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Indian Army ORBAT Against Pakistan-Visualised

Joe Shearer

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Hon Sir

That's the Achilles Heels in modern combat as evident in Ukraine Russia conflict. The Ukrainians played it extremely smart by not engaging Russian Brigades and focused on picking their supply trucks which were practically undefended. Can't fight without food, fuel or ammunition. The Russian incompetence was just simply mind blowing because not even 40 years ago the Soviet Army built ROADS, let me repeat, they built their own ROADS to advance in Winter into Afghanistan. The PLA during Soviet-Sino crisis had retreated 100km inside their borders to avoid encirclements and were relying on the terrain to slow the Soviet advance. But Soviet engineers proved in Afghanistan that the 100km gap might as well be 1km for the Soviet engineers.

Its remarkable how mobile ATGM teams can make life living hell for the advancing Armored Brigades. I would be curious to see how IA would deal with Pakistan's Frontier troops that are sprinkled across LOC with ATGM's and are extremely mobile.
Chief,

My purpose is to explain - patiently - to Indian enthusiasts and fanboys that war is a serious business and YouTube doesn't teach military planning (forget about strategy). I believe that we (Indians) would do well to build up our defensive capabilities, as that can be achieved with a quarter of the human resources (but probably much much more of capital equipment and training). Clearly, our advantage is in an ability to develop technology, and even the experience of muddling through some big ticket projects is useful.

If we start playing Mine is Bigger than Yours with human resources, we will not be defeated by Pakistan; we will be defeated by our pension bill. We will be defeated by our inability to procure the vast numbers of rifles, battle rifles, sniper rifles, anti-materiel rifles, and, of course assault rifles. Will we place them in the tin cans that the Ukrainians are blowing up daily? Should we buy better? Sure, and another 25% of our population will drop below the poverty line.
 

Joe Shearer

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Hon Sir

That's the Achilles Heels in modern combat as evident in Ukraine Russia conflict. The Ukrainians played it extremely smart by not engaging Russian Brigades and focused on picking their supply trucks which were practically undefended. Can't fight without food, fuel or ammunition. The Russian incompetence was just simply mind blowing because not even 40 years ago the Soviet Army built ROADS, let me repeat, they built their own ROADS to advance in Winter into Afghanistan. The PLA during Soviet-Sino crisis had retreated 100km inside their borders to avoid encirclements and were relying on the terrain to slow the Soviet advance. But Soviet engineers proved in Afghanistan that the 100km gap might as well be 1km for the Soviet engineers.

Its remarkable how mobile ATGM teams can make life living hell for the advancing Armored Brigades. I would be curious to see how IA would deal with Pakistan's Frontier troops that are sprinkled across LOC with ATGM's and are extremely mobile.
At the same time, it is useful that istani enthusiasts and fanboys create and maintain the kind of enthusiasm that is in evidence. The more people talk about a crushing victory over the useless, incompetent, cowardly Indians, the more the atmosphere thickens with talk of new gadgets, new equipment and new systems, the more the idiotic talk about recruiting two or three milion people, the better it is in general. I would encourage it. Bless them for their patriotic thoughts and their boundless enthusiasm.

For one suggestion that was a little innovative, this was the questionnaire that was put to the member - a very serious, mature person.
  1. Which formations will you use for this offensive?
  2. What will be the head-count? How many vehicles, of which sort, and of which level of fuel consumption?
  3. How much will they consume in terms of supplies - food, ammunition, and fuel outwards, the wounded and the dead inwards?
  4. Where will your stock points be? How will materials come into those? How will materials be despatched to the field?
  5. What deterioration of the supply lines do you expect due to enemy air activity or interdiction shelling? What effect will that have on operations?
  6. Are supplies available?
  7. What casualties do you expect? What MTBF do you expect?
  8. What air support will you need, both offensive - striking at the opponent - and defensive - warding off the opponents' air attacks? Where will you find this?
  9. What will be your effective force in the field, for each day of the first two weeks, and for each week for the third and fourth weeks?
  10. As you have seen, the Indian Army is bunched up in knots in places, and very widely spread in others. How will the formations be found? What happens to the gaps that are created? What is the probability that the Pakistan Army will interrogate prisoners, find out their formations, look at the pre-hostility ORBAT, and counter-attack the gaps that will have opened up?
 
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Joe Shearer

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...and here we are talking about LOTS of ATGMs.
Oh, we get the picture.

Those damn friends of yours and your own production engineers have made it almost wall-to-wall ATGMs. Unless the wholly illegal cluster bombs are used again, extensively, for a week or ten days of carpet bombing. armoured movement has become impossible now.
 

MilSpec

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Oh, we get the picture.

