Sunday, December 21, 2008

Admiral Arun Prakash: Is the future beneath the waves?

On Navy Day, 4th of December 2008, the IN will celebrate the 37th anniversary of its audacious missile attack on Karachi in the 1971 war. For the pedantic, who hark back merely to Independence, the Service will be a little over 61 years old on this day. The historically inclined, who want to be one-up on the Army and IAF, could claim that the origin of the Royal Indian Navy goes back to Captain Thomas Best’s 3-ship squadron which defeated the Portuguese off Suvali (a few miles north of Hazira in Gujarat) in September 1612. Hence this is actually the IN’s 396th birthday! However, I doubt that that the Admirals who foregather in end-October for the annual Naval Commanders’ Conference will have time to discuss matters such as this, because their agenda is likely to be crowded with many other issues of substance.

An eminent Indian strategist has said: “If India had competent naval leadership and a strategic culture, the IN at the turn of the century would have had nuclear submarines.” While there may be a streak of truth here, these are harsh words because in India, matters impinging on grand strategy, are shared by the politician, only with scientists and bureaucrats; keeping the armed forces at arms length. Nevertheless, one wonders how much of their time the Commanders will devote to the navy’s critical under-water dimension and its submarine arm.

Over the past six decades the navy, once it had broken free of the “Cinderella Service” chrysalis, is generally acknowledged to “got its act together” a little better than its sister Services. If this is indeed true, it could be due to its compact size, a smaller decision-making loop, and the fact that it has possibly received greater exposure to external influences. The navy’s adroit management of its affairs can be viewed under two headings.

The Doctrine-Hardware Gap

A major pitfall confronting “young” armed forces universally is the gap that can arise between their doctrine (if they have one) and the order of battle that they create; especially in the context of hardware. The problem becomes aggravated when equipment has to be imported from diverse sources, as in our case, and often force-fitted into the ORBAT. Of course, the evolution of doctrine and strategy has itself been delayed and hindered by lack of higher direction from the government.

To take a few examples in India; The Army’s self-hypnosis about set-piece battles with armoured spearheads, low-intensity conflict and “boots on the ground” has created for it, a highly manpower-oriented paradigm in which even the Special Forces have been reduced to the status of super-infantry. Consequently one has the nagging feeling that the army has grid-locked itself, doctrinally, into a vicious circle. Its refusal to down-size, will deny it the fruits of technology; like precision weaponry, air-mobility, long-range fire-power and night-fighting capabilities, and siphon the money into manpower costs, which will, in turn, impede further modernization.

The IAF acquired many aircraft, including the Sukhoi-7 fighter-bomber, the MiG-23MF interceptor, and the Tupolev-124 and Ilyushin-14 transports either under duress or with insufficient forethought, because they proved of limited utility. At the same time, due to a lack of doctrinal focus, they completely overlooked the immense force-multiplying benefits that EW, early-warning radar, and air-to-air refueling would have bestowed, till quite late; and they still lack a true long-range (nuclear?) bomber.

By the same token, the IN found itself a few years after independence, with an aircraft carrier, a destroyer/frigate escort group and a basic fleet-train without a well thought out doctrine for their employment. Shunned by the West, the navy’s early acquisition programmes were guided, more by what the Soviets thought was good for us rather than what we actually needed or wanted. So much so that an editor of Jane’s Fighting Ships was constrained to remark that: “the IN is one of the few major navies which first buys hardware, and then thinks about how to use it”!

The IN realized the gravity of this problem at an early stage, and has been trying to address it since the last two decades. As far back as 1988, NHQ issued a document titled: “A Military Maritime Strategy 1989-2014” which reflected Cold War realities and the insular posture we had adopted in that era. Although overtaken by events within a few years, this document triggered off a process. However, it was not till the beginning of the current decade that the Service applied itself, once again, to matters of policy as well as dogma.

This has resulted in a series of documents including a Maritime Doctrine, a Maritime Strategy and a Maritime Capabilities Plan which have collectively provided an intellectual underpinning for, and placed the navy’s roles, missions, operational posture and acquisition policies into geo-strategic perspective. This has created a firm foundation which the Service can build upon in the years to come.

The IN has fortunately stood by two fundamental doctrinal convictions; on which the leadership has never failed to voice its views. Firstly, that India’s national interests and stature require it to have overt and credible trans-national capabilities. And secondly, that not just the management of trans-national capabilities, but the demands of today’s warfare require the integration of the three armed forces with a single head of the Defence Staff.

