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Introduction:
The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy and Air Force, supported by Paramilitary forces[4] (Assam Rifles, Indian Coast Guard and Special Frontier Force) and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command.
The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of theMinistry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defense.
As of 2010, the Indian Armed Forces have a combined strength of 1.32 million active personnel and 1.15 million reserve personnel. In addition there are 2.28 million paramilitary personnel making it one of the world's largest military forces in terms of personnel.
The Indian defense budget was US$41 billion during FY2012, at about 1.9% of GDP, with additional spending on infrastructure in border areas and for paramilitary organizations.
The Indian armed forces are undergoing rapid modernization, with investments in such areas as a missile defense system and a nuclear triad. India's arsenal includes nuclear weapons with a triad of delivery mechanisms. In 2010, India was the world's leading arms importeraccounting for 9% of global imports and ranked among the top ten in arms export. Israel, Russia and the United States are the primary suppliers to India's armed forces. The country’s capital expenditure for defense equipment may reach US$112 billion between 2010 and 2016. Since 1962, the IAF has maintained close military relations with Russia, including cooperative development on programs such as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).
As of 2011, the major military operations of the Indian armed forces have included the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Sino-Indian War, the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish, the Kargil War, and the Siachen conflict among others.

Inception of Indian Army:
Upon independence and the subsequent Partition of India in 1947, four of the ten Gurkha regiments were transferred to the British Army. The rest of the British Indian Army was divided between the newly created nations of Republic of India and Republic of Pakistan. The Punjab Boundary Force, which had been formed to help police the Punjab during the partition period, was disbanded, and Headquarters Delhi and East Punjab Command was formed to administer the area.

History:
History of Indian Army is pregnant with real and true accounts of extraordinary heroism and valour and can be traced back to the ancient periods in India. The earliest mention of Indian Army is found in the ancient texts and scriptures, including the Vedas and the epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. The History of Indian Army emphasises that Indians have not taken to the science of warfare recently and their fighting traditions are not merely 200 years old. There are several glorious instances of large scale operations undertaken in ancient times backed by a definite military science based on brilliant strategy and tactics. During the ancient period, when Dharma played such a dominating role in the daily routine of a person, Warfare had to be undertaken frequently. The epitome of Dharma Yuddha, as it was originally known as, is to be found in the 2 Indian epics namely Ramayana and Mahabharata. No base means were used and the dignity of man as a warrior, victor and vanquisher was maintained always.
History of Indian Army during British Rule
History of Indian army during British rule depicts that it became more structured. Although India has been ruled over by several foreign kingdoms but her interests and borders were always secured by the sons of the soil. Even under the British rule, the revolt against the colonisers was initiated by men in uniform. During the reign of the emperors, the loyalty of the soldiers laid with their kings and during later periods, this entire concept underwent sea changes. This mainly occurred due to the rise of the concept of nation. Under the British rule, the army was organised completely on a foreign pattern, designed to suit their ends in the country and to fight their battles in other countries that were as far as China and Europe.

Contemporary History of Indian Army
Modern India has witnessed several valorous soldiers who have laid down their lives for their motherland. The names of such warriors have been immortalised in the history of Indian army. Whether in the Indo-China Conflict or the Kashmir attacks, Indian military history states, with pride, that their troops have always successfully forced the invaders to retreat. In fact, whenever the outsiders have tried to disturb the harmony and peace of India, the Indian army has marched to the battleground and vanquished the trespassers.

History of Indian Army shows that since ancient times a conventional method of warfare was followed. Hence the structure, strength and the policies differed in the various empires, but what remained unaltered, was the undeterred bravery with which the courageous men faced their foes. Indian Army that is well regarded as the epitome of chivalry, gallantry and intrepidity, is the subcontinent`s guardian against all kinds of intrusions.

The Indian army assures and makes certain that every civilian can assuredly retreat to slumber whilst they are guarding the border of the nation round the clock, with their lives.
Personnel:
Component | Active | Reserve | Indian Army | 1,129,900 | 960,000 | Indian Navy | 58,350 | 55,000 | Indian Air Force | 127,200 | 140,000 | Indian Coast Guard | 9,550 | | Paramilitary Forces | 1,300,586 | 987,821 |

