and target acquisition capabilities.
While the Russian MRLS have only moved recently towards providing terminal guidance capabilities to munitions and less accurate inertial guidance to rockets during flight, the American MRLS have not only honed capabilities for terminal guidance but have gone a step ahead by providing GPS guidance to the rockets during flight. Improved accuracy results in a lesser number of rounds required to neutralise a target. Further, this also reduces the logistic burden for both maintenance and supply of munitions. The Americans, as part of their guided MLRS (GMLRS) programme, have also developed a Guided Unitary Rocket that is equipped with a guidance package, and carries a warhead/ payload which provides them the capability of attacking a variety of targets to include those that require low collateral damage. The US and NATO troops in Afghanistan have used 200 pound GPS-guided GMLRS frequently to avoid collateral damage. The British have deployed several of GMLRS in Hemland province of Afghanistan. The GPS guided rockets contain the latest advanced computer technology, affording them unsurpassed accuracy. Precision capabilities have also earned these the sobriquet of ‘70 Km Sniper Rifle’ from combat troops. According to NATO reports, a GMLRS fired in Afghanistan killed Taliban Commander Mullah Dadullah in 2007. An earlier version of GMLRS was also used during Operation Iraqi freedom in 2003 with successful outcome. Precision warfare has become one of the key elements in counter insurgency operations for enabling minimum collateral damage.
Pak eyes China’s A-100 MLRS
The Russian Smerch
After a great deal of negotiations with Russians, India signed a deal in end December 2005 to acquire Splav’s Smerch-M BM-30 or 9K58. The system is designed to defeat manpower, armored and soft-skinned materiel in concentration areas, artillery batteries, command posts and ammunition depots in depth areas. The Smerch-M contract includes D 28 wheeled MAZ-543A vehicles with 12tube 9A52-2 launchers, plus logistics supply and fire-control vehicles. It has six types of ammunitions. In addition, several of its rocket types have sub-munitions warheads
Closer home, it is believed that Pakistan is in the process of acquiring A-100 MLRS from China to offset advantage gained by India through acquisition of Smerch. The A-100 is a long-range 300 mm multiple launch rocket system developed to meet the requirements of the People’s Liberation Army. The A-100 MLRS’ development was inspired on the impressive Smerch MLRS deployed by the Russians. A-100 has similar capabilities as that of Smerch. Therefore, what India needs to do is to continue to develop its indigenous rocket launching systems and produce MLRS with capabilities similar to that of Smerch or even better. Matching surveillance and target acquisition assets also need to be acquired/indigenously developed. Above all, there is the critical need to develop robust satellite positioning and navigation system that may be regional to start with. Such an MRLS would give India options of carrying out long range surgical strikes in the least response time (as compared to the air force strike aircraft) against terrorist camps, in addition to employing it for a wide variety of military missions. SP
The author is a senior fellow in USI of India.
SP’S LAND FORCE S 2/ 2 0 09
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S P Ar tiller y
LT GENERAL (RETD) R.S. NAGRA
A synopsis of some of the modern self-propelled 155 mm/52 calibre gun systems
M-109 Paladin - 155 mm Howitzer
odern self-propelled guns are either tracked or wheeled. Further, these guns may have different design configuration, that is to say, gun turret mounted on a tank hull with crew inside the hull, or, turret mounted on a tracked or wheeled platform and crew lodged in separate cabin or compartment/s with full protection from shrapnel and small arm fire. The latter design makes the system safe for its crew who remain completely out of reach of any potentially dangerous mechanics of the gun and autoloader, plus the crew is protected from gases generated during firing. Some of the modern self-propelled 155 mm/52 calibre gun systems are described here.
The development programme of the K-9 artillery system has been underway since 1989 in South Korea
AS90: The AS-90 (Artillery System for the 1990s) is a lightly-armoured self-propelled artillery piece used by the British Army. It was designed, developed and manufactured by the Armaments Division of Vickers Shipbuilding
and Engineering (owned by BAE Systems since 1999). It was first delivered in 1993. Used by five regiments of the British Artillery, it has replaced the 105 mm FV433 Abbot SPG, the M109 155 mm SPG and the FH-70 155 mm towed gun. In 2002, the BAE systems were contracted to upgrade 96 British Army AS-90s to a 52 calibre gun. M109A6 “Paladin”: The M109 is an American-made self-propelled 155 mm howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s. The gun had its combat debut in Vietnam. Israel used it in the war against Egypt in 1973 and in the Lebanon wars of 1982 and 2006. Iran used this gun in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The M109 saw service with the British Army, the Egyptian Army and Saudi Arabian Army in the Gulf War of 1991. It saw service with the US Army in both wars against Iraq (1991 and 2003). It has been continually upgraded and
improved to today’s current version, the M109A6 “Paladin”, which is used by the US Army in its armoured and mechanised divisions. The gun can fire tactical nuclear projectiles, cannon launched guided projectiles (CLGP or Copperhead), rocket assisted projectiles, scatterable mines and improved conventional munitions. With the cancellation of the Crusader Program, the Paladin remains the principal self-propelled howitzer of the US until the NonLine-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) from the US Army’s Future Combat Systems programme comes online. PzH 2000: The Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) is a German 155 mm self-propelled howitzer developed by Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH (KMW) and Rheinmetall for the German Army. It is particularly notable for a very high rate of fire; in burst mode, it can fire three rounds in nine seconds, 10 rounds in 56 seconds, and can fire between 10 and 13 rounds per minute continuously, depending on
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
Photographs: US Army
barrel heating. The replenishment of shells is automated. Two operators can load 60 shells and propelling charges in less than 12 minutes. PzH 2000 has also been selected by the armies of Italy, The Netherlands and Greece, and more orders are probable as many NATO forces replace their M109 howitzers. Ability of this gun to provide accurate fire at 40 km has been a major selling point. Rheinmetall designed the 155 mm 52calibre barrel, which is chromium-lined for its entire 8 metre length and includes a muzzle brake on the end. The gun uses standardised bi-modular charge system. Primer is loaded separately via a conveyor belt, and the entire loading, laying and firing is completely automated. Wegmann supplied chassis, sharing some components with the Leopard 1, and the turret for the gun. The system has superb cross-country performance and considerable protection in case of counter-fire. The turret includes a phased array radar on the front glacis for monitoring outgoing rounds and correcting for windage. Laying can also be
Though 155 mm/39 calibre gun system is outside the purview of this article, it is worth mentioning the development of an armoured artillery piece 155 mm/39 calibre NLOS-C by BAE Systems (Land and Armaments) for the US Army.
K-9 howitzer: The development programme of 155 mm/52-caliber self-propelled howitzer, called K-9 artillery system, has been underway since 1989 in South Korea. In 1996, the first prototype was tested. The contract was awarded to Samsung Aerospace Industries (SSA) by the Korean Government on December 22,
developed a new generation, air deployable (<32 tonnes), fully automated and remotely operated 155 mm/52 calibre, tracked selfpropelled artillery system. The special feature of the gun system that makes it stand apart from other conventional self-propelled tracked guns is that the cabin for the crew and turret are placed separately, both well protected from shrapnel and light/heavy machine gun fire. The system is integrated on a tracked and proven 720 Hp (530 Kw) powered platform with automatic transmission. DONAR has a reduced crew of two with armour protection. The cabin is also NBC protected with fire suppressant system. It can be fitted with add-on armour kit, if required by the customer. It has state-of-the-art fire control system capable of remote control and easily connectable to central command and control system. The system has high degree of reliability due to the use of modified proven systems of PzH 2000 and ASCOD2 IFV. It has reduced re-supply needs, has worldwide transportability due to its lightweight and can operate in all
on a modified TATRA 8x8 chassis.