Regrettably, government policy appears to have placed nuclear deterrence outside the ambit of doctrinal examination by the navy (as well as the other two Services).


If one aspect sets it apart from the other two Services, it is the navy’s total commitment to indigenization, which was underpinned by two bold and far-sighted decisions in the late 1960s; to undertake warship construction in the country, and to set up a Directorate of Naval Design manned by a Corps of Naval Constructors. Our shipyards have, to-date, delivered over 90 ships ranging from basic patrol boats and amphibious ships to sophisticated submarines, frigates and destroyers. It is to be hoped that an indigenous aircraft carrier will slide down Cochin Shipyard’s slipway in a few years time.

Of a piece with the resolute indigenization drive is the symbiotic relationship which the IN has assiduously created with the DRDO – an organization which deservedly attracts much searing criticism otherwise. Apart from whole-heartedly participating in the work of DRDO’s two dedicated naval laboratories, the IN has invariably contributed funds as well as manpower to projects undertaken for it by the organization. And herein lies the crucial difference in the navy’s approach.

For many years the IAF regarded the LCA project with a degree of detachment and skepticism, and waited to assess its chances of success before committing itself in any manner. In the early 1990s a cursory enquiry by the IN about the feasibility of a carrier-borne version of the LCA, evoked an enthusiastic response from the design bureau – accompanied by a request for funds to undertake a study. NHQ reacted instantly with a grant of Rs. 4.5 crores for what was then, little more than a “pie in the sky”, but has now become a full-fledged LCA (Navy) Project with IN funding and personnel. If this bold and ambitious project succeeds, India will be one of just four countries world-wide producing carrier-borne aircraft. But that does not stop the IN from hedging its bets with the MiG-29(K) and possibly the JSF.

The Arjun MBT is turning out to be another heart-break story for the DRDO, because it has allegedly not come up to the army’s expectations. In a somewhat similar situation when a weapon system did not quite measure up to the Qualitative Requirements (QR), after many years of R&D, the navy took a conscious decision to designate the system as a “Mark I” version and accept a limited number. The DRDO was then prevailed upon to undertake the expeditious development of a Mark II version which would meet or exceed a new set of naval QRs.

A nation’s claim to major power status does not rest solely on its ability to produce a few nuclear devices. Such claims will ring hollow unless it can create an unassisted capability for designing missiles, aircraft, tanks, warships and submarines, as well as the industrial wherewithal to undertake their serial production. This calls for an intense synergy between the armed forces, DRDO, defence PSUs and the private industry.

For this to happen, there are two essential pre-requisites. Firstly the R&D establishment must muster the courage and intellectual honesty to admit failures when they occur, and secondly, the armed forces must continue to hold the DRDO’s hand in success as well in failure.

In the navy’s case, impending events call for a much sharper focus on our submarine building capabilities and infrastructure.

Building a Submarine Arm

A proposal for creating a submarine arm for the RIN was put up to the Government of India within months of Independence, but with the pacifist mindset then prevailing, it was felt at the highest levels that the acquisition of such a “weapon of offence” would run counter to our ethos of non-violence.

It was perhaps the alleged sighting of Chinese submarines in the Bay of Bengal in 1962 which led to the revival of this proposal and government acquiescence, the following year. The options offered by USA and UK being limited to WW II surplus vessels with limited capabilities and even less residual life, we turned to the USSR. The initial offer of trouble-prone Whiskey and Zulu Class boats (then in service with China, Egypt and Indonesia), was subsequently upgraded to the more rugged and contemporary boats of Project 641 or Foxtrot Class. Three such boats, along with a Don Class submarine depot ship were acquired in 1967-68, and five more added subsequently.

The Foxtrots, having trained and blooded a generation of submariners in war, the next step for upgradation of capabilities was taken by contracting for advanced hunter-killer submarines of German design. Between 1986 and 1994 four of these Type 209/1500 boats entered service; two built in Germany and two in Mazagon Docks Mumbai. Unfortunately allegations of corruption in this deal scuttled plans for further indigenous construction, and this was a huge setback for the nation in terms of capability accretion. However, concurrent negotiations with the USSR had resulted in the induction of 10 improved boats of the Kilo Class between 1986 and 2000. Because of their “teardrop” hull-form, these boats were much quieter. They also had superior sensors and high-endurance Indian-made propulsion batteries.

