The army has approximately 13 lakh men and women in its ranks. This includes about 36,000 officers. The President of India is the Supreme Commander if three services – Army, Navy and Air Force. The army headquarters is in New Delhi, under the direction of the Chief of Army Staff, who is a general. The Indian Army is the 2nd largest army in terms of manpower after China and the 4th strongest army after USA, Russia and China.
Indian Army day is celebrated on 15 January every year, in recognition of Lt. General (Later Field Marshal). On 15 January 1949, Cariappa took over the first Indian Army Commander-in-Chief from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-chief of India..
Motto of Indian Army – ‘Service before Self’.
The Army is divided into the following seven commands each headed by a Lt. General:
|The Northern Command||Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir|
|Western Command||Chandimandir, Punjab|
|Central Command||Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh|
|Eastern Command||Kolkata, West Bengal|
|Southern Command||Pune, Maharashtra|
|South Western Command||Jaipur, Rajasthan|
|Training Command||Shimla, Himachal Pradesh|
The Corps in the army is headed by Lt. Generals, divisions are headed by Major Generals, brigades are headed by a brigadier and battalions are headed by a Colonel. The army is organized in two Parts arms and services as under:
|1. Infantry||2. Armoured Corps||3. Regiment of Artillery||4. Corps of Signals|
|5. Corps of Engineers||6. Corps of Army Air Defence||7. Mechanised Infantry||8. Army Aviation Corps|
|1. Army Education Corps (AEC)||2. Army Medical Corps (AMC)||3. Army Ordnance Corps (AOC)|
|4.Army Ordnance Corps (AOC)||5.Army Postal Service Corps||6. Army Dental Corps|
|7. Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME)||8. Corps of Military Police Corps||9. Intelligence Corps|
|10. Judge Advocate General Dept.||11. Military Farms Service||12. Military Nursing Service|
|13. Remount and Veterinary Corps||14. Pioneer Corps||15. Territorial Army (TA)|
- Command: Indian Army has 6 operational commands and 1 training command. Each one is headed by General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), known as Army Commander, who is among the senior-most Lieutenant General officers in the army.
- Corps: A command has generally consists of two or more corps. Indian Army has 13 Corps & Each one is commanded by a General Officer Commanding (GOC), known as Corps Commander, who is in the rank of Lieutenant General. Each corps is composed of 3-4 Divisions. There are three types of corps in the Indian Army: Strike, Holding and Mixed.
- The Corps HQ is the biggest field formations in the army.
- Divisions: An Army division is an intermediate between a Corp and a Brigade. It is the army’s biggest striking force. Each division is commanded by the rank of Major General known as General Officer Commanding (GOC). It usually consists of 15,000 combat troops and 8000 support elements. Currently, the Indian army has 37 divisions including 4 RAPID (Reorganised Army Plains Infantry Division) action divisions, 18 infantry divisions. 10 mountain divisions, 3 armoured divisions and 2 artillery divisions. Each division comprises several Brigades.
- Brigade: A brigade usually included approx. 3,000 combat troops with the supported elements. Normally, an infantry brigade comprises three infantry battalions with different arms and services to support it. It is headed by a Brigadier. These independent brigades function directly under the Commander of the Corps (GOC Corps).
- Battalion: Colonel leads a battalion and it is the main fighting force of the infantry. It consists of more than 900 combat personnel.
- Company: Headed by a Major, a company comprises 120 Soldiers.
- Platoon: A platoon is headed by a Lieutenant or depending on the availability of commissioned officers, a Junior Commissioned Officer, with the rank of Subedar or Naib Subedar. It has about 32 troops in number. Ghatak Platoon, or Ghatak Commandos, is a specialized, qualified platoon for infantry operations. Each infantry battalion in the Indian Army has one platoon. Ghatak is a Hindi word that means “killer or lethal”. The battalion or brigade commander can task them to perform the tasks such as special recognitions, raids, on the enemy, artillery positions, airfields, supply dumps, and tactical headquarters. They can also direct artillery and air attacks on targets deep within enemy lines. In an infantry battalion, the most physically fit and motivated soldiers are chosen to be a part of the Ghatak Platoon.
- Section: The smallest Military outfit with a strength of 10 personnel. Commanded by the rank of Havildar, a non-commissioned officer.
The various ranks of the Indian Army are listed below in descending order:
- Field Marshal (Honorary Rank)
- Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw – 1st Indian Officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal. He led the Indian Army in the Liberation of Bangladesh in December 1971.