Military Operations:
The Indian Armed Forces is the overall unified military of the Republic of India encompassing the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy, the Indian Coast Guard and various other inter-service institutions. The President of India serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. With an estimated total active force of 1,325,000 personnel, India maintains the world's third largest armed forces.
The First Kashmir War
Tensions between India and Pakistan began to boil over, almost immediately after independence. The first of the three wars fought between India and Pak broke out over the then princely state of Kashmir. The Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir was not showing any interest in signing a treaty either with India or Pakistan and as a result, an impatient Pakistan sponsored a `tribal` invasion of parts of Kashmir. Soon after that incident, Pakistan also sent in its troops to capture Kashmir. Afraid of the incidence, the Maharaja Hari Singh appealed to India and also to the Governor General, Lord Mountbatten and sought help. However, it was pointed out to him that India saw no reason to do so. Under pressure, he signed the Instrument of Accession (agreement) and Kashmir was unilaterally merged with India. Though the decision got approval from Britain, Pakistan never accepted it and immediately after this, Indian troops were airlifted into Srinagar. The Indian soldiers initially faced tough opposition from the invaders and were also driven back. An intense war engaged across the state and former comrades found themselves fighting each other. Both India and Pakistan made some territorial gains and also suffered significant losses. One-third part of Kashmir was captured by the Pakistani troops and that part is known as Azad-Kashmir, at present. An apprehensive UN sponsored peace was sent back by the end of 1948 and the Indian and Pakistani soldiers were facing each other directly on the Line of Control. Since then, the Line of Control has been the division line between India and the Pakistani held Kashmir.

Goa, Daman and Diu Operation (1961)
This operation was held in 1961 with a view to clear the Portuguese people from the three places of Goa, Daman and Diu. Though India got its Independence in 1947, those three areas were being captured by the Portuguese till 1961. The Indian government did request the Portuguese people to empty the areas repeatedly till 1961 and the Portuguese had refused the request every time. To this, the government of India ordered a small group of trusted military troops to evacuate the Portuguese territories and secure them. The operation was named as the Goa Operation, 1961. The Portuguese soldiers were soon stormed by the Indian soldiers and unable to bear the assault, the Portugal government signed a treaty with India. It also restrained its control over the small territories, which formally became part of the Indian Union.
The Indo-China Conflict- 1962
The Indian Police posts had been pushed forward into territory claimed by the Chinese Government, since 1959 and there had been some small scale clashes between India and China for that reason. The small clashes soon became bigger and India and China engaged with each other in a fierce war. The Indian government insisted that the border ran along the "traditional" watershed, in effect the McMahon Line and China challenged this. After the attempts of making peace by discussions remained fruitless, the Indian government ordered the Indian soldiers to move to the Thagla Plain near the border between Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, in 1962. The border formed part of the watershed, though it was some three miles to the north of the McMahon line. The tensions between the two countries increased when India came to know that the Chinese government had constructed a road through Aksai Chin which India claimed. The Chinese soldiers made a surprise attack on the Indian soldiers in September 1962 by using aero planes. Surprised and angered with this incident, the then Prime Minister of India, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru issued an order on October 12, and asked the soldiers to evacuate the Chinese from Aksai Chin.

However, the Chinese Army soon made a double-way attack on India through both the North-West and North-East parts of the border on October 20 and also entered the disputed Aksai Chin region along with Arunachal Pradesh in numbers. After invading into the area, the Chinese government called on the Indian government for negotiation. However, none of the countries could get into any peaceful agreement or settlement and China unilaterally withdrew their troops from the territory they had occupied. There are some disputes about the reasons for the withdrawal, as India claims that logistical problems and diplomatic support from the US forced China to do so. On the other hand, China states that it was returning to the borders that it had diplomatically claimed. The dividing line between the Indian and Chinese forces was positioned the Line of Actual Control. The Indian government also set up a review committee for determining the causes for India`s defeat. The report apparently showed faults much of India`s armed forces command and especially the executive government for failures on several fronts. The Ministry of Defence at the time of the war was headed by the then defence minister Krishna Menon.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
This war took place primarily for Pakistan, as the Pakistani dictator General Ayub Khan initiated it by launching Operation Gibraltar in August 1965. He though that the Indian leadership would still be recovering from the 1962 war with China and would not be able to deal effectively with such a military force. The General also had some intelligence reports that claimed that the people of Kashmir would also support the Pakistani war effort. However, his calculation was proved to be totally a wrong one, as no such rebellion took place in Kashmir and India responded almost immediately with armoured regiments. The Indian Army was well organised for both countering enemy entrance and throwing them across the border. In the beginning, the Indian Army met with considerable success in the northern sector. India soon became able to capture three important mountain positions in Kashmir, after launching extended artillery barrages against Pakistan.

However, by the end of the month Pakistan had made progress in areas such as Tithwal, Uri and Punch and India had lost considerable number of troops and tanks having captured the Haji Pir Pass eight kilometers inside Pakistani territory. Pakistan then launched Operation Grand Slam on 1st September, and invaded into the Chamb-Jaurian sector. With an objective of taking revenge on Pakistan, the Indian Army`s 15th Infantry Division crossed the International Border on the Western Front on 6th September. However, the war eventually proved to be a deadlock (draw) and the ceasefire on 23rd September was followed by talks in Tashkent (brokered by the Soviet Union), where Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Ayub Khan agreed to withdraw to virtually all pre-war positions.

Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971
In the year of 1971, the Indian Army got engaged in a war with Pakistan in Bangladesh, with a view to make Bangladesh free from Pakistani invasion. The Pakistani Lt. Gen, A. A. K. Niazi had signed the instrument of surrender on 16th December and surrendered his forces to Lt. Gen Jagjit Singh Aurora, to end the war. India actually helped the rebellious people of East Pakistan, after it was forced to interfere as an estimated 10 million Bangladeshi refugees fled to India. Unlike the 1965 war, this time decisive change was effected. East Pakistan became successful to break away with Indian intervention and became the independent state of Bangladesh. This gave a huge relief for India, as it no longer had to worry about a two-front war and also could concentrate its armed firepower against West Pakistan and the PRC.

The Indian army achieved a decisive victory over Pakistan in 1971, under the command of Lt General J. S. Aurora and also took over 90,000 prisoners of war in the Bangladesh liberation war. The Indian Army became successful to block Pakistan`s invasion attempts even on the western front and it captured more than 2,000 sq. miles of Pakistan held territory, on a counter attack. The tensions between India and Pakistan were a bit calmed after the Indo Pak War of 1971. Though there was some periodically threatening to break out into full-scale war, nothing serious happened between the two countries for a long period. However, there were two occasions in the recent years, when India and Pakistan exchanged fires with each other in 1999 and 2002.
The Kargil Operation in 1999
This operation was one of the most recent ones among the military operations of Indian Army and it took place in mid 1999. During that time, the Kashmiri rebellious groups and Pakistan military personnel took control of some deserted, but strategic, Himalayan heights in Indian administered Kashmir. All those areas were either been vacated by the Indian army during the onset of bad weather conditions, or not occupied on the presumption that it would be madness, for Pakistan, to risk men in such a manner. However, with the help of Pakistani army, the `Mujahideen` became successful to take control of several key areas like the heights overlooking the vital Srinagar Leh highway, Batalik, Dras and the strategic Tiger Hill.

In the mean time, the Indian Navy also got ready for an attempted blockade of Pakistani ports to cut off supply routes. At this, the Pakistan government started to face a lot of pressure from the international community and the President of the United States, Bill Clinton soon asked Pakistan for "a full and complete withdrawal without pre-conditions" from Kargil. Clinton also warned Pakistan that "there could be no quid pro quo, no hint that America was rewarding Pakistan for its aggression, nor for threatening its nuclear power at India". Being isolated internationally, Pakistan`s then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif requested US President Bill Clinton to stop the Indian counter attack. However, America actually wanted Pakistan to admit its violation of law and withdraw behind the LoC.

After continuing a full-fledged war for a period of two months, the Indian troops gradually regained virtually all lost territories, though it had to pay quite a heavy price. However, it is believed that much heavier damages were inflicted on Pakistani`s army, particularly on its Northern light infantry. Most of the fighting came to a gradual halt, following the Washington accord on July 4, where Sharif agreed to withdraw the Pakistan backed troops. However, some of the militants still did not wish to retreat, and the United Jihad Council head for fifteen Jihadi groups operating in Kashmir rejected Nawaz Sharif`s plan for stopping the war, instead of deciding to fight on. To this, the Indian army soon launched its final attacks in the last week of July. As soon as the last of these "Jihadists" in the Drass sub sector had been cleared, the fighting ceased on 26th July. The Indian Army celebrates the day as the Kargil Vijay Diwas (Victory Day), since then. India had assumed control of all territory south and east of the Line of Control, as it was established in December 1972 as per the Shimla pact, by the end of the Kargil war.

Services of Indian Armed Forces: There are three major services offered by Indian Armed Forces: 1. Indian Army 2. Indian Navy 3. Indian Air Force Indian Army:
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces.
According to the IISS, in 2010 the army had a strength of 1,129,900 active personnel and 960,000 reserve personnel, making the Indian Army the world's largest standing volunteer army. Its primary mission is to ensure the national security and defence of the Republic of India from external aggression and threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders. It also conducts humanitarian rescue operations during natural calamities and other disturbances.
The Indian Army came into being when India gained independence in 1947, and inherited most of the infrastructure of the British Indian Army that were located in post-partition India. The Indian Army is a voluntary service and although a provision for military conscription exists in the Indian constitution, it has never been imposed. Since independence, the army has been involved in four wars with neighboring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the army include Operation Vijay, Operation Meghdoot and Operation Cactus. Apart from conflicts, the army has also been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.