With all but one of the Foxtrots having been retired, and the Type 209 as well as Kilos (after modernization) entering the final phase of service life, the 2005 contract for building six French Scorpene Class submarines under license in Mazagon came not a day too early. But even this will be too late to prevent a drastic force level slump at the end of the next decade. In order to sustain the required submarine strength of about 25 boats, and ensure diversification of submarine production a 30-year plan was approved by the GoI, a few years ago. This plan envisages the simultaneous serial production of two types of submarines in two separate shipyards.

While one of the two types can be an of advanced submarine of imported origin, the time is now ripe for our naval architects to create a home-grown design, and for the DRDO to develop an air-independent propulsion (AIP) package which can be installed in a truly indigenous submarine.

The Quest for Nuclear Expertise

According to the 4th volume of the official history of the IN, the Service had begun to examine the viability of indigenous design and construction of a nuclear submarine as far back as 1967. The initiative gathered momentum soon after the 1974 “peaceful nuclear explosion”, and by 1978 a small IN-DAE team had been located at BARC to undertake serious design and feasibility studies. This study obviously brought home the magnitude of the colossal challenge posed by this undertaking, and it was decided to approach the USSR for assistance.

A decade after signing the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the USSR made an unprecedented offer in 1981, to lease a nuclear powered submarine to India along with a training and maintenance package. Tagged on to this offer was an option for acquiring Soviet “assistance for design and construction of a nuclear-powered submarine” at a later date. In 1988 a Charlie I Class Soviet nuclear attack submarine (SSN) arrived in Indian waters on a 3-year lease. Renamed INS Chakra, this SSN carried neither the weapons nor the systems for a strategic role, and therefore served a limited purpose; that of providing experience to IN personnel in the operation, maintenance and deployment of a nuclear-propelled submarine. The reactor was guarded by Russians, and it seems doubtful that our scientists or engineers gained much design insight from Chakra.

In an astute and far-sighted initiative, the IN and the DRDO had joined forces, sometimes in the mid-1980s, to constitute an R&D venture designated the Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) Project . This little understood and much maligned project has been making steady progress in many areas related to the indigenous development of submarine as well as system design and construction. It is possible that external advice and consultancy may have been sought in some aspects of this enormously complex undertaking.

In hindsight, the Chakra lease was perhaps pre-mature, because 17 years after she went home, we are yet to see an indigenous nuclear boat, and in the interim the trained manpower has dissipated.

New Developments

In this context; Navy Day 2007 appeared to have brought two pieces of good news from authoritative naval sources; firstly that the ATV project was making rapid progress, and secondly that there was a proposal to lease another nuclear boat (possibly an Akula Class SSN) from Russia to facilitate crew training and familiarization . The Akula is known to be equipped with bow and stern tubes which can fire either torpedoes or anti-ship cruise missiles.

If the ATV project did not progress in its early years, as rapidly as the IN had expected, the 1998 Pokhran II tests and the Nuclear Doctrine issued subsequently, must have certainly expedited its pace. This “no first use” doctrine clearly aims for a triad of nuclear vectors in the near future. It requires little reflection to conclude that the only undetectable and survivable (hence credible) leg of the triad will be the SSBN; a nuclear-propelled submarine armed with ballistic missiles.

India’s Nuclear Stakes

The leased Russian SSN is unlikely to contribute to India’s nuclear deterrent, and suggestions that its cruise missiles could be modified to carry nuclear warheads appear very far-fetched, especially in the light of MTCR restrictions. While the exact configuration of the ATV remains in the realm of media speculation, the logical way ahead for the IN would be to build and sustain a small SSBN fleet for deterrence, and a few SSNs for anti-submarine and sea denial roles. The creation of such a force has to be viewed in a 40-50 year geo-strategic and fiscal perspective and will require overcoming many technology challenges. Some of these are:

1. The ab-initio indigenous design and production of a nuclear propulsion plant which will pose a major challenge for our nuclear scientists. Freedom from dependence on external assistance in this field is vital for national security. The 4000 ton Chakra’s reactor delivered 90 MW power, while the 7500 ton Akula is driven by a 190 MW reactor, and our designers should be aiming at a power output of around 200 MW.

2. Reactor design is heavily dependent on the level of proficiency attained in uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication technologies. Reactors which run on low enriched uranium (18%-20%) have a short refueling cycle whereas highly enriched uranium fuel (93% or above) can last the lifetime of a reactor.

3. A stealthy and safe hull design, using materials of sufficient strength which will facilitate high speeds and also permit the SSBN to lurk in deep waters, undetected.

4. The design and production of an underwater launched ballistic missile of inter-continental range, dimensionally compatible with the submarine, so that 12-16 can be carried on board.