- Field Marshal KM Cariappa – He was the 1st Commander in Chief of the Indian Army. He led the Indian Army in Kashmir in the Indo-Pak War of 1947. He was made Field Marshal by the Government in his 87th year on 14t Jan 1986.
- General (the rank held by the Army chief of staff)
- Lieutenant General
- Major General
- Lieutenant Colonel
Jawans (Other Ranks – include JCOs and NCOs)
Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs)
- Subedar Major
- Naib Subedar
Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs)
- Lance Naik
Indian Army Regiments
The infantry regiment is the largest element of the infantry division. The infantry regiments engage and destroy the enemy in close combat during the assault or hold its position during the defence.
|Rajputana Rifles||Rajput Regiments||Dogra Regiment|
|Sikh Regiment||Jat Regiment||Brigade of the Guards|
|Parachute Regiment||Madras Regiment||Grenadiers Regiment|
|Maratha Light Infantry||Sikh Light Infantry||Garhwal Rifles|
|Kumaon Regiment||Assam Regiment||Bihar Regiment|
|Mahar Regiment||J&K Light Infantry||Naga Regiment|
|Gorkha Rifles||Ladakh Scouts||Vikas Scouts|
|Rashtriya Rifles||Arunachal Scouts||Sikkim Scouts|
The Mechanised Infantry is responsible for giving infantry battalions greater mobility. They are infantry equipped with armoured personnel carriers for transport and combat. Its carriers provide a degree of protection from hostile fire. It is one of the youngest regiments of the Army. It has taken part in OP PAWAN in Sri Lanka. OP RAKSHAK in Punjab and J&K and OP Vijay in J&K. It also trained in UN peacekeeping missions in Somalia, The Congo, Angola, and Sierra Leone. It also has the distinctions of operating even in high altitude areas of Ladakh and Sikkim. Equipment of Mech Inf includes Infantry Fighting Vehicles – BMP 1 and BMP 2 & Armoured Personnel Carriers – BRT 60 and BTR 70.
A few Mech Inf Battalions are:
|1st Bn (former 1st Bn, The Madras Regt)||3rd Bn (former 1st Bn, 8 Gorkha Rifles)|
|8th Bn ( former 7th Bn, Punjab Regt)||13th Bn (former 18th Bn, Rajput Regt)|
|15th Bn||19th Bn|
|23rd Bn||26th Bn|
The use of armored fighting vehicles in modern warfare is armored warfare or tank warfare. The concept of armored warfare is based on troop’s ability to penetrate traditional defensive lines by using armored vehicles maneuver. Much of the applications of armoured warfare depends on the use of tanks.
It currently consists of 63 armoured regiments, including the President’s Bodyguards. The naming of the regiments varies. The terms “Cavalry”, “Horse” and “Lancers”, which have been dispensed within the case of units raised post-independence, are historical legacies from the raising and renaming of these units when it was part of the East India Company’s army or later the British Indian Army. The Scinde Horse was the first regiment who shed their horses to have equipped with tanks. Vickers Light Tanks and Chevrolet Armoured Cars were the first such equipment. A few Armoured Regiments are:
|President’s Bodyguards||2nd Lancers|
|1st Skinner Horse||4th Hodson’s Horse|
|7th Cavalry||10 Armoured Regiment|
|9 Horse or ‘The Deccan Horse’||43 Armoured Regiment|
|14 Horse or the ‘The Scinde Horse’||53 Armoured Regiment|
|21st Central Indian Horse||62 Cavalry|
|17 Horse (The Poona Horse)||90 Armoured Regiment|
Regiment of Artillery
The Artillery Regiment (AR) constitutes almost one-sixth of its total strength, with the units being organized on a Corps and Divisional basis. Earlier, Artillery was classified before as a fighting force as a fighting support force, but is now classified as a fighting force whose priorities shifting between direct support and counter-bombardment.