Though 155 mm/39 calibre gun system is outside the purview of this article, it is worth mentioning the development of an armoured artillery piece 155 mm/39 calibre NLOS-C by BAE Systems (Land and Armaments) for the US Army. Part of the US Army’s Future Combat Systems project, it flaunts state-of-theart features available in most modern artillery guns and uses technology from the aborted XM2001 Crusader. An 18-tonne class vehicle, it’s a replacement for the current vehicle system in the 40 to 60 tonne weight class. The proposed system is designed to introduce capabilities that the current Crusader M-109 systems do not offer. One of the unique features of the system is its ability to switch shell types quickly on a one by one basis, for example, allowing an illumination round to be followed by a point detonation round, to be followed by an area effect round. This would give the system the ability to fire dif-
The PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzer by Rheinmetall, Germany, is said to be the world’s most advanced artillery system. It is expected to play a crucial role in conventional and crisis reaction operations alike.
automatically provided via encrypted radio links. A crew of three— commander, layer and driver—is needed for full operation. The PzH 2000 was used for the first time in combat by the Dutch Army in August 2006 against Taliban targets in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Medusa. Since then it has been used regularly in support of coalition troops in Uruzgan province, also in Afghanistan. The PzH 2000 was also used extensively during the Battle of Chora. It is known as “the long arm of ISAF”. The gun has been criticised by the Dutch in Uruzgan province as the NBC system designed for use in Europe cannot cope with the high level of dust in Afghanistan. Nicknamed the ‘Beasts of Tarin Kowt’ by the Taliban, the guns have been modified with additional armour being fitted to the roof to protect against mortar rounds. 2S19 Msta: The 2S19 Msta (Russian: t, named after the Msta River) is a conventional self-propelled 152 mm howitzer designed by Russia/Soviet Union and entered service in 1989. It is based on the T-80U tank hull, weighs 42 tonnes and is powered by the T-72’s diesel engine. There is also a NATO 155 mmcompatible version, the 2S30 Iset, which is intended for export by the Russian Federation. The gun is operated by Belarus, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Russia and Ukrain.
1998. The Republic of Korea Army received the first production batch of K-9 from prime contractor SSA in 1999. K-9 has an all-welded steel armour construction which is rated to withstand impact by 14.5 mm armour piercing shells and 152/155 mm shell fragments. State-of-the-art mobility subsystems include a 1,000 horsepower engine with potential for growth and hydropneumatic suspension unit—a requirement for Korea’s rugged mountainous terrain. T-155 Firtina: T-155 Firtina (Turkish: Storm) is an indigenously-designed 155 mm selfpropelled howitzer produced by the Turkish Army, which shares many technologies with the South Korean K-9 howitzer such as the German designed MTU-881 KA 500 power pack, the South Korean designed 155/52 calibre gun system and the ammunition feeding mechanism—all of which are also produced under licence in Turkey. Even though the T-155 looks similar to the K-9, the Turkish howitzer has considerable differences in its turret design, navigation system and electronic systems (such as the radio and fire control system) which were developed in Turkey. DONAR: Germany’s KMW and General Dynamics European Land Systems with Corporate Headquarters in Spain, have jointly
types of terrain. It is targeted to replace legacy systems, for instance, M109, AS90, and K9, to name a few, in service with modern armies.
G6 howitzer: The G6 self-propelled howitzer, developed and manufactured by LIW division of Denel company of South Africa, entered production in 1987. It weighs 47 tonnes and achieves a range of 30 km with conventional artillery shell to 67 km with V-LAP round. It is developed around the ordnance of the G5 howitzer with 155 mm/52 calibre. It is in service with South Africa, Oman and UAE. In addition to the logistical mobility afforded by a wheeled chassis, the G6 is protected against counter battery fire and is able to defend itself in an unsecured area. The chassis is mine-protected. The G6 saw limited action in1987/88 during the South African Border War, notably in the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. It was selected by the Indian Army in 2004 after extensive trials, but the contract could not be signed due to the infamous “kickback” scandal. ZUZANA: The 155 mm self-propelled wheeled gun/howitzer is a modern Slovak artillery system with a 45 caliber (now upgraded to 52 calibre) gun and automatic loader for loading of both, a projectile and charge. It is also available in tracked version. The system is mounted
ferent rounds as required by different fire calls or to change types of shells. The gun will have a higher rate of fire using autoloader from the aborted Crusader project. This will allow more fire power per system than is available with the current M109 system, besides providing Multiple Round Simultaneous Impact (MRSI) capability. Improvements in the refuelling arrangements and automation of ammunition reloading allow reduced downtime for logistic functions. This also allows the system to be manned with a crew strength of two instead of five. This is desirable as staffing continues to be a major contributor to life cycle cost of any combat system. The first prototype was expected to make its public appearance in mid-June 2008. A total of eight prototypes will eventually be delivered to Yuma Proving Grounds, Arizona, by 2009. By 2010, the US Army expects to take delivery of the first six prototypes at Fort Bliss, Texas. There, the Army Evaluation Task Force will begin its evaluation and development of tactics, techniques, procedures and doctrine for the gun. The task force is scheduled to receive six vehicles a year, between 2010 and 2012—a total of 18—and the US Army expects the NLOS-C to be ready for fielding to combat units in 2014. SP
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China’s Asymmetric Capabilities
Outmatched by the West in cutting edge military technology, China predictably has taken the simpler and cost effective route to interfere with their critical military networks vital for communication, surveillance, reconnaissance and other strategic purposes
R e gional
ven as the world debates China’s quest for capabilities required to project its power beyond the Asia-pacific region, China’s asymmetric military capability growing significantly in critical areas has drawn considerable global attention in recent times. The employment of asymmetric tactics as a means to gain electromagnetic advantages in the early stages of war is part of the Chinese military strategy to compensate for its technical inferiority. China’s present military thinking on the use of asymmetric capabilities in war gets sufficiently reflected in Unrestricted Warfare, a book published in February 1999 in the Chinese language by two senior colonels of the People’s Liberation Army. Affording a clear insight into the present Chinese military thinking, the book unequivocally suggests the need for China to develop skills and weapons in stealth warfare in order to spring surprise and deception on adversaries who are technologically superior to it. Outmatched by the West in cutting edge military technology, China predictably has taken the simpler and cost effective route to interfere with their critical military networks vital for communication, surveillance, reconnaissance and other strategic purposes. China’s efforts in developing asymmetric military capabilities, extending from outer space to cyber space, is part of the two pronged strategy Beijing seems to have adopted with regard to its military modernisation. On the one hand, the Chinese military is intensely beefing up basic infrastructure that supports conventional warfare capabilities; on the other, it is aggressively pushing for capabilities aimed at exploiting technical vulnerabilities of its adversaries. At present, China’s military technology is at least a generation behind that of the US. Although the Chinese military is doing everything possible to gain technological parity with other advanced militaries of the world, it is still a long way off the desired status. The geo-strategic dynamic of the Asia Pacific region, coupled with its own economic rise contributing significantly to it, makes it necessary for China’s military to maintain a state of constant combat readiness. The Chinese military, however, is in the throes
and the country’s own conventional warfare capabilities yet to reach the desired level, it is expected that China’s asymmetric war-fighting capabilities will only grow with time.
