Monday, 24 August 2009

US and Indian troops to begin training together for war



(Photos: US and Indian troops sharing expertise during previous Yudh Abhyas exercises)










by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard, 24th August 09

Since 2004, American GIs and Indian jawans have trained together to combat terrorists and insurgents. Now, the two armies are about to begin training to fight a war together.

Underlining the growing military-to-military relationship, a US Army battalion group of several hundred soldiers and some 50 frontline Stryker armoured vehicles, will travel to India in October and train with Indian strike formation units at the Babina Field Firing Ranges near Jhansi. This exercise, named Yudh Abhyas 2009, will include live firing by heavy combat vehicles.

It will be the first time mechanised units of an Indian strike corps, which bases its power on T-72 and T-90 tanks, BMP-II infantry combat vehicles, missiles and 155-mm medium artillery guns, will train or share expertise with any foreign army. The Indian units taking part will be selected from the Jhansi-headquartered 31 Armoured Division.

The annual Yudh Abhyas exercises (which US soldiers are told is pronounced as “You da Boss”) kicked off in March 2004, when 60 Indian jawans and 55 US soldiers from Alaska jointly raided mock insurgent hideouts in the jungles of Mizoram.

Since then, Yudh Abhyas has expanded each year in size, scope and complexity. Last November, in Yudh Abhyas 08, an Indian Air Force IL-76 aircraft had flown a company (120 soldiers) of Indian jawans to Hawaii for training in counter-insurgency with US soldiers of the US Pacific Command. Their simulated operations were controlled by India’s 49 Infantry Brigade, which set up a command post in Hawaii as part of the exercise.

But Yudh Abhyas 2009 will impart a different trajectory to the military-to-military relationship. This is no longer about raids on insurgent hideouts or terrorist camps; strike corps training is for fighting a full-scale war together. This year, American and Indian mechanised forces will synchronise operations, planning, manoeuvring and firing together to capture a simulated objective.

Senior Indian Army officers have confirmed to Business Standard that the US Army Stryker vehicles and crews will be transported to India by sea. They will come from the US Pacific Command, or US PACOM, which is headquartered in Hawaii and which oversees US military interests from the US west coast to the western border of India.

Starting from Pakistan, and extending across West Asia, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) is responsible for American military interests. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are under the jurisdiction of CENTCOM.

Approached for their comments on Yudh Abhyas 09, the Hawaii-based USPACOM has not responded. But speaking off the record, senior US Army officers have expressed satisfaction at what they term a “quantum jump” in the US-India military relationship.

One US officer notes, “Singapore armoured units have come earlier to Babina to fire their tanks since they don’t have the space to practise in Singapore. Similarly, Singapore air force fighter aircraft fire in Pokhran and artillery units fire near Nashik. But this is not just about firing. Yudh Abhyas 09 will see the two armies practising how to fight a full-scale war together. And the engagement will only grow closer.”

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, by the power of yoga!

Indian said...

Yudh Abhyas = You da Boss

That made me laugh for about 5 mins. It has even more importance as recently China has started it's own full scale war practice with including it's 50000 soldiers.

Jai Hind!

Anonymous said...

It's important to keep in mind that U.S is not so good except for protecting Indian interests. So any kind of over exposure of our tactics and facilities rather than standard military practice need to be discouraged. The U.S is always interested in protecting their interests, so India must not do anything stupid in the name of friendship.

Anonymous said...

it seems like indo-us relations are going great guns...They have been training together like crazy recently...

Jazz said...

The point to be noted is that the US is using its PACOM and CENTCOM as mentioned in the article. The probability of PACOM getting involved in anti-terror operations is low vis-a-vis the CENTCOM. This is a full scale battle preparation.

This is more like a message to China as to what they might be in for in case they become a little over ambitious.

P Mukherjee said...

All that is fine except that no sane person believes that the US will ever come to India's help if attacked by China. US knows this as do the Indians and the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Off the topic on the list.

Where is LCH, any news on the LCH?

Anonymous said...

Hal should work on the LCH on priority and get it operational soon.

It's delayed already now.

More delay is not happening.

Any news on this?

Pritam said...

Good step, we need very very close relation with USA for 'china matter'. Five years or ten years or even after a decade, India have to fight a war/conflict due to china's military ambition. I think Taiwan and Japan should enter a security cooperation with India and USA just like NATO. We have to cooperate to keep our country safe. USA is not a 'dedicated' friend but we will need them and they will need us..

Pritam said...

Ajai ji thanks for your great contribution to the Indian military's PR sector. Any pics of LCH prototype???

Pritam said...

P Mukherjee, communism is a very old idea. Even rooted out from it's motherland. USA is not a good friend, but we need them and they need us, so we are friend. The china demon is rising, we have to prepare,,,,,

Anonymous said...

P Mukherjee, point taken that the US is selfish and India is counting on it. Its the same selfishness that'll make them come to our help when China attacks.

They have always been nervous about the stellar rise of China as a military power and more so as an economic power, expeically in recent times. They wouldn't want to miss a chance to push China down the ladder again.

The only guys who're expected to play the passers by are the EU and Russia.

Anonymous said...

When can we see a battalion of Arjun MBT take on a battalion of Abrams in a mock fight? That'll put to rest any speculation about how good the Arjun is. :-)

Ritesh Rishi Nair said...

Its nice to finally see India waking up to the reality it faces with some of its neighbours, and the fact that india really needs to fast track and assert all her efforts to the modernisation of her military arsenal as well as knowledge base of her army and navy personnel. USA is extending a friendly hand in assistance and business but India needs to crush and remove all bureaucracy from her procurements and make it absolutely simple and necessary to remove corruption from the root to the top in both military and politics and find common ground to the benefit and safety of all indians.