Mission:
The Indian Army provides that "The Indian Army is the land component of the Indian Armed Forces which exists to uphold the ideals of the Constitution of India. As a major component of national power, alongside the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, the roles of the Indian Army are as follows: * Primary: Preserve national interests and safeguard sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of India against any external threats by deterrence or by waging war. * Secondary: Assist Government agencies to cope with ‘proxy war’ and other internal threats and provide aid to civil authority when requisitioned for the purpose.

Major Exercises:
Operation Brasstacks
Operation Brasstacks was launched by the Indian Army in November 1986 to simulate a full-scale war on the western border. The exercise was the largest ever conducted in India and comprised nine infantry, three mechanised, three armoured and one air assault division, and included three armoured brigades. Amphibious assault exercises were also conducted with the Indian Navy. Brasstacks also allegedly incorporated nuclear attack drills. It led to tensions with Pakistan and a subsequent rapprochement in mid-1987.
Operation Parakram
After the 13 December 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament, Operation Parakram was launched in which tens of thousands of Indian troops were deployed along the Indo-Pakistan border. India blamed Pakistan for backing the attack. The operation was the largest military exercise carried out by any Asian country. Its prime objective is still unclear but appears to have been to prepare the army for any future nuclear conflict with Pakistan, which seemed increasingly possible after the December attack on the Indian parliament.
Operation Sanghe Shakti
It has since been stated that the main goal of this exercise was to validate the mobilisation strategies of the Ambala-based II Strike Corps. Air support was a part of this exercise, and an entire battalion of paratroops parachuted in during the conduction of the war games, with allied equipment. Some 20,000 soldiers took part in the exercise.
Exercise Ashwamedha
Indian Army tested its network centric warfare capabilities in the exercise Ashwamedha. The exercise was held in the Thar desert, in which over 300,000 troops participated. Asymmetric warfare capability was also tested by the Indian Army during the exercise.
Operation Sudarshan Sakthi
It took place at Baundi village, 40 km. south east of Barmer in Rajasthan on December 6, 2011.The Exercise, helmed by southern army command and the south western air command, seeks to build synergy between the army and the air force in a network centric environment.

Future Developments: * Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System (F-INSAS) is the Indian Army's principal modernization program from 2012 to 2020. In the first phase, to be completed by 2012, the infantry soldiers will be equipped with modular weapon systems that will have multi-functions. The Indian Army intends to modernize all of its 465 infantry and paramilitary battalions by 2020 with this program. * India is currently re-organising its mechanised forces to achieve strategic mobility and high-volume firepower for rapid thrusts into enemy territory. India proposes to progressively induct as many as 248 Arjun MBT and develop and induct the Arjun MKII variant, 1,657 Russian-origin T-90S main-battle tanks (MBTs), apart from the ongoing upgrade of its T-72 fleet. The Army recently placed an order for 4,100 French-origin Milan-2T anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). Defence ministry sources said the Rs 592-crore (approximately US$120 million) order was cleared after the 2008 Mumbai attacks, with the government finally fast-tracking several military procurement plans. * The Army gained the Cabinet Committee on Security's approval to raise two new infantry mountain divisions (with around 15,000 combat soldiers each), and an artillery brigade in 2008. These divisions were likely to be armed with ultralight howitzers. In July 2009, it was reported that the Army was advocating a new artillery division, said defence ministry sources. The proposed artillery division, under the Kolkata-based Eastern Command, was to have three brigades—two of 155mm howitzers and one of the Russian "Smerch" and indigenous "Pinaka" multiple-launch rocket systems. The Indian Army plans to develop and induct a 155mm indigenous artillery gun within the next three and a half years. Indian Navy:
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy.
Though the primary objective of the navy is to secure national maritime borders, India also uses its navy to enhance its international relations through joint exercises, port visits and humanitarian missions, including disaster relief. In recent years, the Indian Navy has undergone considerable modernisation to replace ageing equipment currently in service, this is often seen as part of "India's drive" to become a fully fledged blue-water navy. The 17th century Maratha warrior king Maharaja Shivaji Raje Bhosale is regarded as the Father of Indian Navy.