Race to Conquer Space
China is believed to have developed capabilities to interfere or incapacitate foreign satellites in ways such as electronic jamming or blinding using ground-based laser weapons
of the biggest transformation in its history. Transforming everything—from doctrine to strategy, and training to equipment—the military can ill afford to wait till it has gained technological parity with the western nations. It needs to rapidly develop a stop-gap arrangement. With latest military technology from Russia increasingly becoming scarce
By far the most alarming military threat that China currently poses to other advanced nations is in outer space. Fact is, Beijing has developed capabilities in space which might seriously cripple not just military networks of other nations but also their financial and industrial infrastructure. Even before China shot down an obsolete weather satellite in January 2007 using a ballistic missile 537 miles above the Earth, there were speculations it had used ground-based lasers against US satellites. The satellite kill in 2007, however, was a complete stunner. The ballistic missile used by China as direct assent anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) in 2007 carried a “kill vehicle” and destroyed the satellite by ramming it, demonstrating in the process China’s acquired capability in tracking and bringing down an orbiting satellite from stand-off positions on Earth. Next to the direct assent ASAT weapon, China appears to be moving in the direction of a co-orbital anti-satellite weapon. China’s possible efforts at developing a co-orbital ASAT weapon gets credence from the fact that Shenzhou-7, China’s recently launched satellite, also carried a micro-satellite, BX-1 weighing 40 kg and measuring 40 cm on each side, which some believe to be prelude to the development of another antispace weapon of some kind, possibly to be used for the purpose of head-on collision with a hostile satellite. Although the stated purpose of BX-1 was to take pictures of the orbiting mother satellite in co-orbital motion, a small incident which occurred at the time BX-1 was released—the micro satellite had begun to drift away before it was pulled back after a series of manoeuvres to an elliptical track of 4 km multiplying 8 km—has since given rise to speculations whether the erratic handling of the accompanying micro satellite was intended to test manoeuvrability required in developing a co-orbital ASAT weapon. According to Chinese official sources, it is the first time China succeeded in engineering this kind of space orbiting. Unlike India, the military controls China’s space programme. Hence, it is quite likely that Beijing’s recent space mission did have some military objectives to achieve. Apart from using micro satellites as antisatellite weapons, the Chinese military would also be tempted to employ these for non-kinetic communication or surveillance missions. Since most space technology used by China is dual use and the country’s military has dominant interest in space, it would be prudent for countries like India to closely monitor Beijing’s every move in space, as also to develop more sophisticated means to keep their satellites out of harm’s way. China is believed to have developed capabilities to interfere or incapacitate foreign satellites in ways such as electronic jamming or blinding using groundbased laser weapons, electronic pulse weapons, space mines, debris rings, high-altitude nuclear bursts and “parasitic” satellites.
Beijing has developed capabilities in space which might seriously cripple not just military networks of other nations but also their financial and industrial infrastructure
anti-satellite weapons could certainly lead to an arms race in space. Beijing’s persistence to weaponise space certainly has Washington most worried not only because the US has the widest network of satellites in the world, its global military deployment capabilities to a great extent depend on these satellites. Other countries, like India, Japan and Australia, are no less concerned on account of the looming threat in space. The decision taken by India in June 2007 to set up an Integrated Space Cell to function as a single window for integration among the armed forces, the department of space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) appears to have been largely influenced by China’s experiment with ASAT weapon in 2007. Elsewhere, Japan’s parliament passed a law on May 21, 2008 that would allow its military to launch advanced satellites for intelligence gathering and missile defence. A disturbing fact related to Shenzhou-7 that surfaced recently is that it had orbited dangerously close to the International Space Station (ISS), flying to a distance of about 45km (27 miles) from it. Shenzhou7’s close presence to the ISS has the international community worried. America and Russia spend huge amounts of money to keep the ISS safe from homing objects in space, as such they have developed capabilities required to manoeuvre it away before any object actually hits it. Similar efforts would be needed by developing nations who intend to put up space stations in the future or even by those nations who already have their satellites orbiting in outer space. Besides China, at least three other Asian powers—India, Japan and South Korea— have planned ambitious space missions, including manned lunar missions and setting up of space stations at some point of time in the future. While it is not necessary that all space missions must have military objectives to achieve, it would be imperative for the nations involved in space exploration to gear up for challenges arising from China’s asymmetric capabilities in space.
Caution & Precaution
China’s continued focus on development of
Next to space, China is contemplating using cyberspace as a weapon to destabilise its adversaries. The White Paper on China’s National Defense in 2004 explicitly underpins the critical role the country’s emerging ‘informationalised’ force is seeking to play in the present techno-scientific battle spectrum. According to a Pentagon Report in 2007, Beijing views cyberspace—attacks, defence and exploitation—as critical for achieving “electromagnetic dominance” early in a con-
flict. As digital wars are becoming more of a routine, the Chinese military is increasingly focused on developing information warfare capabilities. It is believed to have already raised globally the most capable band of hackers in the military domain, trained and equipped in cyber attack and counter-attack capabilities. In fact, a US congressional advisory panel recently stated that Chinese ability to cyber attack is “so sophisticated that the US may be unable to counteract or even detect the efforts” of the attacks. Cyber attacks on countries inimical to China are increasingly becoming more routine and widespread these days. Most recently, about 75 per cent of the computers in major military base in Afghanistan were reported infected with a worm which could be possibly traced back to China. In 2007, Niprnet the unclassified e-mail system of the Pentagon was thought to have been invaded by hackers operating from China. UK, France and Germany are among other nations who faced network-based cyber attacks from China in the past. In so far as the invasion of India’s cyberspace by Chinese hackers is concerned, it is stated to be even more rampant and carried out almost on a daily basis. However, the Chinese military is not alone in pursuing cyber warfare. According to one estimate presently there are about 120 countries which are engaged in such activities. In the most recent example, Russia and Georgia are engaged in a ‘cyberwar’ of sorts, attacking each others networks and websites. Cyber security threat perception generally revolves around malicious computer software in the form of Trojans worms, bots and so on. There is, however, also the real possibility of microchip in a computer and other external devises, like printers, scanners and data travelers, being designed or modified in such a way as to program it to do nefarious things. Since China is a major exporter in computer hardware, there is a need to remain vigilant about every possible intrusion points. The Indian military as it evolves increasingly into a network-enabled force stands particularly vulnerable to Chinese cyber threats. Cyber attacks are dangerous for India also because of the Country’s growing reliance on networks and technology to control critical systems that run power plants, transportation and financial systems. Concerned about the growing Chinese threat in cyberspace, the Indian army has decided to create cyber-security organisations down to the division-level to guard against cyber warfare and data thefts. This can hardly be stated as adequate. India at present lacks a decision making authority at the highest level in cyber warfare. Since the cyber security forum of the National Security Council in India has become almost defunct after the US spy incident, there is need to put in place a structure similar to Integrated Space Cell at the tri-services level with setting up of a cyber security force drawn from experts in military, IT sector, academia, private enthusiasts and so on. Ideally, what is needed is not just defence against Chinese cyber threats but also counteroffensive capabilities in cyber warfare. SP
The writer is Research Assistant, Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation, USI of India.
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
Te ch nol og y
BMS: To Collate,
Co-relate Battle Data
In the Indian context, a Battle Management System would provide situational awareness to a unit/subunit/detachment commander and networking him down to an individual soldier or a tank
LT GENERAL (RETD) V.K. KAPOOR
iolence has no face, only character. So while it’s quite impossible to parenthesise the perpetrators, the genesis of a terror threat can be largely attributed to global or regional crises, or loopholes in internal security. Ethnic and sectarian violence, insurgencies, narcotics/drug wars, illegal immigration, religious fundamentalism, terrorism (local and international variety), territorial disputes over unsettled boundaries, conflicts due to great power rivalries, proliferation of nuclear weapons, WMD falling in the hands of terrorists, wars to secure resource areas, and piracy and terrorism at sea, on land and in the air—all of that make it mandatory for India to adopt a more pragmatic view towards its future military capabilities. The differing nature of the above conflicts and the emerging trends in the battle field environment requires flexibility, mobility, quick response capability and exploitation of the technology spectrum to secure war winning advantages in future military endeavours. Rapid advances in recent times and countless instances from the past illustrate that technology is one of the principle factors that drives the change in the method of war fighting. Facing an entirely new technological era—generated through advancements in the field of miniaturisation, digitisation, material science, bio-technology, sensor technology, stealth, communications and information technology—India needs to integrate new technologies as warfighting systems. The dominant technology trends which impact the land forces are: • Long range precision firepower • Integrative technologies, including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance • Stealth technologies • Communication technologies • Lighter, more mobile strike vehicles with greater firepower to replace tanks for out of area contingencies and power projection The advances in the field of communications, computers, command and control, information and interoperability (C4I2) have provided military capabilities to view the battle space as one composite whole and thus be tackled jointly or singly by any weapon of any service which is within range. Inter-operability will be the essence for the different C4I2 systems of the three services (army, navy and the air force). This system, together with the tactical communication system, will allow network enabled warfare. At the unit level, there will be certain distinct characteristics which will require comprehension to understand the change that will come about in the method of war waging at the tactical levels of a battalion/regimental group.
lishes a common language across all combat elements and allocates boundaries and areas of responsibility. It automatically updates the intelligence within the combat group and distributes target information and alerts to all concerned. Thus it enables flexible planning and operation. When integrated with onboard networked computers, every platform becomes a networked sensor and a shooter. Weapons can be slaved by remote users, to remote sensors, therefore empowering the system with more flexibility. This ensures faster tempo of operations, and effective employment and distribution of firepower without risking fratricide. A BMS integrates built-in navigation and communications functions which are fully integrated with the platform,
LandWarrior - US Army
To minimise clutter, BMS units are set to filter information, presenting a limited data set including local units, and targets relevant for immediate engagement
on-board sensors and weapons. When embedded in armored fighting vehicles, or infantry combat clothing, these systems become the basic level of the tactical C4I network. BMS commonly rely on information collectively gathered by the unit’s combat echelons (tanks, APCs, reconnaissance and surveillance elements and so on) to populate its databases with information about the location, status and intentions of own and enemy forces. Specific targets are marked on the BMS displays, providing clear and specific situational pictures to each sub-unit, allocating tasks and coordinating fire and maneuver over a large area, without the need for visual coordination. The integration of own force tracking further improves situational awareness and minimises the risk of fratricide. Displays used on AFVs must have high intensity illumination, to overcome direct sunlight as well as very low illumination, for night operations.