Vincent said...

Finally, an Indian blog that appreciates the American soldier. I am home.

smith said...

Hi Ajaiji,

Please get something on Arjun Mk2 on this blog even a glimpse (image) of Arjun Mk2 will do sir, Also I have read that a 1,500hp engine is being developed by DRDO for Arjun Mk2. Also CVRDE, Avadi, has taken up Development of Defensive Aids System for Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) like Advanced Laser Warning and Countermeasure System (ALWCS) and Mobile Camouflage System (MCS). CVRDE also has decided to tie up with France's Nexter Systems to redesign the Arjun Mk1's turret and equip the Arjun Mk2 with an autoloader similar to that developed for the Leclerc MBT and Arjun Mk2 will also have well-proven concept of modular add-on NERA armour blocks on the turret and sides. Also Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. (BEML) had rolled out Bogie Flat Arjun Tank (BFAT) wagons of military rail ordered by the Army.

Arjun Tank Engine development
http://www.drdo.org/tender/desidoc/desidoc29mar07sp2.pdf
Defensive Aids System for Arjun Mk 2
http://www.drdo.com/pub/nl/2009/March-09.pdf
Barracuda Camouflage
http://frontierindia.net/saabs-approach-armour-in-indian-desert
Bogie Flat Arjun Tank (BFAT) wagons
http://www.hindu.com/2006/05/28/stories/2006052805401000.htm

Is it possible for you to get some information on the future development of ICV or APC Tracked and Wheeled or unmanned one with DRDO. Also there is news of Abhay ICV (Infantry Combat Vehicle) which is also going to be developed as HICV (Heavy Infantry Combat Vehicle).

Bhramastra said...

Hi Ajai

Are u still in North West. How is the project with the book going on??

When do u intend to return. It seems like we all lost our insider in HAL...

subhojit said...

Dear passionate LCA"ites" - lets be a little understanding here. Ajaiji is elated (and so are all of us) at this step of having the Kaveri mated with the IL-28 as one of its prime movers.

Lets forget about the car engine argument - its like bickering over a non issue.

Would you rather have a non-working Kaveri as compared to one producing 65KN of wet thrust at 1265 Kgs?

We all know that we are very passionate about the security of our country and find it galling that Kaveri is not the World's best engine :). But - it will be great if it works - it will allow us to incrementally move up the technology ladder. I am sure that the US, the erstwhile USSR, our friend China etc all had heartbreaks and setbacks when they designed their first jet engines - well - if the Kaveri proves itself - we will truely have some good success. Lets not be obsessed about LCA being fitted with Kaveri immediately - An EJ200 with its lower weight and size (a few inches longer and narrower than the GE404) and less thirsty SFC - may actually be a boon for LCA to be having superior characteristics than the Grippen NG. LCA is moving in a steady and successful manner.

We could contribute to the improvement of the SU 30 K beyond recognition in the SU 30MKI - why should that not happen for the LCA ? Every batch of 50 could be an improved series - till we get to what we want and more.

Similarly - every Kaveri could be improved - now that we have identified what we need. By the way - I think the real challenge will be to convert the protyping production runs (including the LSPs) into a full fledged mass production runs of 20 to 50 at a time.

I may be accused of smoking something - but I think that the basic airframe of LCA could have different engines (from the Kaveri - to the GE404 IN to GE414/EJ200) for different applications - from trainers to point support aircrafts to deep strike aircrafts - much like the evolution of the SU27 flanker family into SU 30MKxs into SU 35s and even J11s :)

I had one question for the Gurus - somehow, the airintakes of the LCA (even with auxiliary intakes) does not look quite right in size and airflow ... any comments on this?

cheers

TechG

subhojit said...

Dear passionate LCA"ites" - lets be a little understanding here. Ajaiji is elated (and so are all of us) at this step of having the Kaveri mated with the IL-28 as one of its prime movers.

Lets forget about the car engine argument - its like bickering over a non issue.

Would you rather have a non-working Kaveri as compared to one producing 65KN of wet thrust at 1265 Kgs?

We all know that we are very passionate about the security of our country and find it galling that Kaveri is not the World's best engine :). But - it will be great if it works - it will allow us to incrementally move up the technology ladder. I am sure that the US, the erstwhile USSR, our friend China etc all had heartbreaks and setbacks when they designed their first jet engines - well - if the Kaveri proves itself - we will truely have some good success. Lets not be obsessed about LCA being fitted with Kaveri immediately - An EJ200 with its lower weight and size (a few inches longer and narrower than the GE404) and less thirsty SFC - may actually be a boon for LCA to be having superior characteristics than the Grippen NG. LCA is moving in a steady and successful manner.

We could contribute to the improvement of the SU 30 K beyond recognition in the SU 30MKI - why should that not happen for the LCA ? Every batch of 50 could be an improved series - till we get to what we want and more.

Similarly - every Kaveri could be improved - now that we have identified what we need. By the way - I think the real challenge will be to convert the protyping production runs (including the LSPs) into a full fledged mass production runs of 20 to 50 at a time.

I may be accused of smoking something - but I think that the basic airframe of LCA could have different engines (from the Kaveri - to the GE404 IN to GE414/EJ200) for different applications - from trainers to point support aircrafts to deep strike aircrafts - much like the evolution of the SU27 flanker family into SU 30MKxs into SU 35s and even J11s :)

I had one question for the Gurus - somehow, the airintakes of the LCA (even with auxiliary intakes) does not look quite right in size and airflow ... any comments on this?

cheers

TechG