All these endeavours are complex, laborious and time consuming, and a period of even 15-20 years for attaining the capabilities listed above may be optimistic; allowing for errors and unforeseen delays. While the USSR/Russia have, so far, been the main sources of maritime hardware and technology for us, other avenues are likely to open up. The US Navy has nuclear powered vessels ranging from cruisers and aircraft carriers to submarines, powered by 25 different types of reactors running into the 9th generation of development. It is quite possible that US or other technology may become available for indigenous programmes. Such assistance should, however, be sought very selectively and with the greatest caution, because of the strings that will come attached to it.

The PLA Navy sent its first (Han class) nuclear submarine to sea in 1974, and today the Chinese nuclear flotilla consists of 3-4 Xia and Jin class SSBNs (with missiles of up to 8000km range) as well as 5-6 Han and Shang class SSNs. Given that we are already 30 years behind China in this field, there is not a day to be lost in committing the necessary capital as well as human resources from the Navy, DAE and DRDO to this endeavour.


Like it or not, the underwater deterrent is going to be the Navy’s baby, and it will increasingly make exacting demands on the expertise and human resources of the Service (the funding will certainly have to come from elsewhere). The planning, production, trials, operational deployment and maintenance of the nuclear fleet will all require naval involvement.

Here it is worth quoting RAdm Raja Menon who has studied this issue in depth: “Eventually the country’s deterrence could shift entirely underwater….but for this the navy and the country will have to understand that this is a gigantic technological project operating at the frontiers of science….” He adds: “Government procedures simply cannot produce a nuclear submarine…and more harm cannot come to the country than to build it in furtive secrecy, where the first casualty is accountability.”

The biggest challenge will, obviously be that of project management which will require bold, imaginative and resolute naval leadership. Once the ATV Project completes its assigned R&D task, it could be converted into an enterprise for the serial production of nuclear submarines. Such a vast undertaking would involve a very large number of public and private sector units and could be run as a public-private corporation under the Navy’s supervision.

For a Service which has focused largely on surface ship operations since inception, this will involve a radical paradigm shift. But the Navy must face the fact that the future certainly lies beneath the waves.

(Admiral Prakash was Chief of the Naval Staff from 31 July 2004-31 Oct 2006. He currently lives in Dehradun. This column is from the current edition of Vayu Aerospace & Defence Review, a journal he is Editorial Advisor to)


Anonymous said...

one of the most literate and far-sighted chiefs we have ever had. a pleasure to read his thoughts. he is far fitter to lead the armed forces than any of the current flock. my respects to you sir.

Kaps said...


It is an honour to be acquainted with your thought process. It is a pity that we juniors were never privy to your thought process. If it was not for the medium of internet, we would have forever remained oblivious to your clarity and purpose.

It is a pity that instead of professional soldiers like you, we have politically motivated police bureaucrat serving as NSA, who would rather party than pay attention to national strategic and security issues.

It might seem a bit too far fetched, yet, I would request you to have an interactive blog where one can regularly benefit from your precious thoughts. A Harpoon.

Shankar said...

Reminds me of an article by P Chacko Joseph of Frontier India.

Anonymous said...


saurabh said...

Thank you very much sir for sharing your thoughts. I fully agree with you unless the beureaucracy and polity gets focussed it is very difficult for india to produce quality submarines, weapon systems etc. drdo may try its best to deliver but i am afraid its best is not good enough...i have a question all over the world indians are excelling in the technological field...take example of many indians are doing exceptionally well...we should learn from this and ensure that drdo attracts best of the technical brains in the country...not even a single IITian is joining drdo...reasons can be of my friend did his MS from IITM and joined drdo with lot of josh to do someting for the my surprise he left the job within one year...again reasons can be thing is very clear if you throw peanuts only monkeys will come...govt should seriously think of getting IITians to drdo..if they have to throw money for this let it be...
no project can be guaranteed of success in inception stage...we should learn to encourage our scientists when they succeed and even more when they developed country has even 50% success rate in r and d...
our procurement processes need to be improved and made fats takes months to get even the simplest of the items...

i am also thankful to shiv to provide a platform to share thoughts...

Sea Dog said...


When can we have a few more senior officers like the current CNS ?

I am fed up of these retired lot now trying to show their concern.

Anonymous said...

There are some bureaucratic lumps who think writting is their "file" and hereditory right. They also think soldiers and their officers are simply slaves and bloakes and should not write even after retirement...

