Government plans to draft the Defense Command under one Umbrella
Editor Darren Julian Pinto
The BJP government once again plans to amalgamate the defensive and offensive command under a single unit. This would make the forces act against the threat swiftly. The NDA in their previous term, during the year 2001 and 2003, set two new, fully operational commands to counter Chinese threats in Bay of Bengal and to strike enemy countries with nuclear missiles.
With increasing threats of cyber warfare, space conflicts and cross-border terrorism, our country needs dedicated commands to counterattack instantly. The government plans to assign three new commands for space based operation, cyber based threats and special operations command. It is believed that these new commands would need more than a year to become operational. As of now, the Indian Nuclear Command, Strategic Forces Command and the Andaman-Nicobar Commands are operational.
Strategic Forces Command
The SFC, also called as the Strategic Nuclear command, will be assigned dedicated tasks and forces to attack the enemy country. Orders issued by the central government cabinet committee headed by the Prime minister of India, makes the decisions and the SFC executes the assigned orders.
The Indian nuclear warheads can be deployed on several kind of platforms via air, land or sea based missiles to attack the enemy positions. India needs a good delivery platforms to make these missions a success. The Indian SFC command consists of Jaguar Fighter Jets, Agni 1,2,3 Missiles and Arihant SSBN having K 4 and K 15 Ballistic missiles. It is believed that the SFC have also inducted the Su 30 MKI for nuclear warhead delivery. These nuclear warheads are stationed in Indian bases controlled by respective commands. If the cabinet orders a strike, it would take time in deciding which base will launch the attack. Those making these decisions will have different strategies, making it difficult to choose the appropriate base. To resolve this issue, the government set up a Nuclear Command under a three star officer, either Lt. Gen, Vice Admiral or Air Marshal, to lead the SFC. if the government cabinet approves a nuclear strike, the head of the Nuclear Command will choose the most feasible platform for the strike. resolve the issue, Govt set ups a Nuclear command under a Three star officer, either Lt.Gen, Vice Admiral or Air marshal leads the SFC, if the government approves a Nuclear strike, he will choose which platform is feasible for the strike.
As of now, the SFC command is expanding its wings by proposing the induction of two dedicated fighter squadron in addition to the advanced Agni 5 and 6 missiles and the Arihant SSBN, which would be inducted after the conclusion of trials.
Andaman Nicobar command
This command consists of all three services, soldiers from Indian Army, fighter jets from Indian Air Force and ships from Indian Navy. This command is created to counter the Chinese advancement in Bay of Bengal and establish peace in the Andaman region. As Andaman is located far from Indian land mass, and makes a very good place for strategic operations, it is the primary target if Chinese and Indians go to war. The Andaman Command is fully based on the offensive strike, with troops, ships and fighter aircraft for combined amphibious assault operations.
Currently, the Andaman command consists of 15 warships. This comprises of Escort vessels like patrol ships, offensive platforms like fast attack crafts for beach landing, a large number of landing platform ships. They get cover from the Indian Air Forces Su 30 MKI and the MiG 29 UPG. The Marine contingent also gets cover from Naval Air Arm like ASW planes like Do 228 and P 8I. The forces include an army brigade. One Indian Army Brigade consists of 3000 infantry soldiers including officers who are commanded by a Brigadier General of the Indian Army.
The new proposed command which will be commissioned in coming years, which is used to hack enemy websites and undertake strategic espionage. Each service has a dedicated cyber command which protects national assets from computer based attacks from unknown enemies. The new cyber command can ensure the safety of our defense and financial institutions and retaliate to international cyber threats. The Chinese and Americans already have such commands, where Chinese have been known to install phishing programs into American servers, revealing strategic and economic secrets, and using that information to develop their own technologies. The Americans are masters at cyber warfare; the NSA is a good example of that.
Special Operational Command
The major setback of the Indian Defense is the lack of unified command to untie all the special forces under one command. Even in the last cross border raid in inside Myanmar, there were issues in the command section as to which force will be assigned to take out the militants. The Navy's Marco's, RAW's SFF, Air forces' Guard commando's and the Army's Para commando's, after a delay, asked the Para commando's to take the action. The same issue also delayed the 26/11 operation in Mumbai.
To eradicate the delay in special operations, The government plans to make a special operation command similar to American SOCOM, which controls all the special forces from all services.These will include the NSG and CRPF special forces Cobra. Under the new uniform command, the Special Operational Command from Delhi orders the designated forces nearby to act against the threat, once the SOCOM gets a go order from the cabinet. The cabinet orders are needed for only cross border raids, missions inside India don't need cabinet approval.
Space Based Command
Currently, Indian air space is under control of the Indian Air Force. If any unidentified aircraft enters Indian air space, dedicated airbases nearby will launch interceptor aircraft to identify and then escort or in some cases, eliminate the threat. Beyond the earth's atmosphere, the Indian air space is monitored by the Indian Space Research Organization, where they only assist the defense forces with the real time satellite images and information. They do not provide any information without having the necessary permissions from higher authorities. For example, the IAF cannot acquire SAR imagery without having proper approval from the cabinet .
However, the new Space Command can act quickly as the ISRO and Defense Officers chair the command. They provide information and satellite images without any delays and need of the approvals. The need of eliminating enemy early warning satellites is also a growing doctrine in future warfare as China already showcased such technologies. It's believed India will acquire such technology in coming days.
Editor Darren Julian Pinto