Equipments:
Ships
Aircraft carriers
The Indian Navy presently has one aircraft carrier in active service, the INS Viraat. The carrier is planned for decommissioning after the induction of the first domestically built Vikrant class aircraft carrier. The Indian Navy will also induct the Russian-built INS Vikramaditya, expected some time during 2012.
Amphibious vessels
The Indian Navy has an Amphibious transport dock of the Austin class, re-christened as INS Jalashwa in Indian service. Besides, it also maintains a fleet of landing ship tanks and other landing craft. It is expected that four LPD amphibious assault ships are to be constructed along with eight landing craft vessels.
Destroyers and frigates
The Indian Navy currently operates the Delhi and Rajput class guided-missile destroyers. The Delhi and Rajput class destroyers will be replaced by the next-generation Kolkata class (Project 15A destroyers). Seven vessels are expected to be commissioned starting in 2012. In 2011, the Indian government gave the go-ahead for an additional 4 Project 15B destroyers (upgraded Kolkata class Project 15A destroyers).
The core frigate classes currently in service are the Shivalik class frigates, of which 2 are in service and 3 Talwar class frigates. The last vessel of the Shivalikclass (project 17) is undergoing sea trials and is expected to be commissioned some time in 2012. Furthermore seven Project 17A class frigates (improved Shivalik class project 17 frigates) are on order and India recently closed a deal with Russia to construct three more Talwar class frigates. The first of which is expected to enter service in early 2013. The older Brahmaputra class and Godavari class frigates will systematically be replaced one by one as new ships are brought into service over the next decade. The last remaining Nilgiri class frigate (a variant of the British Leander class) is soon to be decommissioned as it is replaced by the last Shivalik class (project 17) frigate this year.
Submarines
The Indian Navy operates a sizable fleet of Sindhughosh and Shishumar class submarines. India has started construction of six Scorpène class submarineswith MESMA, the submarines will have air-independent propulsion. These submarines will join the Indian Navy starting from the second half of 2015. India issued a request for information for another six submarines in 2011.
In 1988, India acquired an ex-Soviet Charlie class nuclear powered guided missile submarine with eight Ametist (SS-N-7 Starbright) anti-shipping missile launchers on a 3-year lease. In the Indian Navy, the vessel was commissioned as the INS Chakra, and the submarine was manned by an Indian crew. Upon expiration of the lease term in 1991, the submarine was returned to Russia and joined the Pacific Fleet of the Russian Navy.
India paid US$2 billion for the completion of two Akula-II class submarines which were 40–60% completed. Three hundred Indian Navy personnel were trained in Russia for the operation of these submarines. India has finalized a deal with Russia, in which at the end of the lease of these submarines, it has an option to buy them. The first submarine is named INS Chakra and was handed over to India on 23 January 2012. India's indigenously designed and builtnuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines of the Arihant class are expected to be commissioned starting some time during 2012. The lead vessel of the class, INS Arihant, was launched for sea-trials on 26 July 2009 in Visakhapatnam. The Navy plans to have six SSBN's in service some time during the next few decades.
Corvettes
The Indian Navy currently operates the Kora, Khukri, Veer and Abhay class corvettes.The next-generation Project 28 and Project 28A class of corvettes are expected to be commissioned, starting sometime during 2012. The Navy also plans to introduce stealthy trimaran vessels that can be modified according to mission requirements.
Fleet tankers
The Indian Navy currently operates five replenishment tankers and one has been launched. They are the Jyoti Class Tankers, INS Aditya (A59) and the newDeepak class fleet tankers. The Deepak class tankers will be the mainstay of the replenishment fleet until the 1st half of the 21st century.

Future of Indian Navy:
The design of a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier called Indigenous Aircraft Carrier II (IAC-II)is currently underway and if ordered is expected to be delivered to the Navy by 2017.
After ordering six Scorpène submarines as part of Project 75, the Indian Navy is now on the look out for six next-generation submarines in a project worth over50,000 crore (US$10 billion).

Indian Air Force:
The Indian Air Force is the air arm of the Indian armed forces. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict. It was officially established on 8 October 1932 as an auxiliary air force of the British Raj and the prefix Royal was added in 1945 in recognition of its services during World War II. After India achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, the Royal Indian Air Force served the Dominion of India, with the prefix being dropped when India became a republic in 1950.
Since independence, the IAF has been involved in four wars with neighbouring Pakistan and one with the People's Republic of China. Other major operations undertaken by the IAF include Operation Vijay - the invasion of Goa, Operation Meghdoot, Operation Cactus and Operation Poomalai. Apart from conflicts, the IAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions.
In its publication the Military Balance 2010, International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates that the Indian Air Force has a strength of 127,000 active personnel and operated around 1,380 aircraft. However, various reliable sources provided notably divergent estimates of its strength over the years.