Any suggestions or writting is considered an invasion to their dream and illconcieved domain of managing strategic affirs..which they have always badly screwed up..

The earlier India gets rid of her unprofessional, one examination, thrust elite type Bureaucrates, the better. These guys will stop nothing sort of destroying India. Their self delusion type monopolistic matras are rotten and suicidally distructive..

Thanks admiral....never mind those worms.....majority of Indian are with people like you and not these monopolists..

Yogesh said...

Anon 12.35 do not talk like an ass.Appreciate the fact that the Admiral's writings are making so many people think and wonder how things could be improved for the future.His well researched articles contain peals of wisdom which jokers like you may find hard to appreciate.Moreover,when you seek the cowardly cover of anonymity,you should not try to speculate and insinuate about a respected senior person like him.He was awarded a Vir Chakra in 1971,should we now award you with the size 10 which was presented to Bush?

Anonymous said...

i agree with anon(1235) & sea dog.
much was expected from this admiral after many wrong selections for the top job in the past. unfortunately, he got bogged down by allegations regarding his nephew.
he along with another adm shekawat, would always be remembered for having promised much but delivered nothing.
in comparision, adm mehta was not expected to deliver anything, but his leadership has even the army guys wondering, wish they had him as their boss.
i agree 3 yrs at the top is too little to change the mindset of babus/politicians, but he could have made a difference.
i think he's trying to come back into the limelight and maybe aiming for a strategic advisory role in the govt?

Anonymous said...

During your tenure as the decision maker, sir, thanks for a lot for various welfare which never fared. Year of the sailor......decade of the sailor ......were only bits to derive a few brownie points. You people say and ordered things without any intentions to implement them. Our brothers work from morning 0800 to evening 2000 day in day out. You gave power to your officers to change our sundays into mondays but after the job is done and points made never they were able to change the mondays to sundays. The civil chaps who work hand in hand with us, your drivers and your peons in IHQ shows you the thumb after eight hours of fairly cool work. They charge you OT and you oblige them. But here are your men who rise to all your calls and still you have to fool them by silly welfare baits. Sir we dont want false promises like one of our Netas & doing so you all are eroding a already eroded respect level for officers and admirals. We actually know what you mean even before you open your foul mouths. So sir kindly enjoy your retirement and hospitality of your pets (still in service) whom you have brought up. Rightly said by another brother, that, where was your courage and honour and concern which you preached when you were in helm....Nothing will change in this country till there is greed....everybody just wants his share from this country...but as history remains witness this country has the strength to sustain billions of suckers for centuries to come.....thats the only hope for true Indians.....By the way we dont want your concerned feelings. Please Remain a outstanding (pun intended) Gentleman. Jai Hind.

Mera Bharat Mahaan said...

Sir, really a thought provoking article. The biggest challenge with us (fairly senior young naval officers) today is the depleting motivation and morale levels of men under us. We try our best with all our skills to strike a balance to implement higher directives and infuse zeal in our men. With changing times, the lure of the outside world, and the dominant Media increasing the awareness levels the age old carrot and stick formulae has been proven wrong. As todays leaders we face much tougher challenges, we are more adaptable, and open. We give our best but still at times grope for difficult answers. Sir I had the opportunity to spend some time onboard French and Singaporean ships at sea. There are considerable interaction with various developed navies at all levels and inputs are many. The change we are facing today were faced by them at some years back. Why are we not open for change...are our top brass afraid of losing the Glam and Shine....or are we too afraid to experiment or move off the proven track. Sir, dont you think this no error syndrome, 365 days syndrome is proving to be the virus thats going to cripple us oneday....Sir, you have seen this elite force from all levels and at diametrically different times. A Thinking soldier who commands great respect from all walks of navy might definitely be able to throw light on this great challenge we are facing today.

Anonymous said...

the state of top leadership in the armed forces is not too different from our politicians...after all its indian blood question i want to ask...why the special instructions reagrding ltc and travel entitlements have not yet been released till today...civilian counterparts are travelling on new entitlements...answer is simple...those who are supposed to take decisions and implement these are not affected..they are already enjoying all the perks and priveleges...a general/admiral comes to any base, whole base goes out of routine to please them, their personnel jobs are taken care of by their staff officers...365 days syndrome is eating away the service culture...why there is so much problem of accommodation... because no one wants to push those projects which can not be completed within their tenure... no one wants to take up the projects which will not fetch them the brownie points... lets face where is the solution???? it lies within the lower ranks....they have to understand the game and come out to help each solidarity with each other...let these big bosses eat kaju and baadam...let us make difference in our workplace by taking care of our men and brother officers...

