While being in the process of revamping the Aviation Corps, the Indian Army is now focusing on increasing its move capability along with its surveillance as tensions with China continue to simmer along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), according to a report released by The Print.
Three integrated Aviation Brigades have been set up by the Indian Army, two of which are along the Line of Actual Control as said by the sources in the defence and security establishment.
As reported by The Print in the previous month, as a part of the new Order of Battle (ORBAT), two additional Aviation Brigades have been set up under the Northern and the Western Command while a new Aviation Brigade has come up under the Eastern Command.
A source thereby explained that ensuring that there is a more coordinated and localised control of the aviation assets, the above-cited new Aviation Brigades are a part of the rebalancing that the Indian Army has been doing.
As a part of the revamp, all the Drone operations have also been moved to the Aviation Corps from the artillery which was used to be in charge of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).
The above-cited Aviation Brigades have been set up along with the integrated surveillance and operation Centre that are responsible to monitor sensitive areas 24/7, not just through the feed sent in by the satellites but also by the drones and the helicopters.
Rather than just boots on the ground, a need to have a more coordinated and round the clock surveillance capability was felt as said by the sources.
A second source said that advanced knowledge of enemy movement, better surveillance capability and fast mobilization is the key to fighting a war and aviation is an integral part of the warfighting process.
Enabling the force with more options, not just for troop insertion along with the movement of logistics but also for surveillance, multiple forward helicopter bases have been set up along the Line of Actual Control.
Apart from the above, ruggedized with scope for modularity and user-friendly newage portable helipads are under the process of procurement by the Indian Army.
The above-cited second source said that while four new satellite link enabled long-range surveillance drones are being purchased by the Indian Army from Israel, swarm drones both for logistics and attack are also been ordered by the Indian Army and Drone Warfare is the future. The Army has on the other hand also ordered Kamikaze drones.
Future of War
The source also said that a large variety of drones shall be seen procured by the Indian Army in the new future and hence it was important that these were taken care of by the Aviation Corps than the artillery because drone warfare has somewhere changed.
As the force was focusing much on the induction of light combat helicopters, the Apache attack choppers along with the replacements for the Cheetah and the Chetak helicopters, a huge expansion in the coming months shall be witnessed by the Aviation Corps, as said by the sources.
Another source said that more helicopters have been sent to the critical areas because during the current crisis with China it is somewhere in the shot by the Indian Army that all its helicopters quadrants are fully equipped with the sanctioned numbers. That said, these include the Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) along with its armed version which is the Rudra.
Since the tensions began at the line of actual control in the previous year the Indian Army has laid its focus on the transfer of soldiers from one sector to another along with its move capability.
Since the Indian Army is facilitated for carrying out operations in the high altitude regions which are close to the line of actual control through the Dhruv helicopters with the protective cover of Rudra, the deployment of these Rudra helicopters has turned out to be a boon for the Indian Army.
According to an official, the quick transfer of soldiers from one Valley to another is been enabled by the training that has focused on the heliborne insertion of troops at high altitudes while they are doing it at their own levels as well as with the Indian Air Force.