Its main task is to dominate the battlefield with its immense firepower so that the opponent can neither interfere with the operations nor develop their own effectively. During the Kargil War, the artillery has proven its winning capacity. It is at the forefront of fighting in Siachen, the highest battlefield in the world. During the peacetime, it undertakes counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and in the North-East (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland). A few Artillery Regiments are:
|140 AAD Regt.||37 Coorg Anti-Tank Regiment|
|40 Field Regiment (Asal Uttar)||315 Field Regiment|
|9 Parachute Field Regiment||821 Light Regiment Bombers|
|11 Field Regiment||279 SATA Bty|
|12 Medium Regiment||861 Rgt (BrahMos)|
Corps of Signals
They handle military communications. It is well poised to exploit the state of art modern communication techniques for meeting the requirements of the Army in the 21st century. Signals are essentially the NERVES of the Army and operate in all types of hostile and peace locations across the country. Communications include:
- Satellite communication
- Computer Data network
- Electronic Warfare
- Advanced data transmission techniques
- Static peace communications
- Creation of Data Centers
- Computer Engineering Response team
- Army Radio Engineered Network
Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers consists of three major constituents namely Combat Engineers, Military Engineering Service (MES) and Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
Combat Engineers provide mobility to own forces by constructing bridges, tracks and helipads and on the other hand, they deny the same to the enemy by creating obstacles such as laying mine, fields and demolition of bridges. The corps of three groups of combat engineers, namely:
- The Madras Sappers
- The Bengal Sappers
- The Bombay Sappers
The Military Engineer Service (MES)is responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of all works, buildings, airfields, etc.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) helps in the construction of roads, highways, airfields, buildings and bridges.
Corps of Army Air Defence
The Army Air Defence (AAD) is responsible for the protection of Indian Airspace from enemy aircraft and missiles. The organization of AAD units and formations are based on the gun density requirement for protection of various vulnerable points and areas. AAD is also meant to be static and is deployed to deter if not destroy the enemy, who is also expected to come for mass bombing of targets. Barrage fire has dictated deployment of batteries and rings, providing a form of area defence. AAD units can be used for both mobile role against low flying aircraft targets and static role against high altitude bombers.
Army Aviation Corps
They assist the ground units by carrying men and material. They also play a major role by supporting the armoured columns and infantry in any environment – hostile or behind enemy lines and during times of peace.
Apart from the attack role, helicopters, like Cheetah, Chetak and HAL Dhruv provide logistical support to the Army in remote and inaccessible areas, especially the support for the sustenance of our troops at Siachen Glacier. They also perform tasks like combat search and rescue of our troops at Siachen Glacier. They also perform tasks like combat search and rescue (SAR), artillery lift, combat transportation, logistics, relief, military prisoner transportation and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) during the war and in the case of natural calamities.
Army Service Corps
The Army Service Corps (ASC) handles the logistic support of the Army, It is mainly responsible for the provisioning, procurement and distribution of supplies, fuels and items of hospital comfort. The operation of mechanical transport except first-line transport of fighting vehicles and the provision and operation of first and second-line animal transport is also the responsibility of the ASC.
Other responsibilities include carriage and distribution of ammunition including mines, commodity packing for supply, aircraft loading, and load ejection. ASC is versatile and capable of wide rules for multifarious activities of immediate concern to the troops.
Army Ordnance Corps
The Army Ordnance Corps (AOC) is responsible to provide logistics support to the Army during war and peace. The logistic functions of the AOC involve mechanics of provisioning and procuring of all stores required to raise and maintain an efficient and effective fighting army.
The aim is to make available all kinds of stores to all units of the army at the right time, in the right quantity, at the right place and right cost. The inventory range covers every conceivable requirement of the soldier from clothing to weapons and ammunition, from a needle to a tank and also all munitions except fuel, fodder and medicines. Ammunition management also involves:
- Major/Minor repair of all ammunition and missiles.
- Static and dynamic proof of ammunition and explosives.
- Disposal and demolition of unserviceable/dangerous ammunitions and explosives.
Army Education Corps
The Army Education Corps (AEC) plays a key role in enhancing the educational and professional standard of the troops. The AEC personnel are widely scattered and play a part in all garrisons, headquarters, training centres, units, Sainik Schools, Military Schools, College and Selection Centers.
The human resources development centres run by AEC personnel function as nodal centres to impart education, training in foreign and regional languages and communication skills.
Army Medical Corps
The AMC is a specialist corps which provides medical services to all Army personnel. The AMC has seen combat and active operations in all operations and wars the army was involved in as part of combat formations or as hospitals around the country.
Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers
The role of EME is to activate and maintain the operational fitness of electrical, mechanical, electronic and optical equipment of the Army. EME does work from factory level repairs to everything the Army uses. They work within a battlefield retrieving equipment casualties from their point of collapse with their forward repair teams based on modified armoured vehicles. Back at base workshop they strip and rebuild anything that the Army owns to be fighting vehicles, electronics or data processing equipment.
Following are the responsibility of EME:
- Refit / Reset/remanufacture of weapon systems and equipment.
- Recovery operation in peace and war.
- Indigenisation and manufacturing.