Those damn friends of yours and your own production engineers have made it almost wall-to-wall ATGMs. Unless the wholly illegal cluster bombs are used again, extensively, for a week or ten days of carpet bombing. armoured movement has become impossible now.
Low-cost Male Ucavs and ATGM's are indeed a challenge to the movement of armored columns. I think the deployment strategy now needs to evolve with better soft kill and hardkill strategies to protect the asset. Eg: Sacrificial Swarm drones accompanying a column can thwart MALE UCAV threats, Soft kill jammers and kinetic hard kill solutions can protect from atgm. The recipe of an Armored column will change over time.
 

SQ8

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Low-cost Male Ucavs and ATGM's are indeed a challenge to the movement of armored columns. I think the deployment strategy now needs to evolve with better soft kill and hardkill strategies to protect the asset. Eg: Sacrificial Swarm drones accompanying a column can thwart MALE UCAV threats, Soft kill jammers and kinetic hard kill solutions can protect from atgm. The recipe of an Armored column will change over time.
Development (practical) and employment of these won’t be a walk in the park especially considering the numbers involved and the very public nature of the upgrades which invites countermeasures to countermeasures.

MALE UAVs are best tackled with additional longer reach SHORADs such as later variants of the Tor mixed with a C-RAM type system.
 

Joe Shearer

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The recipe of an Armored column will change over time.

But it wont fast enough in this region
In fact, while it may be premature to hail the end of the tank, and while what happened in Nagorno-Karabakh may have been an outlier, a very significant outlier, it is time to start wondering about the delicate balance between protection, speed and firepower that has been disturbed once again. From the time of the hoplite on, no, from the time of the charior-mounted Egyptian archers on, this balance of forces has always been disturbed by a creative military commander, thereby winning the field for his duration, and setting the stage for warfare long after his time.

We need to ask ourselves, not if the armoured column is dead - it is not, it is merely going to die a death in the fulness of time - but what will take its place.

The recipe of an Armored column will change over time.

But it wont fast enough in this region
Only that person among us who has been an instructor already will understand the difficulty of staying silent when the answer stands up on its hind legs and roars at the unaware group considering a question. The discussion on the specific geographical limitations and consequent inconveniences was so, so tempting. Alas.....

@PanzerKiel
 

Areesh

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FPlnPblaUAE_5Lp

IAF jag and a sand storm, image by Angad Singh

Crash na kar daina
 

SQ8

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In fact, while it may be premature to hail the end of the tank, and while what happened in Nagorno-Karabakh may have been an outlier, a very significant outlier, it is time to start wondering about the delicate balance between protection, speed and firepower that has been disturbed once again. From the time of the hoplite on, no, from the time of the charior-mounted Egyptian archers on, this balance of forces has always been disturbed by a creative military commander, thereby winning the field for his duration, and setting the stage for warfare long after his time.

We need to ask ourselves, not if the armoured column is dead - it is not, it is merely going to die a death in the fulness of time - but what will take its place.
Making sure we don’t jump too far off the course of the thread - does armor need to be manned?

Maybe armor is best replaced by highly mobile firepower that protects against what the infantry could bring in terms of anti-personnel weapons but leaves the rest off to be sacrificed in case something heavier comes up? Perhaps the future lies in what the Chinese seem to be focused on and partly in the states as well - faster production lines to churn out unmanned firepower. After all if it is the infantry that has to be the one holding places then at the end what you need is firepower to just push through and dislodge them.

Or the flip side of it, we all go into massive fortress like behemoths with nearly impenetrable layers but then essentially a matter of being hit enough which brings us back to WWI tank warfare.

Comes back to the original goal - is it to kill thousands upon thousands if not tens of thousands on the other side? Is it to capture what is pretty much useless swathes of desert while enduring losses both gaining and defending it?
 

Joe Shearer

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Making sure we don’t jump too far off the course of the thread - does armor need to be manned?
THAT was a home-run.

I have often wondered what we do with our surplus tanks. It is so easy, so very easy to convert them into unmanned vehicles with simplistic dodgem car type programmes that keep them going in a single direction, detection movement, or (now that visual imaging has made it possible) images, and opening fire, and continuing until the pre-loaded ammunition is exhausted, and then shutting down to serve as a live armoured outpost for infantry looking for a vertical foxhole!

Maybe armor is best replaced by highly mobile firepower that protects against what the infantry could bring in terms of anti-personnel weapons but leaves the rest off to be sacrificed in case something heavier comes up?
We There are available already have infantry fire support vehicles offering 20/30 and 40 mm automatic cannon support. I don't know when it became legal to use these weapons in an anti-personnel role, but now that everybody is doing it, it seems to be the obvious axis of development for the future.

Rather than leave these unmanned, combining them with a battle taxi function might be more economical.

