Saturday, December 10, 2011

“Sudarshan Shakti” aims to transform armed forces

President Pratibha Patil, Supreme Commander of the armed forces, on Monday witnessed one of the largest military exercises in recent times — “Sudarshan Shakti” — aimed at starting the transformation of the forces into a modern, lean, and agile fighting combination capable of leveraging new-age technologies.

The exercise, in the deserts near Barmer in Rajasthan, helmed by the Southern Army Command and the South Western Air Command, led by formations under the Bhopal-based 21 Corps, a strike Corps also known by the name Sudarshan Chakra Corps, looks to build synergy between the Army and the Air Force in a network-centric environment to help face challenges of the 21st Century – including having to fight in an environment dominated by the threat from nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.

Donning military fatigues, Ms. Patil arrived on a T-90 battle tank much to the astonishment of onlookers, accompanied by Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Army Chief General V.K. Singh, hailed the exercises as a “landmark that would enhance our combat preparedness” and help the forces ward off threats to national security in the face of “multi-dimensional” challenges. “We need to accordingly equip ourselves with state-of-the-art weapons, and hone our skills through relentless training to deliver the required response to our adversaries, when the need arises,” she said.

“Sudarshan Shakti” is the outcome of a study undertaken by the Army on how to initiate transformation and maintain continuous offensive capabilities with a networked headquarters supported by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance acting as the nerve-centre of operations. The improvements in weaponry had also given an added impetus to revising existing military doctrines.

Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen. A.K. Singh said the exercise should not be seen as a response to exercises conducted by “any neighbouring” country. “The transformation of the Army was a study undertaken by us on how to initiate the process of taking it into the 21{+s}{+t} Century. Following the transformation study, we are now in the test-bedding stage, of which “Sudarshan Shakti” is a part. At the end of various test-bed stages, we will submit a report on how the transformation should be taken up,” Lt. Gen. Singh said. However, no timeframe to achieve the “transformation” had been set, Lt. Gen. Singh added.

Among the manoeuvres that the 21 Corps showcased before the President were airdropping of Special Mission teams within “enemy lines” on Dhruv helicopters, artillery fire to “degrade” the enemy before actual physical combat from an array of artillery guns and rocket launchers, an onslaught by the menacing Mi-35 Akbar assault helicopters, with the mechanised assault culminating with two squadrons of T-90 Bheeshma battle tanks running roughshod over the “imaginary” enemy.

No comments:

Post a Comment