November 28, 2011

Exercise SUDARSHAN SHAKTI: Indian Army's biggest war game to date

News Report

As reported by Defense-Aerospace and other news sources, sixty thousand troops and 300 tanks of the Indian Armed Forces (IAF) are participating in the exercise codenamed 'Sudarshan Shakti', aimed at strengthening war fighting skills of army's Southern Command and IAF's South Western Air Command by bringing together all elements including air power on one single platform.  In this overall effort, Network Centric Warfare (NCW) is one of the crucial aspects being validated.

Spread over the "huge geographical area" in the deserts of Barmer, Jaisalmer, Pokhran and Pachparda, the exercise is going to ensure infusion of latest technology with the weapons and troops while providing a real-time information of the battlefront to the field commanders. The exercise will help the Southern Command to validate its war-fighting concepts while working towards 'capability- based approach' relying on a series of transformational initiatives, concepts, organisational structures and absorption of new age technologies, i.e. those in field of precision munitions, advance surveillance system, space and network-centricity.

The endeavour has been to validate and integrate the use of all available assets, including Satellites, UAVs and HUMINT to assist commanders in taking dynamic and proactive operational action in a fluid battlefield. Another important facet being validated is the real-time sensor-to-shooter loop, which enables commanders to take instant decisions even as information is shared among platforms and personnel to order the weapons to be deployed.

It appears as the first time that the Indian armed forces are going to test its new capability-based tactics in a battlefield scenario.  Under the new war-fighting concept, the entire combat resources and support elements will be managed through a single command centre at Pachpadra, which will use the latest technologies to get a complete picture of the battle. The battlefront will be managed seamlessly through the command centre or centres without the administrative “borders” of various commands slowing things down.

Once the efficacy of the doctrine has been established in the exercise, the theory would be implemented, paving the way for a radical re-structuring of the Indian command system as well as the Indian Army Headquarters.

References: Defense-Aerospace (1), (2), Pakistan Defence (3), Deccan Herald (4), Defence News (5)

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