Mission:
The IAF's mission is defined by the Armed Forces Act of 1947, Constitution of India and the Air Force Act of 1950, in the aerial battlespace, as: “ | Defence of India and every part thereof including preparation for defence and all such acts as may be conducive in times of war to its prosecution and after its termination to effective demobilisation. | ” |
Thus, the IAF has the primary objective of safeguarding Indian territory and national interests from all threats in conjunction with the other branches of the armed forces by defending Indian airspace. The IAF provides close air support to the Indian Army troops in the battlefield and also provides strategic and tactical airlift capabilities. The IAF also operates the Integrated Space Cell together with the other two branches of the Indian Armed Forces, the civilian Department of Space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to utilize more effectively the country's space-based assets for military purposes and to look into threats to these assets.
The Indian Air Force along with the other branches of the Indian Armed Forces provide assistance in disaster relief such as during natural calamities by undertaking evacuation or search-and-rescue (SAR) operations and air dropping relief supplies in affected areas. The IAF provided extensive assistance to relief operations during natural calamities such as the Gujarat cyclone in 1998 and the Tsunami in 2004. The IAF also provides assistance to other countries during relief activities such as Operation Rainbow in Sri Lanka.

Aircraft inventory:
Fighter and multi-role combat aircraft
The primary role of the fighter aircraft in the Indian Air Force inventory is to achieve and maintain air supremacy over the battle field. Air superiority fighters are fast and maneuverable aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with limited capability to strike ground targets. Multi-role aircraft on the other hand are capable of conducting air-to air combat and ground attack with equal ease; sometimes within the same mission. This ability of combining different operational tasks offers considerable cost-of-ownership benefits to the operators.
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is the IAF's primary air superiority fighter with the capability to conduct strike missions. The IAF have placed an order for a total of 272 Su-30MKIs of which 146 are in service as of 2011.
The Mikoyan MiG-29 known as Baaz (Hindi for Hawk) is the IAF's dedicated air superiority fighter and forms the second line of defence for the IAF after the Sukhoi Su-30MKI. The IAF operates 68 MiG-29s, all of which are currently being upgraded to the MiG-29UPG standard.
The Dassault Mirage 2000, known as Vajra (Sanskrit for Thunderbolt) in Indian service, is the IAF's primary multirole fighter. The IAF currently operates 51 Mirage 2000Hs which are currently being upgraded to the Mirage 2000-5 standard.
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 serves as an Interceptor aircraft in the IAF. The IAF have phased out most of its MiG-21s and plans to keep only 125 that have been upgraded to MiG-21 Bison standard. These aircraft will be phased out between 2014 and 2017. The MiG-21s are planned to be replaced by the indigenously built HAL Tejas.
Strike, attack and close support aircraft

