In keeping with the "transformation" underway in the 1.13-million strong Army to make it leaner and meaner, the force is conducting a major exercise to practice blitzkrieg-style operations to hit the enemy hard at short-notice.
The exercise " Vijayee Bhava" (Be Victorious), being held in the Thar desert, basically revolves around the armour-intensive 2 Corps, considered to be the most crucial of the Army's three principal "strike" formations tasked with virtually cutting Pakistan into two during a full-fledged war, as was first reported by TOI last month.
"The manoeuvres are being conducted in north Rajasthan (in the Suratgarh region) to test the operational and transformational effectiveness of the Ambala-based Kharga Corps (2 Corps) as also validate new concepts which have emerged during the transformational studies undertaken by the Army," said an officer on Monday.
The Army, as reported earlier, has undertaken as many as 13 transformational studies, which range from consolidating strike capabilities to flattening different HQs, with the overall aim being to make the force "an agile, lethal, versatile and networked force" ready for the operational challenges of the 21st Century.
The most significant endeavour is to bring the three "strike" corps -- 1 Corps (Mathura), 2 Corps (Ambala) and 21 Corps (Bhopal), which are under separate regional commands -- under one umbrella strategic command.
"Working towards a capability-based approach, the Army has embarked on several transformational initiatives spanning concepts, organizational structures and absorption of new age technology, particularly in PGMs (precision-guided munitions), advanced surveillance systems, space and network-centricity," he said.
"These are being fielded and trial-evaluated by nominated test-bed formations and units participating in the exercise," added the officer.
This comes even as Army and IAF have stepped up coordination in the western theatre to build "an integrated and organic" air-land war-fighting machinery. In tune with this, a large number of IAF aircraft, including MiG-29s, MiG-21 'Bisons', Jaguars and Mi-25 attack helicopters, are also taking part in the "Vijayee Bhava" exercise.