Operation usually supports touch screen or pushbuttons, activating a limited number of preset functions, with an embedded pointing device and virtual alphanumeric keyboard. This layout is designed to meet the requirement of operation with full combat gear, in harsh hot, cold and humid conditions, including under full NBC protection suits. To minimise clutter, BMS units are set to filter information, presenting a limited data set including local units, and targets relevant for immediate engagement. Yet, for planning, situation analysis and providing a broader view when necessary, BMS can present larger views of the area, supporting automated functions of terrain analysis, route planning, generating of orders, status reports, maintain tracks of inventories and so on. Such information can automatically be sent to the brigade, where it is used to create realtime situational reports at the headquarters. When used with mechanised infantry units, BMS can be detached from the vehicle to support dismounted infantry operations. In this application, wireless (WiFi) links are becoming vital for the integration of the services available on the vehicle, its crew and the dismounted element.
In Elbit’s Battlefield Enhanced Smart Training architecture, the BMS system is embedded with simulation and debriefing capabilities. This approach enables combined training of live, simulated and virtual forces, at multiple locations and different levels (battalion, brigade and other units). The Israeli Defence Force has trainers for battalion combat team. The Merkava Mk4 main battle tank has onboard trainers for providing full simulation environment for commander and the gunner. It supports training from the individual tanks up to the combat team level.
US Army System
A Battle Management System (BMS) is designed for the battalion/regimental level group. It enables operational planning, estab-
A soldier models the Land Warrior system
The Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below system: The FBCB2 provides the US Army software and hardware tools that support operational situations at the brigade level and below, down to the individual soldier and for the single platform level. The system integrates subscriber sets covering the brigade’s entire area of interest, including Bradley or Stryker combat vehicles, M1A2 (Abrams Main Battle Tanks), AH-64D attack helicopters, OH-58D and Black Hawk helicopters, artillery and combat support elements. The system’s coverage extends far beyond the line of sight and visual communications ranges provided by previous command and control systems. The system relies
SP’S LAND FORCE S 2/ 2 0 09
Photographs: www.defenselink.mil, wikipedia
In Elbit’s Battlefield Enhanced Smart Training architecture, the BMS system is embedded with simulation and debriefing capabilities
on advanced communications devices, which integrate position navigation and reporting capability with the help of GPS. Some battlefield identification capability is embedded to generate instant alerts in situations where engagement between friendly forces is at risk. The US Land Warrior: An integrated fighting system for individual infantry soldiers, it gives the soldier enhanced tactical awareness, lethality and survivability. The systems integrated into Land Warrior are the weapon system, helmet, computer, digital and voice communications, positional and navigation system, protective clothing and individual equipment. The Land Warrior system will be deployed by infantry, and combat support soldiers, including rangers, airborne, air assault, light and mechanised infantry soldiers. The US Army launched the Land Warrior programme in 1994. An engineering and manufacturing development contract was awarded to Raytheon Systems, then Hughes Aircraft Company. Plans were drafted to build an initial capability (formerly Land Warrior Block 1) and then a Land Warrior Stryker Interoperable (formerly Land Warrior Block 2). The US Army is speeding up a wider deployment of high-tech soldier gear so that it arrives about the same time as accelerated Future Combat Systems equipment, said Lt General Ross Thompson, Military Deputy to the Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. The Ground Soldier Ensemble, which emerged from the Land Warrior programme, includes a helmet-mounted display showing troop locations. The Land Warrior system relies on lithium battery technology for its light weight, high energy density and extended operating time. At 7.2 pounds and with two major subsystems, the ensemble is lighter than its predecessor.
Soldata - Italian Future Soldier
ordered in May 2006 and full-rate production is scheduled to begin in September 2008. First deliveries of production FELIN units are scheduled for early 2009 with initial deployment in mid-2009. In April 2008, Sagem received an order for 5,045 FELIN systems for the French Army, to be delivered between
French Army Systems
GIAT industries have developed SIT, also known in its export configuration “Finders”. Developed as part of a comprehensive combat vehicle digitisation programme, this BMS is deployed with French Army AMX-10P and Leclerc tanks, and is expected to be fielded with the future VBCI armoured infantry carriers. A large number of SIT units are currently deployed with the French and UAE armies. The system is designed to support units up to battalion level. The system runs on militarised or ruggedised PC workstations operating under Window OS. Each unit uses common software modules shared by all systems, and rolespecific modules developed for every type of application or vehicle, including reconnaissance, armor, armored infantry carrier, light armored vehicle and command post vehicle. These specific modules enable the system to integrate with the vehicle’s navigation, communications, optronics, and weapon systems. All systems use common tactical terminals and graphical displays. FELIN—Infantry Soldier System Schedule: Under the FELIN contract, Sagem will deliver up to 22,500 FELIN V1 sets for 20 infantry regiments and an additional 9,000 FELIN sets for use by the troops of the armoured, engineering and artillery regiments of the French Army. In September 2007, 50 pre-production FELIN systems were delivered and trials with these are underway. Further, 358 pre-production FELIN sets are scheduled for delivery in 2008 for operational evaluation. Three infantry companies will undertake a series of trials of the pre-production systems of the FELIN systems. The trials are scheduled to last 12 months. The first 1,089 production FELIN systems were
An integrated fighting system, the US Land Warrior gives the soldier enhanced tactical awareness, lethality and survivability
mid-2009 and the end of 2010. It is estimated that all French infantry troops will be equipped with FELIN V1 by 2010. Production of FELIN V2 is planned to begin in 2015. For the FELIN System the DGA (procurement agency of French Ministry of Defence) has provided a target weight for the system of less than 25 kg, to include the entire FELIN system, weapons, ammunitions and 24-hour energy, food and water provisions. Effort is also being directed to the selection of the energy supplies and the method of recharging batteries. The system will be delivered in five configurations for different levels of command. Each of the 20 regiments will be supplied with 1,000 systems. The FELIN system includes portable computer, a voice and data radio, new combat clothing with body armour and a new ballistic helmet.
integration of the electrical components worn and carried by the Soldato Futuro. The Soldato Futuro body armour provides stab protection and protection against 9 mm rounds. The use of wire links reduces the volume of electromagnetic radiation, making the soldier less vulnerable to detection and surveillance and also the systems less vulnerable to electronic countermeasures such as jamming. A new disruptive pattern material has been designed for temperate and desert environment versions of the combat uniform. The soldier will also have a camouflage version of the nuclear, biological and chemical protection suit. Boron carbide plates can be fitted to the body armour to provide protection against the penetration of 7.62 mm armour-piercing rounds.
