Indian Armed Forces
Air Force India is the primary military organization responsible for the territorial security and defence of India. The President of India serves as the supreme commander of the armed forces, which are subordinate and responsible to the Government of India headed by the Prime Minister of India. The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence and are composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Auxiliary services include the Coast Guard, the Indian Paramilitary Forces and the Strategic Forces Command.
All service personnel are volunteers although the government is empowered to undertake conscription if considered necessary for India's defence. However, India has never had conscription, even during the Indo-Pakistani Wars and the Sino-Indian War. The armed forces draw many of its service personnel from communities maintaining a long-standing military tradition, retaining much of the organizational structure established by the British. However, the armed forces are an essential character of India's strategic importance, power and capabilities, which have increased after India became a declared nuclear weapons state.
Although India has a long military history, the modern armed forces were raised under the British Raj in the 19th century. The Army of India, as the armed force was known during the British Raj, fought in both World Wars. During World War II, the Army of India played a crucial role in checking the advance of the Empire of Japan and also fought in several battles against Axis forces in northern Africa and Italy.
The Indian armed forces succeeded the Military of British India following India's independence in 1947. The Indian armed forces has fought in all three wars against Pakistan and a war with People's Republic of China. India also fought in the Kargil War against Pakistan in 1999. The Indian Armed Forces have participated in several United Nations peacekeeping operations and are presently the second largest contributor of troops to the peacekeeping force. The Indian armed forces have the third highest headcount in the world and altogether maintains the third largest armed force in the world.
Organization and command structure
The headquarters of the Indian Armed Forces is in New Delhi, the capital city of India. From New Delhi, the armed force are split into different groups based on their region of operation. The Indian Army, for example, is run from its headquarters in New Delhi where it is under the control of the Chief of Army Staff. At the Indian Army's headquarters, the army is divided into 7 tactical commands, each under the control of different Lieutenant Generals.
Structure of the Indian Army
The Indian Army fields 34 divisions. Its headquarters is located in the Indian capital New Delhi and it is under the overall command of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), currently General Joginder Jaswant Singh.
The army operates 6 tactical commands and one training command known as ARTRAC. Each command is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Lieutenant General. Each command is directly affiliated to the Army HQ in New Delhi.
There are 3 types of Corps in the Indian Army: Strike, Holding & Mixed. A Command generally consists of 2 or more Corps. A corps has many more army divisions under its control. The Corps HQ is the highest field formation in the army.
Other field formations include: Divisions, Brigades, Battalions, Companies, Platoons, and Sections.
These are several Battalions or Units under the same formation in a Regiment. The Gurkha Regiment, for instance, has several battalions. All formations under a Regiment are battalions of the same arms or Corps (i.e. Infantry, or Engineers). Regiments are not exactly field formations in the sense they mostly do not make a formation. For instance, all Regiments of the Gurkha's would not fight together as one formation, but can be dispersed over various Brigades or Corps or even Commands.
The Regiment of Artillery constitutes a formidable operational arm of Indian Army. Historically, it takes its lineage from Moghul Emperor Babur, who is popularly credited with introduction of artillery to India in the Battle of Panipat in 1526. However, evidence of earlier use of guns by Bahmani Kings in the Battle of Adoni in 1368 and King Mohammed Shah of Gujarat in fifteenth century have been recorded.
The highest ranking Commissioned Officer is the Field Marshall and only two have been awarded this rank so far. The rank of General is held by the Chief of Army Staff, followed by Lieutenant-General, Major-General, Brigadier, Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, Captain, and finally the Lieutenant.
Among the Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), the ranks are organized from Honorary Captain (given to Outstanding JCO's Rank and pay of a Captain), Honorary Lieutenant (given to Outstanding JCO's Rank and pay of a Lieutenant), Subedar Major, Subedar to Naib Subedar.
Finally, among the Non-commissioned Officers (NCOs), the ranks are organized from Company Havildar Major, Company Quarter Master Havildar, Havildar, Naik, Lance Naik to the Sepoy.