These are military aircraft designed to attack targets on the ground. They are often deployed as close air support for, and in proximity to, their own ground forces, requiring precision strikes from these aircraft.
The SEPECAT Jaguar known as Shamsher and the Mikoyan MiG-27 known as Bahadur (Hindi for Valiant) serve as the IAF's primary ground attack force. The IAF currently operates 139 Jaguars and over 100 MiG-27s.
Airborne early warning aircraft
These aircraft are designed to detect and distinguish hostile aircraft. The system can be used to direct fighters and strike aircraft to their targets and warn them of hostile enemy aircraft in the area.
The IAF currently operates the EL/M-2075 Phalcon AEW&C. A total of 3 such systems are currently in service, with possible orders for 2 more.
Tanker aircraft
These aircraft are used for aerial refueling which allows IAF aircraft to remain airborne for longer periods, hence enhancing their effective range. Aerial refueling also allows aircraft to take-off with greater payload (by carrying less fuel during take-off). The IAF currently operates 6 Ilyushin Il-78MKIs for aerial refueling roles.
Transport aircraft
Transport aircraft are typically used to deliver troops, weapons, supplies and other military equipment to the IAF field of operations. The IAF currently operate different types of transport aircraft for different roles.
The IAF operates Ilyushin Il-76s known as Gajraj (Hindi for King Elephant) for military transport roles such as strategic or heavy lift at all operational levels. The IAF currently operates 17 Il-76s. The Il-76s are to be replaced by C-17 Globemaster IIIs.
The C-130J of the IAF is used by special forces for combined Army-Air Force operations. There are currently 6 C-130Js in service.
The Antonov An-32 known as Sutlej serves as medium transport aircraft in the IAF. The aircraft is also used in bombing roles and para-dropping operations. The IAF currently operates 105 An-32s, all of which are being upgraded.
The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 once formed the backbone of the IAF's transport fleet, but are now used mainly for transport training and communication duties. The Dornier Do 228 serves as light transport aircraft in the IAF. The IAF also operates Boeing 737s and Embraer ECJ-135 Legacy aircraft as VIP Transports. The IAF operates aircraft for the President of India as well as thePrime Minister of India under the call sign Air India One.
Training aircraft
Training aircraft are used to develop piloting and nagivational skills in pilots and air crew.
The HAL HPT-32 Deepak is IAF's basic flight training aircraft for cadets. The HPT-32 was grounded in July 2009 following a crash that killed two senior flight instructors, but was revived in May 2010 and is to be fitted with a parachute recovery system (PRS) to enhance survivability during an emergency in the air and to bring the trainer down safely. The HPT-32 is to be phased out soon.
The IAF uses the HAL HJT-16 Kiran mk.I for intermediate flight training of cadets, while the HJT-16 Kiran mk.II provides advanced flight and weapons training. The HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.2 is also operated by the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team (SKAT) of the IAF. The Kiran is to be replaced by theHAL HJT-36 Sitara.
The BAE Hawk Mk 132 serves as an advanced jet trainer in the IAF and is progressively replacing the Kiran Mk.II. The IAF has begun the process of converting the Surya Kiran display team to Hawks. A total of 106 BAE Hawk trainers have been ordered by the IAF of which 39 have entered service as of July 2010.
Helicopters
An important objective of the IAF is to support ground troops by providing air cover and by transporting men and essential commodities across the battlefield. For this purpose the Air Force maintains a fleet of helicopters.
The HAL Dhruv serves primarily as a light utility helicopter in the IAF. In addition to transport and utility roles, Dhruvs are also used as attack helicopters. 4 Dhruvs are also operated by the Indian Air Force SarangHelicopter Display Team.
The HAL Chetak is a light utility helicopter and is used primarily for training, rescue and light transport roles in the IAF. The HAL Chetak is scheduled to be replaced by HAL's Advanced Light Helicopter.
The HAL Cheetah is a light utility helicopter used for high altitude operations. It is used for both transport and search-and-rescue missions in the IAF.
The Mil Mi-8 and the Mil Mi-17 are operated by the IAF for medium utility roles. The Mi-8 is being progressively replaced by the Mi-17. The IAF has ordered 80 Mi-17V-5s to replace and augment its existing fleet of Mi-8s and Mi-17s, with an order for 59 additional helicopters to follow soon.
The Mil Mi-26 serves as a heavy lift helicopter in the IAF. It can also be used to transport troops or as a flying ambulance. The IAF currently operates 4 Mi-26s.
The Mil Mi-35 serves primarily as an attack helicopter in the IAF. The Mil Mi-35 can also act as a low-capacity troop transport. The IAF currently operates 2 squadrons of Mi-25/35s.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
The primary role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is to provide aerial surveillance and reconnaissance. UAVs can also be used as unmanned combat aircraft or pilotless target aircraft.
The IAF currently uses the IAI Searcher II and IAI Heron for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes. The IAI Harpy serves as an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) which is designed to attack radar systems. The IAF also operates the DRDO Lakshya which serves as realistic towed aerial sub-targets for live fire training.

Future: The number of aircraft in the IAF has been decreasing from the late 1990s due to retirement of older aircraft and several crashes. To deal with the depletion of force levels, the IAF has started to modernize its fleet. This includes both upgrade of existing aircraft, equipment and infrastructure as well as induction of new aircraft and equipment, both indigenous and imported. As new aircraft enter service and numbers recover, the IAF plans to have a fleet of 42 squadrons

Nuclear Command Authority: The Nuclear Command Authority (NCA) of India is the nodal agency for all command, control and operational decisions regarding India's nuclear weapon stockpile.
On January 4, 2003, the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) constituted the Political Council and the Executive Council of the NCA. The Executive Council, chaired by National Security Advisor (NSA) gives the inputs to the Political Council, which authorises a nuclear attack when deemed necessary. The Political Council is chaired by the Prime Minister, and advised by the Executive Council, chaired by the NSA.
Their directives are to be operationalised by a new Strategic Forces Command under the control of a Commander-in-Chief of the rank of Air Marshal (or its equivalent) in charge of the management and administration of the tactical and strategic nuclear forces.
The NCA may be seen as the first stage in the development of an effective and robust Command and Control (C2) and Indications-and-Warning (I&W) systems and infrastructure for its strategic nuclear forces.
India is the first nuclear weapons country to have a no first use policy.
The current status of delivery systems for Indian nuclear weapons is unclear and highly classified. India has developed and tested nuclear weapons that could be delivered on the Prithvi and Agnimissiles, although its extent and operational preparedness in this respect remains unclear. Since India probably had nuclear weapons prior to the availability of these missiles, it is probable that the current Indian nuclear weapons inventory includes weapons designed for delivery using aircraft. One or more of the following aircraft types might be used for this purpose. There are no open-source reports suggesting which if any of these aircraft have been equipped to deliver air-dropped atomic weapons. The MiG-27 and the Jaguar were originally designed to perform ground attack missions, and would require only modest modification to deliver nuclear weapons. The Indian Air Force also operates several other older and less capable types of ground-attack aircraft which would seem rather less likely candidates for delivering nuclear weapons. The MiG-29, Su-30 and Mirage 2000 were originally designed to perform air-to-air combat missions, though they could potentially be modified to deliver air-dropped nuclear weapons. Plans are also on for the delivery of nuclear weapons via the Arihant class submarine using the SLBM/SLCM Sagarika.