Developments in the Indian Army
Italy’s Soldier System
An industrial team, led by Selex Communications (formerly Selenia Communications), is developing the Italian Soldato Futuro, future soldier system. The industrial team includes Aero Sekur, Beretta, Galileo Avionica, Larimart and Sistema Compositi. Sistemi Compositi is leading the development of the helmet, clothing and protection system. The combined combat vest and universal support module, being developed by Sistema Compositi and Selex Communications, includes cables for the
Currently the Indian Army is organised, equipped and trained for traditional, second and third generation, industrial age, low and medium technology, conflicts and for counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations within. The nature of wars, in the future, is going to compel us to think big but with smaller, more maneuverable, more precise, more agile and networked forces. In an interview to SP’s Land Forces, the Director General of Information Systems of the Indian Army Lt General P.C. Katoch said, “The Indian Army is in a phase of transition from conventional warfare to information enabled warfare, that is, from platform centric to network centric warfare (NCW). The full realisation of any such revolution is possible only with technological development, organisational adaptation and, most importantly, a national will. “ effective and technologically sound IT An force along with robust communication networks has been created to facilitate real time sharing of information and quick decision making so as to achieve information superiority. A road map has been formulated by which the army can progress steadily towards being a potent IT force. We have identified the development of C4I2 systems as a major thrust area for modernisation of our army. Development and fielding of automated operational and information systems for various levels of operations from Army Headquarters to Battalion
Headquarters to individual soldiers are in progress. Command Information and Decision Support System, Artillery Command, Control and Computer System (ACCCS), Battlefield Support System, Air Defence Control and Reporting System and BMS are the major projects under development. Integrated together with requisite communications, these systems will provide near real time ‘sensor-to-shooter’ links to make army a network centric force.” In the Indian context, a BMS will be a system providing situational awareness to a unit/subunit/detachment commander and networking him down to an individual soldier or a tank. It will be addressing the command control and information needs of the Tactical Battle Area and will be a building block in the overall NCW architecture. It will be a situational awareness system having a terrain platform in the form of Geographical Information System and tools for data fusion and passage of information. It is currently in the inception (study) stage of development as opposed to some other systems such as the ACCCS which are being fielded for trials. Future Infantry Soldier as a System: The F-INSAS will be a part of the BMS for the infantry. The infantry soldier has to a have multi-terrain, multi-environment capability to fight as an autonomous combat platform networked into the overall war fighting system architecture. The F-INSAS project is aimed at giving the infantry soldier exactly this capability. This project would provide the infantry soldier enhanced capabilities in terms of lethality, mobility, survivability, situational awareness, sustainability and battle command, so as to improve his operational adaptation. F-INSAS perceives the soldier as a part of the system—a multi-mission, multi-role war fighter consisting of the individual soldier along with his integrated soldier system set that contains numerous modular but integrated components. Rapid deployment and frequent manoeuvre of forces would require the soldier to rely more on information superiority to locate, identify, track and effectively engage opposing forces while at the same time ensuring higher degree of own survivability. F-INSAS will focus on requirements specific to the Indian context of terrain, adaptability, tactical doctrines and so on. SP
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
Photograph: Selex Galileo
Te chnolog y
US Command Systems: A Synopsis
Soldiers use the Tactical Airspace Integration System for real-time views of aerial battlespace and operational flight paths LT GENERAL (RETD) NARESH CHAND
odern battlefield is fast becoming highly mobile and dynamic due to the nature of operations and lethality of weapons. Force projection, hybrid operations (simultaneous involvement in various types of conflicts, peace operations and humanitarian operations) information warfare, joint operations and so on further add to the complexity of warfighting which require situational awareness and rapid exchange of information to enable faster synergised decision-making. Automation command and control tools consisting of hardware platforms and software applications, thus, become a critical aid for commanders for warfighting where the vertical networks link command echelons while horizontal connections connect all combat units. Such systems also effectively integrate the tactical and strategic command levels. Army Battle Command System (ABCS) of the US is the key system along with many sub-systems that have successfully automated the battlefield.
of interconnected computer networks used by the US Department of Defense and the US Department of State to transmit classified information up to the level of ‘secret’
Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System
DTSS configurations can generate Tactical Decision Aids from input terrain data and output as map overlays for use on other systems that use the Command and Control PC, ABCS and Commercial Joint Mapping Toolkit viewers. CTIS systems are deployed from brigade through echelons above corps.
The AFATDS provides army and marine corps digitised, automated and totally integrated fire support C2 system designed to replace the Tactical Fire Direction System. It processes fire mission and other target related information, from corps and below to coordinate and optimise the use of all fire support assets, including mortars, field artillery, cannon, missile, attack helicopters, air support, and naval gunfire.
Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade-and-Below
Air and Missile Defense Workstation
Army Battle Command System
ABCS integrates the command and control (C2) systems found at each echelon—from ground force commanders at the theater or joint task force level to the individual soldier or weapons platform. Whether an army force is deployed for land combat or is conducting peace operations, providing humanitarian assistance or giving aid to civil authorities, ABCS supports the mission by integrating the battlespace automation systems and communications which functionally link strategic and tactical headquarters. ABCS is interoperable with joint and multinational C2 systems at upper echelons across the full range of C2 functionality, and is vertically and horizontally integrated at the tactical and operational levels. ABCS comprises three major components: • The Army Global Command and Control System • The Army Tactical Command and Control System • The Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below In the battlespace, ABCS enables every stationary and moving platform to be connected in a digital battlefield. It employs a mix of fixed/semi-fixed installations and mobile networks that will be interoperable with theater, joint, and combined command and control systems. It’s supporting systems and subsystems are:
The AMDWS supports the Surface Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile system by supplying the user with an air defence picture through the depiction of tracks of aircrafts, UAVs and deployed missiles, thereby providing an automated defence planning capability.
The FBCB2 provides situational awareness and command and control to the lowest tactical echelons. It facilitates a seamless flow of battle command information across the battlespace and will interoperate with external command and control and sensor systems, such as ABCS. The end result is the vertical and horizontal integration of the digital battlespace and the brigade-and-below tactical unit levels. FBCB2 provides speedier C2 capabilities to Force XXI units at brigade and subordinate echelons.
The MCS is designed as a set of modular applications that “sit” on top of the Defense Information Infrastructure Common Operating Environment which contains government-offthe-shelf and commercial-off-the-shelf technologies. It will also contain features and tools which will allow addition of specific staff-officer oriented applications, like operations order, maps and overlays module. MCS will provide the battlefield commander with a Common Tactical Picture as applicable to him with the aim of making the force more lethal and survivable on the battlefield. MCS will primarily do this by providing the planning and executing functions and the integrating capability previously unavailable in an integrated manner. For example, MCS-Light provides corps through battalion force level commanders and staff the ability to collect, coordinate, and act on near real time battlefield information and to graphically visualise the battlefield.
Tactical Airspace Integration System
All Source Analysis System
The ASAS is an army programme to automate the processing and analysis of intelligence data from all sources. It is a tactically deployable Automated Data Processing system designed to support management of intelligence and electronic warfare operations and target development in battalions, brigades, armoured regiments, separate brigades, divisions, corps and echelons above corps. The ASAS is a “linchpin” system that forms seamless intelligence architecture between and across echelons.
Battle Command and Sustainment Support System
Global Command and Control System-Army
The GCCS-A is the army component of the Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) which provides strategic, tactical and theater command and control. A key component of the ABCS, it provides a seamless link of information and data from the strategic GCCS-J to the army corps and below by providing a common picture of army tactical operations to the joint and coalition forces while facilitating interoperability of systems with the army command. Specifically, it provides: • Force readiness, planning, projection and situational awareness • Force employment • Joint common operational picture with supporting status and intelligence information • Local Area Networks in client/server configurations with an interface to the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network, a system
Formerly the Combat Service Support Control System, the BCS3 supports the warfighting C2 and battle management process by rapidly processing large volumes of logistical, personnel and medical information. The BCS3 will facilitate quicker, more accurate decision making by providing a more effective means for force-level commanders and Combat Support Service (CSS) commanders to determine the sustainability and supportability of current and planned operations. Qualitative improvements attributed to the BCS3 will be measured by positive assessment by a substantial majority of commanders and their staffs. The BCS3 will collect and process selected CSS data in a seamless manner from CSS Standard Army Management Information Systems, manual systems/processes and other related sources. The BCS3 is employed at the battalion, brigade, division, corps, separate brigade, armored regiment, non-divisional brigade, group and regiment and echelons above corps.