IndianACE said...

Come on, I'm_disgusted_with_the_senior_lot' type blokes.

Not now. We need all hands on the deck. TOGETHER NOW.

Excellent article, admiral! You Navy guys are something!!

Anonymous said...

No Sir, the future is not beneath the waves. If Pudding hears this, he'll ban your entry in Delhi, Sir.

Pudding was posted in Mumbai as a Gr Capt, when he used to never get along and never saw eye to eye with the navy wallahs, as he always held wars can only be won by the air force...its only air power that can truly win a battle and the navy and army are useless.

Anonymous said...

I dont really think the navy is that bad and the future does look bright. 3 destroyer classes, 3 frigate classes and 2 corvette classes are to be armed with the BrahMos by 2010. Then the submarine launched version of the BrahMos that will be used in Kilo class and possibly ATV will be ready by 2010. The Kilo can now fire nuclear missiles (we bought some 200 klub cruise missiles). The INS Vikramaditya will help the Indian Navy in a huge way and we also have to get our Mig-29K and HAL Tejas Naval. Then IN is a potential front runner to buy the Slava Class cruiser armed with nuclear capable P-500. Then the Project 75A/76 can bring about some modern submarines. The Nirbhay is also to be tested next year. The Indian Navy can compete with one of the top navies in the world like China, Japan, Britain, France if the Navy guys pull up their pants and get to Work. IN in 2010 looks grt on paper just if we can get it done in real

Anonymous said...

Well well..

Why only Air all guys want to fly and sail far away from the Continent...

I as an Army man also want to piggy back and conduct ops on the shores of Somalia and bust insurgencies in Huambo. I too wish to be expeditionary..but ...but..??

But, with more than 8000 Km of unsettled borders..that is a dream for all of us. China has settled boundaries with all its neighbors including weak Russia but not with India. It might not do so as that would mean reducing Indian Defence expenditure by about six division worth or giving India capability to deploy six divisions in Afghanistan or say in Philippines or Somalia.

Earlier, the Great Game people including USA also ensured we bogg down in our Continental commitments by proactively arming and helping Pakistan and Bangladesh. China is still successfully on that game. We can not shrug it off unless Amerikhans nuclear technology gets fully operationalized in terms of weapons superior than China. That too is a dream...

Then how can motherland be left undefended and at the mercy of the Hans and Pathans. Can we really let our Airforce and Navy embark on Global ambitions in such scenario at the cost of Army. I wish we do but very much doubt it...

China supplies a few Kalashnikovs and RPGs to terrorists and nuclear bombs and missiles to Pak Army and thereby ensures She (China)is not forced to deploy six divisions in Tibet. That is a very smart game. We, on the contrary are not galvanizing Tibet. Nehru psychosis still lingers on. I feel we must force China commit ten PLA divisions in Tibet. Let us indulge in manpower intensive games and frustrate Chinese designs of attaining deterrance by technology. There we can match and not money intensive games which we do not have that much.

When the entire focus is the Continent where do you Neval and Air Force guys want to sail / fly off. Yes do that if it helps in mitigating Continental problems. I do not mind Indian Neval bases in south China sea and IAF bases in South Korea. Continent reamins priority one..

Let us first settle it or the history will settle us. I, as an Army foot soldier, otherwise do not mind Neval dopes taking me to Honolulu for joint training with Pecefic Command dopes. I also love swimming at North Shore and Hawain music...

This anti manpower intensive rhetoric must be judged in the backdrop of the terrain on our borders and ineffectiveness of superior technology there. Are not we watching what is happening to Amerikhans in the land of Pathans..?? Don't we realize how technically powerful the "shoe " has become as compared to American Strikers and Humvees...

Admiral, Shoe is the winner....Strikers the lost case..

All power could be and should be underwater only when considerations of land frontiers cease to exist or it becomes irrelevant..In our case our adversaries are holding us to ransom due to our land frontiers so far....go underwater to solve it..if one may..

Atty said...