- Indigenisation and manufacturing.
- Experimental work including operational innovation.
- Technical advice to units on systems.
- Design and development of weapon systems.
- Trials (User & Sustainability Evaluation).
- Defect reports and modifications.
Para (Special Forces)
Para (Special Forces)
Para (SF) is a special forces unit of the Indian Army’s Parachute Regiment and is made up completely of volunteers who clear the prohibition. It is tasked with missions such as special operations, direct action, hostage rescue, counter-insurgency, seek and destroy and personnel recovery. The unit’s heritage stems from World War 2, with the creation 50th Parachute Brigade in October 1941. The Para (SF) conduct a series of joint exercises, named VAJRA PRAHAR with USA every year, in which about 100 personnel’s from the US and Indian special forces participate.
Motto- “Men apart, every man an emperor”.
The list of PARA (SF) Battalions are:
- 1 PARA (SF)
- 2 PARA (SF)
- 3 PARA (SF)
- 4 PARA (SF)
- 9 PARA (SF)
- 10 PARA (SF)
- 11 PARA (SF)
- 12 PARA (SF)
- 21 PARA (SF)
India and UN Peacekeeping Operations
India’s contribution to maintaining international peace and security has been second to none, as one of the foundig members of the UN. Since it’s inception India has been the largest troop contributor to UN missions. The first deployment started in the 1950’s when India sent troops to Korea in 1953-54. Recent peacekeeping opreations were expected to be multidimensional, involving police monitors and election observers. India has extensive experience in de-mining task and has contributed greatly to the de-mining work in various missions.
With a total contributions exceeding 180,000 troops and a significant number of police personnel having been deployed, including the first Female Formed Police Unit under the U.N. with the increased commitment in peacekeeping assumed by the UN in the post-Cold War era, India continued to provide commanders, armed military contingent, military observers, and staff officers as also Indian Air Force attack and utility helicopters to many of the UN missions deployed to keep the peace in various parts of the world. Indian naval ships and personnel participated in patrolling task off the Somali coast, in humanitarian aid onshore, and also in the transportation of men and materials for the UN, India has also been contributing to the United Nations Peace Building Fund.
Past UN Missions
- Korea (1950-54)
- Middle East (1956-67)
- Congo (1960-64)
- Cambodia (1992-93)
- Mozambique (1992-94)
- Angola (1989-1999)
- Sierra Leone (1999-2001)
Current UN Missions
- Lebanon (Since Dec 1998)
- Congo (Since Jan 2005)
- Sudan and South Sudan (Since April 2005)
- Golan Heights (Since Feb 2006)
- Ivory Coast (Since April 2004)
- Haiti (Since Dec 1997)
- Liberia (Since April 2007)
Indian Army Joint Military Exercises
India – USA – Yuddh Abhyas
India – China – Hand in Hand
India – Russia – Exercise INDRA
India – Nepal – Surya Kiran
India – Sri Lanka – Mithra Shakti
India – France – Exercise Shakti
India – Mongolia – Nomadic Elephant
India – Kazakhstan – Exercise Prabal Dostyk
India – Thailand – Exercise MAITREE
India – Indonesia – Exercise GARUDA SHAKTI
India – Maldives – Ekuverin
India – Seychelles – Exercise Lamitye
India – Oman – Al Nagah
India – Singapore – Exercise Bold Kurukshetra
India – Malaysia – Exercise Harimau Shakti
India – Bangladesh – Exercise Sampriti
India and 18 ASEAN – FORCE 18 Multinational Field
China, USA, Russia, – Training Exercise (FTX)
Japan, South Korea
National Cadet Corps
The National Cadet Corps was constituted under the NCC Act in 1948. This aims to provide the youth of the country for overall development with a sense of loyalty, dedication, equality, self-discipline and moral values so that they become useful citizens for their country. The motto of NCC is ‘Unity and Discipline’.
The sanctioned strength of NCC is 13.8 lakh. NCC has 3 wings, Army Wing, Naval Wing and Air Wing. It also has 3 divisions. These include Senior division (18-26 years), Junior Division (13+18) and Girls division.
Aims of NCC
- To develop character, courage, comradeship, discipline, a secular outlook, the spirit of adventure and ideals of selfless service amongst young citizens.
- To create a human resource of organized, trained and motivated youth, in order to provide leadership in all walks of life and be available for the service of the nation.
- To provide a conducive environment to motivate the youth to join in armed forces.