TAIS is a mobile communications and digitised battlefield automated system for airspace management which is replacing the AN/TSC-61B Flight Operations/Coordination System. It is planned for employment in any theater of operations and will be the army system to meet both Army Airspace Command and Control (A2C2) and Air Traffic Services (ATS) requirements. The TAIS will provide the Force XXI battlefield with automated A2C2 planning, enhanced A2C2 execution, improved theater and intra- and inter-Corps/Division ATS support in war and military operations other than war. Although the TAIS was originally designed primarily as an airspace management tool but it has the capability to enhance the lethality and survivability of army aviation after integration into the Army Tactical Command and Control System family. Real and near real time battlefield information integrating the battlefield functions of intelligence, fire support, air defence, aviation maneuver and airspace management would almost ensure that all air borne platforms, including the ones transiting through the battle space, are properly directed, protected and controlled.
AN/TMQ-40 Integrated Meteorological System
The IMETS is the meteorological component of the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare subsystem of the ABCS. IMETS is a mobile, tactical, automated weather data receiving, processing and dissemination system which provides commanders at all echelons with an automated weather system to receive, process, and disseminate weather observations, forecasts, and weather and environmental effects decision aids to all Battlefield Operating Systems. The IMETS is an US Army-furnished and maintained system operated by USAir Force weather team personnel.
Integrated System Control
Maneuver Control System
MCS is an integrated architecture of hardware, software, Standardized Integrated Command Post System, personnel and procedures.
The ISYSCON provides an automated, theaterwide system that signal units can use to manage multiple tactical communications systems and networks in support of battlefield operations. It overcomes all shortfalls identified during Operation Desert Storm and other recent deployments. The ISYSCON facility carries out the following functions: • Provides an automated capability for managing the tactical communications network • Establishes an interface with each technical control facility in the ABCS architecture • Enables automation-assisted configuration and management of a dynamic battlefield SP
Army Battle Command System
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Combat Terrain Information Systems (CTIS)
Army terrain teams must produce a wide range of topographic products and analyses to support mission planning for military operations. Digital Topographic Support System (DTSS) is thus designed to support the army’s requirement by building around the latest commercial technology. CTIS in turn and has developed a range of systems to provide the required terrain analysis support to the battlefield commander. By taking advantage of two powerful commercial software packages, ESRI’s ArcInfo and ERDAS Imagine, the
SP’S LAND FORCE S 2/ 2 0 09
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The Army Battle Command System of the US is the key system along with many sub-systems that have successfully automated the battlefield
Te chnolog y
Mission Critical Computing
Operational commonality, training and logistical considerations dictate that the military must deploy systems that will work in any place and under any extreme environmental conditions. Battlefield computers face unique challenges and require unique solutions. They must deliver the operational performance required to support the battlefield command, control and communications needs. Any time. Anywhere.
s the Indian armed forces embark on digitization of the battlefield and a transformation from the Fire and Maneuver (FM) operations towards a more digital and network-centric warfare (NCW) doctrine, the soldier of the future will be increasingly dependent upon mission critical technology to perform his functions. The military will have increased reliance on interconnected and interdependent networks that will link sensors, commanders, soldiers and their weapons in real time from strategic planning to tactical execution levels. The commanding hierarchy will need to simultaneously integrate and analyze data from multiple sensors and sources and use this to make decisions affecting all elements of combat power in real time. Reliable computing will become the backbone of these networks for Command, Control and Communications.
regions where there are no roads, subjecting their vehicles and equipment to extreme vibration and shock conditions. Mitigating foreign material such as soil, sand, dust, moisture or liquids is paramount to protect the internal sensitive electronics and storage media. Operational commonality, training and logistical considerations dictate that the military must deploy systems that will work in any place and under any extreme environmental conditions. Battlefield computers face unique challenges and require unique solutions. They must deliver the operational performance required to support the battlefield command, control and communications needs. Any time. Anywhere.
Rugged Computing. Is Good Enough, Good Enough?
Users must carefully define the requirements taking into account the specific environment in which the computer will be deployed.
They cannot do their jobs if their computers stopped working at the critical moments or if data is lost. They must be able to receive the intelligence and successfully be able to communicate their command decisions. These are requirements needed to achieve the mission objective. When the collection, analysis and dissemination of the information is just as critical as having reliable weaponry, we have an absolute obligation to provide soldiers with dependable equipment that will allow them to succeed in their jobs. Equipment that the soldiers will have full confidence in. – Equipment that is expected to work under harsh battlefield conditions every time, when it’s needed most. Anything short of this will adversely impact the ability to carry out the mission. Or worse, affect their morale.
Soldiers are not only fighting external enemies, they are also battling enemies caused by harsh environments. Battlefield situations, whether exposed to the elements or within vehicles and command posts, subject the soldiers and their equipment to unfavorable conditions. Temptations to stretch the defence budgets, force procurement decisions to accept “subpar” equipment offered with “L1” pricing. Equipment procured by the military for non-critical applications gets deployed into tactical environments because they are considered “rugged enough” with claimed compliance to various “mil-specs”. As the military tactics become increasingly dependent upon the computers and displays for mission success, requirements for reliable equipment evolve from “desired” to “mission critical.” Equipment failure, on the battlefield, can have disastrous consequences; from mission failures to the potential of putting lives in danger.
command display systems for their BOWMAN program. Deployed by the US Army and the US Air Force, DRS delivered over 5000 Military Rugged Tablets (MRT) with another 20,000 in production for various fire control and forward observer programs. These systems are not just electronic sub-assemblies enclosed in heavy metal enclosures with circular interface connectors to make them appear “rugged”. These are designed completely from inside out to counter the environmental elements in harsh tactical environments. Traditional cooling methods such as fans from the sealed enclosures are eliminated to prevent intrusion of sand, dust, moisture and other foreign material. Cooling is performed by special provisions inside the systems to draw heat to the enclosure surfaces with “fins” that enable efficient dissipation of the heat. Provisions such as solid state hard disk drives are made to enable operations on the move in high vibration environments of tracked vehicles. Optical treatments are done to the displays to enable operation in all light conditions; from bright sunlight to night vision equipment compatible. Most important, with complete ownership of the product designs, DRS is able to improve product capabilities with evolving technologies for changing customer mission requirements so that soldiers have the latest
and greatest technology in the field. With production levels in 500-750 systems per week, DRS enjoys specially forged and maintained relationships with all of its key suppliers, ensuring timely deliveries of components as well as commitments for longer term product support, always insisted upon by its military customers. The growing market for rugged computers is characterized by a degree of confusion about the meaning of the term rugged. Users must carefully define the requirements taking into account the specific environment in which the computer will be deployed. Evaluation and selection should be based on demonstrated compliance to the requirements, not mere claims of compliance. After all, if you had a choice between good-enough rugged and ultra-rugged, what would you rather take to the battle? SP
*The author is the Principal Systems Engineer in DRS Tactical Systems, Inc., Melbourne, Florida. USA
Contact Information: DRS Tactical Systems, Inc. 1110 West Hibiscus Boulevard, Melbourne, FL 32901. USA Tel: +1.321.727.3672 Email: email@example.com www.drs-ts.com
Ultra-Rugged Computing - Designed to Survive the Battlefield
Any Battlefield, Any Time, Any Border
The Indian military faces unique operational and environmental challenges in protecting its borders, which range from high mountains to rain forests to deserts and everything inbetween. Overcoming these challenges does not mean subjecting their equipment to temperature extremes of hot and cold, but also to the extremes of dust, sand, rain and humidity. Increasingly, soldiers are operating in rugged
For over 20 years, DRS Tactical Systems has maintained undisputed leadership in the development, manufacture and deployment of a class of “ultra-rugged” computer and display systems. A diverse portfolio of products allows DRS to offer unique solutions to satisfy various mission-critical operational requirements to include vehicle mountedsystems, tablet computers for commanders and handheld devices for dismounted soldiers. Deployed by the US Army’s Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2) and the Blue Force Tracking (BFT) programs, DRS delivered over 60,000 RVS-330 vehicle computing systems with another 25,000 in production. Deployed by the UK Army, DRS delivered over 13,000 Scorpion notebook and tablet computing, processing units and
Military Rugged Tablet
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
S t rateg y
Limited War: Concept & Co-Relation
India’s political elite need to take a close look at the very high levels of conventional military force usage implicit in the Chinese doctrines for Limited War
MAJOR GENERAL (RETD) G.D. BAKSHI
Limited Wars in the Second Nuclear Age
ernard Brodei and William Kaufmann were the chief theorists of Limited War in the First Nuclear Age that spawned the Cold War in Europe. In his seminal book, A Fire in the East: The Rise of Asian Military Power in the Second Nuclear Age, Paul Bracken writes that the Second Nuclear Age began with India’s peaceful Nuclear Explosion in 1974. Asia today has five nuclear powers: Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Israel. North Korea is a de facto nuclear power and Iran is well on its way to becoming one. What would be the nature of Limited Wars that may be fought in Asia in the backdrop of five and more nuclear armed powers? Would the Limited War theories of the Cold War era in Europe hold true for Asia? A study of Chinese writings on Limited War indicates that China’s concept of Limited War envisages restraint only at the nuclear level. Its use of conventional military force in such Limited Wars (Local Wars under conditions of informatisation) remains exceedingly high. Thus, China had used over a million troops in the Korean War. In the Sino Vietnam War of 1979, it had thrown in 25 Infantry divisions. In any hypothetical conflict over Taiwan, China is likely to employ over 3,00,000 troops, its entire air and naval might and could end up firing more than 1,000 conventional tipped missiles to deny access to the US Carrier Battle Groups. The Chinese concept of Limited or Local Wars, even under conditions of nuclear symmetry is, therefore, characterised by very high levels of the use of conventional military force.