Anon 9.46 Pongo(I know you are an ex-NDA because you called me a Naval dope and you know I am an ex-NDA because I am calling you a Pongo!!!).You have wasted your excellent analytical skills (and some bad spellings)on a useless point.The Navy and IAF's global ventures are not at Army's cost - they compliment the Army's continental(land) operations.I know Army guys have this thing about the Navy and AF talking about 'foreign' things and global outlooks but that is the way India's global clout will increase.Countries do not find it odd if a foreign warship enters their territorial waters with fanfare,has a short port call and sails off; but they would surely raise an eyebrow if an Infantry platoon was to march in their territory for a city tour.Each Service has its peculiarities.The Admiral has a point about manpower because no Army other than ours has such an abundance of manpower.As per my estimate,at any given timethere are about one lakh (even by conservative standards)salaried soldiers employed purely for personal jobs(you know what I am talking about)- a luxury which very few armies can afford to have.It is a touchy issue and let us not debate it further.The Army should actually have nothing to crib because more Army personnel show the Indian flag abroad than the IN or the IAF.Our peacekeeping commitments count among the oldest in the world - dating back to the Korean War.Army personnel travel abroad regularly under the UN auspices,so where is the ground for resenting the IN or IAF's global forays?The IN and IAF cannot fight insurgencies on land,can they?So let them take the strategic frontiers away from our shores as much we deserve them.

Anonymous said...

Govt has accepted most of the Armed Forces Demands except parity of rank with their civilian counterparts!

Anonymous said...

@Dear Anno above...

You are missing woods fir some trees...

No one has any objection to what ever you stated...

I also dream of Indian Air Force landing on the moon and mocking it reciting at the poem "Chand Ka Munh Tedha".

I also fency Indian Navy bringing to India a chinki mermaid from the depths of south Japanese waters...

I am only portraying the ground realities. We have very vast land frontiers where unfortunately only PONGOs are effective. Superior technology can not offset for PONGOs there..Air superiority, tank divisions and Artilary commands can not offset for Pongos in high Himalayan vallies, ravines and gorges, mountains. riverines of Bangladesh and thousand Km of Jungles. Superior technologies will assist and enhance capabilities but neither reduce numbers nor offset for Pongo.

Diplomacy can deter, delay but can not reduce manpower requirement for war. Unfortunately / fortunately, we have such borders.

And dear, what is our expenditure at manpower. Moreover gone are the days when funds were not available. Now every year they are returning funds to Finance Ministry. Hence this jibe of manpower eating into funds is actually not relevant.

What we need to do is parallel shifting of Army manpower to the CPOs and thereby create a good manpower pool for second line of Defence or even for the less threatened sectors or say create defensive capabilities with CPOs and have offensive Force with the Army. We need to Shift expansionary burden from MoD to CPOs. This can only be achieved if the CPOs are semi militarized and have military command structure. Under IPS this will become a rotten and corrupt force like Police.

Semi Militarization of CPOs is the only answer to many ills like effectiveness for Counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations, disaster management, military emergencies, creating forces like NSG and effective border management.

However, the Admiral's many assertion have become very relevant now as our Koutilyan neighbor, being a "change in status quo" agent is intent on making land frontiers irrelevant. He has attacked Bombay, Delhi, Ahmadabaad and many other places. He is infiltrating through land and sea without violating the the known international law norms. He is waging a war on us without declaring one. His recognized Armed Forces are meant for deception only and the real ones (terrorists) are freely being used. He has converted indi into Bairut.

Faced with such a war India need to hurt Napakies where it would hurt him most. Indians have no choice but to up the ante in Baluchistaan and FATA. India has no chice but to Arm and help all forces inimical to Pakistan. Getting hit for US national interests is not our obligations.

putting our techology, missiles, warships , submarines and airforce at the highest level of supriority and hitting hard is the only way to force Partion on our neighbours. Thy blame others but it appaers that elites in Pakistan and Bangladesh want to undo Partition by infiltration, demographic changes and Terrorist acts. They only way India can prevent undoing of partition is not merely by sitting on borders but also by keep hitting them inside and bring about further partion in them.

This one Pakistan one Bangladesh Policy is fraught with grave dangers. It is not at all in India's interests. India must keep their pot boiling as the Napkies would say. They must constantly face threats of further Partition. Then only will they stop thinking of undoing the Partition.

Or they will succeed in Darul Ulum Ideas of India being their Kingdom...

Welfare of Muslim in India is is a good social idea but for our internal consumption. Let us not extend that to Pakistan and Bangladesh for the sake of getting Muslim votes. We would otherwise be left with internal and external chaos.

@anno above ....forget spellings ...this is not a English blog...nor your office... and unfortunately or fortunately I am not from NDA.......

Anonymous said...

@ Anno 10:20

# Your spelling are bad
# Your speed is slow
# You do not understand

Dear anno...grow beyond NDA.......Those are internet bad manners....