Structure of the Indian Navy
Structure of the Indian Air-Force
Recruitment and training
Recruitment is through three military related academies. These include the National Defence Academy, Indian Military Academy and Officers Training Academy. For entrance, one must display that they are both physically and mentally fit to be in the military by sitting examinations and undergoing medical checkups. The complete list of institutions training Indian army were listed in Military_academies_in_India section.
|Indian Army statistics|
|Aircraft||52 squadrons of helicopters|
The Indian Army is the world's second largest army in terms of military personnel (after China). It is a completely voluntary service, the military draft having never been imposed in India. The army has rich combat experience in diverse terrains, due to India's diverse geography, and also has a distinguished history of serving in United Nations peacekeeping operations.
The force is headed by the Chief of Army Staff, currently General J.J. Singh. The highest rank in the Indian Army is Field Marshal, but it is a largely ceremonial rank and appointments are made by the President of India, on the advice of the Union Cabinet of Ministers, only in exceptional circumstances. General S.H.F.J. Manekshaw and the late General K.M. Cariappa are the only two officers who have attained this rank.
The Indian Army has seen military action in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965,the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and others such as Operation Polo in 1948, the Sino-Indian War in 1962 over the McMahon Line, and the Kargil War against Kashmiri insurgents and the Pakistan military personnel.
Currently, the Indian army has dedicated one brigade of troops to the UN's standby arrangements. Through its large, sustained troop commitments India has come in for much praise for taking part in difficult operations for prolonged periods.
The Indian Army has participated in several UN peace-keeping operations, including the ones in Cyprus, Lebanon, Congo, Angola, Cambodia, Vietnam, Namibia, El Salvador, Liberia, Mozambique and Somalia. The army also provided a paramedical unit to facilitate the withdrawal of the sick and wounded in Korea.
The Indian Navy is the world's fourth largest navy, in terms of manpower. The navy is considered to have blue-water capabilities. It is fairly advanced in terms of technology and is in control of one of two Asian aircraft carriers. Two more aircraft carriers are on order and will be joining the Indian Navy. The ships of the Indian Navy are of Indian and foreign origin.
In its maritime doctrine, the Indian Navy establishes its role in providing support to maritime neighbours during natural disasters. This was demonstrated during the Asian tsunami crisis during which the Indian Navy sent 35 ships to support relief efforts in neighbouring countries. The Indian navy has taken part in UN missions in the coast of Somalia and has provided security to an African Union summit held in Mozambique.
Indian Air Force
The Indian Air Force is the fourth largest air force in the world. In its history, it has generally relied on Soviet technology to support its growth. However, in recent times, India has begun building its own original aircraft, including the HAL Tejas, which is a fourth generation fighter . There are reports that russia and india are planning to build a 5th generation aircraft jointly. India has also developed UAV called nishant and advance light helicopter. Recently it has completed a test of long range BVR air to air missile name astra and also conducted a sucessfull test of BMD system and hence became the 4th country after US,russia and israel to do so .
Indian Paramilitary Forces
Indian Nuclear Power
The Indian military possesses many nuclear weapons and sufficient means — by means of missiles and aircraft — to deliver these over long distances. However, India has a nuclear no-first-use policy. It also maintains a nuclear doctrine based on credible minimum deterrence. India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), arguing that it unfairly favours the established nuclear powers: While the treaty places restrictions on the non-nuclear weapons states, it does little to curb the modernization and expansion of the nuclear arsenals of the nuclear weapons states; it provides no provision for complete nuclear disarmament.
The highest wartime gallantry award given by the Military of India is the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), followed by the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and the Vir Chakra (VrC). Its peacetime equivalent is the Ashoka Chakra. The highest decoration for meritorious service is the Param Vishisht Seva Medal.
Several reports have mentioned that the Indian military will be an even greater force to reckon with in the future given the twin advantage of economic growth and an increasing population. Analyses of the Central Intelligence Agency indicates that India is projected to possess the fourth most capable concentration of power by 2015. According to a report published by the US Congress, India is the developing world's leading arms purchaser.