These are normally protected against 12.7 mm machine gun fire and shrapnel, that is likely to be the worst that can be encountered from a defending infantry.

In their fire support role, they do not pretend to do anything but hold down the heads of opposing infantry, allowing 'own' infantry to advance rapidly; however, the PLA light tank seems to be configured as some kind of tank destroyer, with negligible armour protection but either 105 mm, or 120 mm ordnance.
 
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SQ8

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THAT was a home-run.

I have often wondered what we do with our surplus tanks. It is so easy, so very easy to convert them into unmanned vehicles with simplistic dodgem car type programmes that keep them going in a single direction, detection movement, or (now that visual imaging has made it possible) images, and opening fire, and continuing until the pre-loaded ammunition is exhausted, and then shutting down to serve as a live armoured outpost for infantry looking for a vertical foxhole!
Considering the terrain they have to deal with I am not sure simple systems will suffice. It will end up with a $100k per tank if everything from guidance/ control to safety parameters have to be taken into account. Most of the surplus aren’t ECT or anything beyond hydraulic power steering which means the systems needed will be costly.

Surplus tanks are best used now for making fast fixed defenses and maybe best left for reserves to go ahead and dig in using them in case an offensive enemy operation is underway.

That too means they sit exposed to any loitering UAS or munition.

I am thinking of light unmanned systems so when we link back to ORBAT it allows the creation of more IBGs due to lower crewing requirements. Either way, we are talking beyond just technology as it goes into cultural changes including convincing some proverbial mental “Buddhay”(no aim at you or old people in general) who insist that a mechanized offensive must have saraths alongside it and infantry to hold as it is the best offensive tactic because their forefathers did it too.
 

Joe Shearer

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Or the flip side of it, we all go into massive fortress like behemoths with nearly impenetrable layers but then essentially a matter of being hit enough which brings us back to WWI tank warfare.
We have probably reached the Yamato-Musashi equivalents in armoured vehicle design, with 60 MT vehicles, that only need a 155 mm howitzer to be added on to reach the limits of growth. It is highly unlikely that any combination higher than these metrics - weight, meaning protection, directly, and effective speed, indirectly, and firepower - will show up in future.

Perhaps, at the cost of being laughed at (again), it is better to lurk once more and read the experts' opinions; any mention of an order of magnitude increase in speed is likely to be taken with insufficient seriousness!

Considering the terrain they have to deal with I am not sure simple systems will suffice. It will end up with a $100k per tank if everything from guidance/ control to safety parameters have to be taken into account. Most of the surplus aren’t ECT or anything beyond hydraulic power steering which means the systems needed will be costly.
A point.

The modifications may simply not be cost-effective.
Surplus tanks are best used now for making fast fixed defenses and maybe best left for reserves to go ahead and dig in using them in case an offensive enemy operation is underway.

That too means they sit exposed to any loitering UAS or munition.
Yes, as moving pillboxes :D Most disconcerting, until they stop moving.

Just joking. It is obviously the least cost solution.

(no aim at you or old people in general)
:cry:
 
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Joe Shearer

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I am thinking of light unmanned systems so when we link back to ORBAT it allows the creation of more IBGs due to lower crewing requirements. Either way, we are talking beyond just technology as it goes into cultural changes including convincing some proverbial mental “Buddhay”(no aim at you or old people in general) who insist that a mechanized offensive must have saraths alongside it and infantry to hold as it is the best offensive tactic because their forefathers did it too.
A combination - the air force is already doing it - of a manned tank/armoured vehicle and a Loyal Wingman (or multiple wingmen) might be just the ticket. Of course, the old fogeys will not survive to see this happening. I can imagine it in the mind's eye, however.
 

SQ8

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We There are available already have infantry fire support vehicles offering 20/30 and 40 mm automatic cannon support. I don't know when it became legal to use these weapons in an anti-personnel role, but now that everybody is doing it, it seems to be the obvious axis of development for the future.
Rather than leave these unmanned, combining them with a battle taxi function might be more economical.

These are normally protected against 12.7 mm machine gun fire and shrapnel, that is likely to be the worst that can be encountered from a defending infantry.

In their fire support role, they do not pretend to do anything but hold down the heads of opposing infantry, allowing 'own' infantry to advance rapidly; however, the PLA light tank seems to be configured as some kind of tank destroyer, with negligible armour protection but either 105 mm, or 120 mm ordnance.

Well, the Bradley and BMP has been around for sometime but the risk of them wanting to play tank commander exists as well.
I think the concept of the loyal wingman to a tank is probably better placed since it opens up the idea of reducing the manned strength of a IBG while maintaining firepower.

Most importantly there are no subsidized jars of jams, chutneys or flour bags, no quarters or family leaves and no pensions.
 

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