Indian Army Equipment Data
|Pistol AUTO 9MM 1A||Semi- automatic Pistol||9mm Parabellum||India|
|Glock 17||Semi- automatic pistol||9mm Parabellum||Austria|
|Beretta 92||Semi- automatic pistol||9mm Parabellum||Italy|
|SIG Saucer P226||Semi- automatic pistol||9mm Parabellum||Germany/Switzerland|
|SAF Carbine 2A1||Sub-machine Gun||9mm Parabellum||India|
|Micro-Uzi||Sub-machine Gun||9mm Parabellum||Israel|
|Heckler & Koch MP5||Sub-machine Gun||9mm Parabellum||Germany|
|1B1 INSAS (Indian Small Arms System)||Assault rifle||5.56 mm NATO||India|
|1A SLR||Battle rifle||7.62 mm NATO||India|
|A7||Assault rifle||7.62×39 mm||India|
|AK – 103||Assault rifle||7.62×39 mm||Russia|
|IMI Tavor TAR-21||Assault rifle||5.56 mm NATO||Israel|
|Dragunov SVD59||Sniper rifle||7.62x54mm R||Soviet Union|
|INSAS LMG||Heavy Machine Gun||14.5×114 mm||Soviet Union|
Explosives Rockets and Missile System
|Grenade 36 mm||Hand Grenade||India|
|Multi Mode Grenade Shivalik||Hand Grenade||India|
|Mulit Grenade Launcher 40mm||Grenade launcher (40mm)||India|
|AGS- 17 Plamya||Automatic grenade Launcher (30mm)||Soviet Union|
|RCL Mk- II||Recoilless rifle (84mm)||India|
|RCL Mk- III||Recoilless rifle (84mm)||India|
|RPG-7||Rocket propelled Grenade (40mm)||Soviet Union|
|75 mm Mountain Howitzer||Howitzer||United Kingdom|
|Indian Field Gun MK1/2/3||Field Gun||India|
|OTO Melara Mod 56||Mountain Gun||Italy|
|M-46 Catapult||Self-propelled Artillery||India|
|BM-21||Multiple rocket Launcher||Soviet Union|
|2S1 Gvozdika||Self-proelled artillery||Soviet Union|
|Sprut||Anti-tank Gun||Soviet Union|
|Smerch 9K 58 MBRL||Multiple rocket launcher||Russia|
|180mm Gun S – 23||Heavy Gun||Soviet Union|
|Arjun MBT Mk-1||Main Battle Tank||India|
|T-90s “Bhishma”/T-90M||Main Battle Tank||Russia/India|
|T – 72 “Ajeya”||Main Battle Tank||Soviet Union|
|T-55||Main Battle Tank||Soviet Union|
|BMP-2 “Sarath”||Infantry Fighting vehicle||Soviet Union|
|BMP-1||Infantry Fighting vehicle||Soviet Union|
|FV 432||Armoured personnel Carrier||United Kingdom|
|OT- 64 SKOT||Armoured personnel Carrier||Czechslovakia//Poland|
|BRDM-2||Reconnaissance Vehicle||Soviet Union|
|Ferret||Reconnaissance Vehicle||United Kingdom|
|PRP-3||Battlefield surveillance system||Soviet Union|
|HAL Dhruv||India||Attack/Utility Helicopter|
|HAL Rudra||India||Attack Helicopter|
|IAI Searcher||Israel||Reconnaissance UAV|
|IAI Heron||Israel||Reconnaissance UAV|
|DRDO Nishant||India||Reconnaissance UAV|
Air-Defence Missiles and Systems
|Prithvi Air Defence(PAD)||Anti-Ballistic Missile||India|
|Advanced Air Defence (AAD)||Anti-Ballistic Missile||India|
|S-300 PMU 2||Strategic surface-to air Missile||Soviet Union|
|Trishul Missile||Surface-to-air missile||India|
|Bofors L 40/70||Anti-Aircraft Artillery||Sweden|
Ballistic and Cruise Missiles
|Brahmos||Cruise Missile||India/Russia||300 Km|
|Nirbhay||Cruise Missile||India||1000 Km|
|Prithvi-I,II,III,IV||Short-range ballistic missile||India||150/250/350 Km|
|Agni-I||Medium-range ballistic missile||India||700-800 Km|
|Shaurya||Hypersonic glide missile||India||700-1900 Km|
|Prahaar||Tactical ballistic missile||India||2000-3500 Km|
|Agni-II||Intermediate-range ballistic missile||India||2000-3500 Km|
|Agni-III||Intermediate-range ballistic missile||India||3500-5000 Km|