Anonymous said...

Dear Admiral Sir,

Thanks for sharing the overall perspective of the Indian Defence forces and the Indian Navy in particular, I wish your article will help every person of the Indian Navy ( Officers, Sailors, and Defence Civilians) in gaining a clear understanding as to where he fits in and help in steering the INDIAN NAVAL SHIP as whole in the direction, which only few admirals like you could clearly perceive and share with the common man of India.
I would like to share my feelings as common man, on the Doctrine of No First Use Policy of Our Govt for nuclear weapons and Know Your Enemy, with you. I have heard that in Nuclear War there is no runner up. I wish, some day, the people in the Indian Govt understands that a War, between two nuclear countries, is not a beauty context where you may still be able to wear a crown, may be a smaller one, after being first or second runner up. When it is question of survival, the one who uses her Bhramastra first successfully and inevitably survives , than the one who waits for the enemy Bhramastra, to be wiped out. If he still survives in his under ground nucleus bunker & comes out see the world, next day and hen decides -it is his turn now. whom will he lead - the corpses?

Perhaps they also need to familiarize themselves with the doctrine -“ Wise men do not stipulate and voice policies detrimental to their own interest, especially when they are faced with illogical & unpredictable enemies.”


Anonymous said...

Dear anon 9.00 and 9.05,we are talking completely different things so let us stop this debate.If you are actually an Army Officer:
(a)Thank God you are not an ex-NDA!
(b)You must be giving real nightmares to your CO with such poor English spellings(which prove that you are either a Dhakka or a Dhamaka from some non-descript college)
\All the best,

Anonymous said...

Dear All,

Pakistan has shown its ability to wage conventinal and unconventinal wars under Nuclear condions very clearly and decisively.

napaki Army waged a conventinal incursion in Kargil and tried changing the status quo. What did we do?? Made them vacate our claim line. Napaki Army held both the civilian Govts of Pakistan and India at ransom. Nawaz Sharif was ousted and Vajpayee shown two fingers even at Agra. Indin Army and the Foreign Office mandarins were made to cry with all fingers inside, while our IAS masters were clapping with glee that the Armed Forces are under their command.

Even after that The Napies have not stopped. They attacked the Parliament and proved that India has "No Threshold of Tolerrance" and has not improved much historically. It can offer its highest temple for attacks many times.

Then they have attacked our other modern temples like Mumbay Taj.

They have proved our Land borders and Sea Fronts are useless violable and have no political or Internatinal values.

If all this is possible under Nuclear parity so to say, then what is wrong with us??? We are we afraid of our responses... And why only responses??? Where is the initiative...

The Napaki bluff needs to be called off. And for God sake, stop pontificating and trying to teach virtues of the punkless democracy to others. You and me have right to decide what is good for us and Not what is good for Pakistan. Stop exporting IAS and IFS into Pakistan. Indian IAS and IFS types (Nawaz and Zardari) etc are kicked openly by Napakies and exhibited / showcased to Indian IAS / IFS.

Let us stop the IAS / IFS games and instead kick Napies in their butts. If Indian nuclear bombs are duds so are Pakistany ones..unless we go by the premise our butts will be blood red.

Response must be there. Not necessarily military but its effects must be severe and unacceptable to Napakies (Army). Propping Nawaz or Zardary is not good enough..Napaky army should be made to pay for their venures. We must heavily invest in Baluchistan and NWFP and FATA. Sind must be revived. Napakies must not be given respite to even think about India. And forget about US interests. Work with them if our interests converge or say good buy to them...

Hit Pak Armed Forces and hit them hard but not by exporting IAS into Pakistaan...that is ineffective and events have successfully proved. Democratisation of Pakistaan is failled will never suceed there till Napies rule the roosts...

Hit at Pak Army...not by mouth but with hands....engage them in Attrition War...... We will win....

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the compliments.. You are a real spell star and an asset to you superior as a clerk....

Ok ....every thing is fine...Have a nice time...enjoy and celebrate..I do not have much of apptitude for spellings..and that is bad..I admit...

Anonymous said...

Thora sa aur spelling practise kar le Atty puttar......tera staff work kam me ayega....we are planning to create a vacancy for you as draftsman in the chaps have excellent track record in clerical work.....but unfortunately u people don't progress further than MS Word.......Wake up if u can uniformly.........ha ha ha !!!

Anonymous said...

How to defeat Pakistani Army.???/

Answer : Export some IAS and Foreign Service Officers to Pakistan...