1965 Indo-Pakistan war, India had graduated to the phase of operational art. It had employed a total of 12 divisions and its divisional, corps and field army commanders acquired valuable hands on experience which was to stand them in good stead later. • 1971 Quasi–Total War Capability: It was only with the 1971 war for the liberation of Bangladesh, that India acquired the capability and displayed the will to use military force in a decisive manner. 1971 was a quasi–total war that led, for the first time after the Second
power. However, it restricted their employment to its own side of the LC. By the time of Operation Parakram and post Mumbai, the employment of military force for combat had come down to zero. In Operation Parakram, India had mobilised its entire armed forces but the “all or nothing”, format of this coercive deployment sharply raised the stakes for the decision makers. It thereby paralysed the military response that could well have been initiated at the lower levels of the escalation ladder. Such a response
to Pakistan’s asymmetric war. This has seriously eroded the credibility of India’s deterrence. India therefore, urgently needs to enunciate and practice a credible, declaratory doctrine of Limited War under conditions of nuclear symmetry.
Cold Start Doctrine or Cold Feet Syndrome?
The cold start doctrine was enunciated post Operation Parakram to overcome the perceived lacunae observed in that confronta-
Limited Wars in South Asia
The Indian political elite, on the other hand, seem to have come to the unfortunate conclusion that post nuclearisation the use of conventional military force is no longer a viable option. Deterrence is primarily a mind game. It is here that India’s non-use of conventional military force—post Operation Parakram and post Mumbai 26/11—has seriously eroded the credibility of Indian deterrence.
Empirical Analysis: India’s Plummeting Force Usage Profile
The above is not a value judgement but stems from a quantitative analysis of India’s force usage profile. India’s use of military force since independence has always been limited due simply to the limitations in force availability. The histogram below indicates the number of divisions that India has deployed for combat in the various wars since independence.
India’s Force Usage Profile
• Tactical Phase: The initial phase of Indian military history (from 1947-1962), was the tactical phase. The force levels available and the military competence of Indian commanders of that era constrained / limited force usage to the tactical level alone. In both 1947-48 conflict with Pakistan and the 1962 war with China, the force usage was confined to just three divisions each. • Phase of Operational Art: With the
World War, to the creation of a new nation state with the force of arms. A total of 19 divisions along with India’s entire might of naval and air power were employed in a classic triservice campaign. Indian political and military leaders had displayed the vision and managerial skills required for waging a quasi–total war that led to a historic military victory. • Post 1987 Scenario: Post the covert nuclearisation of the sub-continent, there was a distinct downtrend in force usage. Nevertheless, India still employed up to four divisions-plus in Sri Lanka in a classic power projection role. Unfortunately, it was a wrong war in the wrong strategic direction. It locked up India’s strategic reserves in the south while Pakistan gained strategic depth in Afghanistan unhindered. • Post 1998 Scenario: Post the overt nuclearisation of South Asia, the crippling constraints on India’s usage of conventional military force became painfully evident. In response to Pakistan’s intrusions in Kargil, India carried out partial mobilisation and employed two divisions along with air
There is an urgent need to examine air power and naval power centric doctrines of Limited War which enable initiation of hostilities at much lower rungs of the escalation ladder
would have been far more feasible, just and proportionate. It would have transferred the onus of escalation entirely on to Pakistan. Post the nuclearisation of South Asia, the Indian political elite seem to have concluded that use of conventional military force is no longer a viable response to sub-conventional provocations. This has led to a sharp and visible decline in India’s force usage profile to virtually zero. It has condemned India in perpetuity to a purely defensive response
tion. Henry Kissinger writes, “a deterrent which one is afraid to implement when challenged ceases to be a deterrent”. This was primarily a land power centric doctrine. The use of land power generates a great deal of the fog of war. It cannot easily be calibrated in a very precise manner. There is an urgent need to examine air power and naval power centric doctrines of Limited War which enable initiation of hostilities at much lower rungs of the escalation ladder. These must provide credible and usable options that put the onus of further escalation squarely on the aggressor. India’s political elite need to take a close look at the very high levels of conventional military force usage implicit in the Chinese doctrines for Limited War. We have mirrored our nuclear doctrine on the Chinese minimalist model based on “no first use”. We equally need to closely examine the Chinese views on Limited Conventional war. There are very significant lessons there that become sharply relevant in the postMumbai context. SP
SP’S LAND FORCE S 2/ 2 0 09
Illustration: Ratan Sonal
News i n B r i e f
‘SAILING ACROSS THE DESERT AND SEAS’ EXPEDITION CONCLUDES
“Consultations between the two countries’ defense ministries will begin shortly, in which the forces and resources involved in the exercises are to be determined, as well as the thematic focus of the joint maneuvers,” he said. Counter-terrorism will be one element of the war games, said the source. He did not specify the timing of the exercises, but Interfax reported that they would take place in summer 2009 on Chinese territory. “These will be bilateral Russian-Chinese exercises and not maneuvers under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO),” the source said, referring to a six-nation regional group led by Moscow and Beijing. Russia and China have stepped up their military cooperation in recent years, holding regular joint exercises since 2005, although analysts say the SCO has yet to become a full-fledged military alliance. During the Cold War, Moscow and Beijing had a tense relationship as rivals for the leadership of the Communist world.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jayant Baranwal Editor Lt General (Retd) V.K. Kapoor Assistant Editor Arundhati Das Senior Technical Group Editor Lt General (Retd) Naresh Chand Contributing Editor Air Marshal (Retd) V.K. Bhatia Sub-Editor Bipasha Roy Contributors India General (Retd) V.P. Malik Lt General (Retd) Vijay Oberoi Lt General (Retd) R.S. Nagra Lt General (Retd) S.R.R. Aiyengar Air Marshal (Retd) Vinod Patney Major General (Retd) Ashok Mehta Major General (Retd) G.K. Nischol Brigadier (Retd) Gurmeet Kanwal Brigadier (Retd) S. Mishra Rohit Sharma Europe Andrew Brookes (UK) USA & Canada Lon Nordeen (USA) Anil R. Pustam (West Indies) South Africa Helmoed R. Heitman Chairman & Managing Director Jayant Baranwal Admin & Coordination Bharti Sharma Design Associate Art Director: Ratan Sonal Layout Designs: Rajkumar Sharma, Vimlesh Kumar Yadav Published bimonthly by Jayant Baranwal on behalf of SP Guide Publications Pvt Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, photocopying, recording, electronic, or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publishers. Printed in India by Rave India (www.raveindiapress.com) © SP Guide Publications, 2009 Annual Subscription Inland: Rs. 600 • Overseas: US$180 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org For Advertising Details, Contact: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org SP GUIDE PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD POSTAL ADDRESS Post Box No 2525, New Delhi 110 005, India Corporate Office A 133 Arjun Nagar, Opp Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 003, India Tel: +91(11) 24644693, 24644763, 24620130 Fax: +91 (11) 24647093 Regd Office Fax: +91 (11) 23622942 Email: email@example.com Representative Offices BANGALORE, INDIA Air Marshal (Retd) B.K. Pandey 534, Jal Vayu Vihar, Kammanhalli Main Rd, Bangalore 560043, India. Tel: +91 (80) 23682534 MOSCOW, RUSSIA LAGUK Co., Ltd Yuri Laskin Krasnokholmskaya, Nab., 11/15, app. 132, Moscow 115172, Russia. Tel: +7 (495) 911 2762, Fax: +7 (495) 912 1260 www.spguidepublications.com www.spslandforces.net RNI Number: DELENG/2008/25818
US Wants Afghanistan Exit Strategy
The Bombay Sapper units under the Southern Command undertook a ‘Sailing across the Desert and Seas’ expedition from Munabao to Vigakot. The expedition comprising two groups, commenced simultaneously on 21 Feb 09 - one from Munabao which was flagged off by Lt Gen AM Verma, General Officer Commanding (GOC), Desert Corps while the other which sailed from Mumbai was flagged off by and Lt Gen USP Sinha, Commandant, College of Military Engineering (CME). The 09 officers and 02 other ranks that sailed out from Mumbai on ‘Seabird’ class boats reached Koteshwar in Kori Creek on 01 Mar 09 covering 950 Kms after a halt at Porbander.