Ballistic Missiles: * A ballistic missile can be launched from land, from a silo, from mobile platforms on trucks or trains, from submarine or ship, or from an airplane. The U.S., Russia, the UK, France, and China each also have missiles (SLBMs), that are launched from submarines underwater, at sea, or in port. After launch, a ballistic missiles arches up from one point, and lands at another point. All rockets, from fireworks to massive space launchers, carry both fuel and some form of oxygen. Because they do not burn oxygen from the air, ballistic missiles can fly beyond earth’s atmosphere. Long range ballistic missiles spend a majority of their flight time in the vaccum of space. Short-range ballistic missiles may because they can fly where there is little or no air resistance, they can reach speeds up to 20 or more times the speed of sound—some 15,000 miles per hour (7km/sec)—speeds which allow ballistic missiles to go between continents. A missile is called ballistic because, just as one would throw a ball or spear, the rocket’s engine gives the missile an initial push, after which its flight is affected only by gravity. Ballistic missiles do not fly. They go up, and they come down. * * a long-range missile that is propelled to high speed and may be guided for a part of its flight, but is a free-falling object as it approaches its target. * Ballistic missiles can vary widely in range and use, and are often divided into categories based on range. Various schemes are used by different countries to categorize the ranges of ballistic missiles

Sagarika (Oceanic)
Started in the early 1990s, DRDO was reported to have developed a 300-km submarine-launched ballistic missile, Sagarika, based on the Prithvi. The program is reported to have started in 1992 and was originally reported to involve adapting a ramjet engine to the missile to reduce the need for heavy oxidizers. In 1994 the periodical Flight International reported that India's Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) had for the past two years been engaged in designing a ramjet-powered, submarine-launched missile dubbed the Sagarika. Other reports state that Sagarika was initially designed as a solid-fuelled version of the Prithvi. But the idea was shelved after the navy indicated its preference for a cruise missile. India did not have a submarine configured for launching ballistic missiles.

Project K-15 Launcher
The Project K-15 launcher was designed and developed for testing of missiles. The system was been delivered to the user in 2004 and mounted inside a pontoon. Design by analysis approach has been adopted for final configuration of the launcher. The material used for launcher structure is high-strength-lowalloy (HSLA) steel. Sets of guide rails are bolted to the container to hold the launcher. Advanced fabrication technology has been used to ensure the desired perpendicularity, parallesim and concentricity. A 2.3 m static seal, which restricts water ingress to the bottom of the container, was designed and experimentally validated for extreme hydrostatic pressure. K-15 Missile
DRDO is working on the K-15 SLBM, having tested it from submersible pontoon launchers, with the aim to integrate it on the indigenous nuclear submarines being built under the secretive ATV (advanced technology vessel) project. Though not in the range of the over 5,000-km SLBMs in the arsenal of US, Russia and China, the 750-km range K-15 will accord India with the desperately-needed third leg of the nuclear weapon triad.
The K-15 missile has two stages fitted into its half-meter diameter body. It can carry a payload up to one ton and has a maximum range of 700 km. The K-15 missile has a length of around 11 meters [other reports say only 7 meters], larger than the 8.5-meters-long Prithvi short-range ballistic missile but smaller than the 15-meter-long Agni-1 ballistic missile - both of which have a diameter of 1 meter, twice that reported for the K-15.
Shourya (Valor)
On 12 November 2008 India conducted the fourth successful test of its K15 Sagarika SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile). This test was from a land-based missile silo. In the last few tests, the metal silo was being tested as well. The K-15 seven ton has a 1,000 kilometer range, and a half ton payload. India test fired the submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) K-15 from a land-based launcher from Orissa. The land based version is named as 'Shourya'. Nirbhay
In mid-2007 it was reported that India was developing a new medium-range, multi-platform missile, called the Nirbhay [Dauntless or Fearless], that was slated to be tested by end-2009. The missile, with a range of 1,000 km, was being developed at the Advanced Systems Laboratory (ASL), a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) under the defence ministry. The latest in the series of India's missile development programme, the Nirbhay follows the Agni (I, II and III), the Prithvi (I and II), the Indo-Russian joint venture supersonic Brahmos, Akash, Trishul and Nag.

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