Bomb Damages NATO Equipment in Pakistan
The United States met Nato allies on Monday 23 March to outline its policy review for Afghanistan after President Barack Obama said it would contain an exit strategy and greater emphasis on economic development. “What we can’t do is think that just a military approach in Afghanistan is going to be able to solve our problems,” he said in an interview with CBS TV’s 60 minutes. So what we’re looking for is a comprehensive strategy. And there’s got to be an exit strategy ... There’s got to be a sense that this is not perpetual drift.” The interview gave a taste of what to expect in the results of a comprehensive policy review on Afghanistan and Pakistan expected soon. Officials have already said the review would include more coordination with other stakeholders than practised by the Bush administration. In Brussels, US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke met Nato SecretaryGeneral Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Monday before briefing the 26 alliance ambassadors.
Some analysts say Washington is going to have to engage in dialogue with Taliban elements, a point Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have conceded recently. However, in Afghanistan itself other experts have suggested that idea is a non-starter. And Taliban-led insurgents such as the Haqqani network, which has admitted carrying out some of the most deadly attacks on civilians and foreign troops in Afghanistan, dismiss the dialogue proposals as a trick to weaken and divide militants. In an interview with Reuters on Monday Sirajuddin Haqqani said all Taliban were the same and no parts of the movement would be willing to engage with Washington or Kabul. Washington also has to weigh the competing interests of India and Pakistan. India has been wary of any political accommodation with the Taliban, close allies of Pakistan before they were toppled by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Pakistan in turn has resented growing Indian influence in Afghanistan which it sees as an attempt by its much larger neighbour to put pressure on it from both east and west. Obama has said the United States and its allies are not winning in Afghanistan, and ordered the deployment of 17,000 additional troops on top of the 38,000 already serving there to help subdue a resurgent Taliban and stabilise the country. Other countries have about 30,000 soldiers helping the Kabul government under NATO and US command, but have mostly been reluctant to commit more forces.
US Army to Use More Electronic Warfare
The U.S. Army’s new Training and Doctrine Command leader Gen. Martin Dempsey is focusing on how to bring elements of the service’s new Electronic Warfare doctrine to the fight in Afghanistan. EW efforts have already proven vital to Army efforts to precisely locate and target enemy fighters, he said. Dempsey is focusing on EW integration as it applies to the unique challenges of the current war in Afghanistan. “What we are trying to become is more versatile. We are trying to integrate things like electronics, signal intelligence and full motion video. You would want a platform able to integrate those things,” said Dempsey. Along these lines, the Army is bringing more electronic capability to Afghanistan in order to help units navigate the countries varied, rigorous terrain. In Afghanistan, soldiers are conducting missions in both desert areas and high-altitude, mountainous regions, Dempsey said. For instance, the Army has begun fielding a high-altitude counter-IED unit Task Force Odin in Afghanistan; more UAVs such as the Army’s Sky Warrior are planned for later this year. The EW manual specifies key areas of electronic attack, including both offensive and defensive activities. “Defensive electronic attack protects friendly personnel and equipment or platforms. Offensive electronic attack denies, disrupts or destroys enemy capabilities,” the EW manual states. Looking toward the future, Army leaders expect to see EW as a fast evolving area of focus likely to take on new shapes in years to come. “It is probably not wise to think of an end state in terms of collecting intelligence over time,” Dempsey said.
A man in Pakistan on March 18 hurled a grenade at a NATO supply truck carrying machinery destined for Afghanistan, damaging the equipment, police said. The attacker threw the hand grenade as trucks loaded with supplies waited for customs clearance near the Chaman border crossing in southwestern Baluchistan province, local police officer Gul Mohammad said. “Soon after the grenade blast, people saw a man fleeing the area, and (he) disappeared in the rush,” he said, quoting witnesses. The truck was carrying a machine for drilling wells. The blast caused “minor damage” to the machine and no casualties, the officer said. The crossing was briefly closed to trucks after the attack, for which nobody has claimed responsibility. NATO and US-led forces in landlocked Afghanistan are hugely dependent on Pakistan for supplies and equipment, about 80 percent of which is transported through the troubled country. Baluchistan has been rocked by a four-year insurgency waged by tribal rebels fighting for political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural resources. The province has also been hit by attacks blamed on Taliban militants.
U.K. To Extend UAV-by-theHour Deal
Britain’s Ministry of Defence is to extend a UAV-by-the-hour deal with Thales UK that provides the military in Afghanistan with key intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. Company officials attending an engineering and science event here March 11 confirmed that they are close to completing arrangements for the ISTAR deal to run through to the in-service date of the British Army’s Watchkeeper UAV system scheduled for 2011. Thales has been providing the service for British forces since mid-2007 to help plug a gap in British ISTAR capabilities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Under an urgent operational requirement deal with the MoD, Thales provides the Elbit Hermes 450 tactical UAV, contractor logistics support and program management services. It also trains the military in the use and maintenance of the system. The UAV-by-the-hour service has drawn considerable attention from Canada, France and other NATO nations that need similarly rapid hikes in ISTAR capabilities. To date, the Hermes 450s have flown more than 18,000 hours for the British in the two operational theaters, a Thales UK spokeswomen said. The original two-year deal was expected to be worth around 60 million pounds ($83 million), much of that going to UAV provider Elbit.
Ap po i nt m en t
Ashok Nayak is new HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak takes over from Ashok K. Baweja, who retired on March 31, as the Chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Previously the Managing Director of HAL’s Bangalore Complex, Nayak will be its 15th Chairman having joined the organisation as a management trainee in 1973. On the eve of taking over as the Chairman, Nayak said, “With the offset opportunity and massive new programmes coming up, HAL must find ways and means to capture all these opportunities for a safe and secure future. We have made an impact in the international market and will now have to focus on our exports further to stay ahead in the race.”
Russia, China to Hold Joint Military Exercises
Russia and China will conduct joint military exercises this summer on Chinese territory, Interfax news agency reported on March 18, citing a source in the Russian defense ministry.
2/2009 SP’S LAND FORCES
Your access to the network shouldn’t be the weakest link.
A mission-critical network deserves a mission-critical computer. The ARMOR C12 meets MIL-STD-810F and IP54 ingress protection to withstand vibration, shock, temperature extremes, dust, sand and water. So the data chain remains sound. It’s just what you’d expect from DRS, a supplier of over 70,000 rugged computing and display systems to the US military.
RUGGED MOBILE COMPUTERS
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