SOURCE: PARSHURAM/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
The Russia-Ukrain War might be still going on without any side being clearly victorious, but it has already taught us some very valuable lessons, lessons which might end up honing India’s War-strategies against potential adversaries which are comparatively weaker.
Active Protection System :
An opponent which doesn’t have numerical symmetry in terms of Armoured Vehicles such as Ukraine, will definitely resort to asymmetrical warfare with ATGMs which are 8-10x cheaper than an IFV & 25-30× cheaper compared to an MBT. RPGs would be an even cheaper option with equal/better lethality at short-ranges.
The HJ-8 ATGM has a penetration power of 700mm + RHA at ranges of upto 4000m. An RPG-7 PG-7VR shot can penetrate 600mm RHA + ERA at 100m. An RPG-28 shot can penetrate 900mm RHA + ERA at 300m.
Then there’s the threat of cheap UCAVs like Bayrakar TB-2 attacking with Smart Bombs such as MAM-L and MAM-T with ranges of upto 14 Km & 30 Km capable of destroying MBTs with a single blow on their Top-Turret.
To handle such threats, the Armoured Infantry needs a Modular Hardkill+Softkill APS scalable for Light, Medium & Heavy Armoured Vehicles and capable of defeating HEAT, HEBF, HEAP & KE projectiles 360° even under Heavy Jamming environments.
According to some reports, All of the 1,100 T-90 MBTs of the Indian Army do boast SAAB’s LEDS-150 APS. However, even if this is true, it still means the lion-share of Indian Army’s MBTs comprising of 2,410 T-72 & 242 Arjun MBTs along with all of the 13 NAMICAs, 27 M4 APCs, 100 K-9 SPHs, 1,300 Aditya MRAPs & 2,500 BMP-2 IFVs don’t have any APS whatsoever.
Thus it’s imperative that India expedites the design and development of a potent Active Protection System.
Quick Reaction SAM :
Active Protection Systems are only the last ditch defence against potential threats. To ensure that the situation doesn’t come this far, All Terrain QR-SAMs need to move alongside the Armoured Columns.
Luckily, India is already in the advanced stages of developing a potent QRSAM and floated a tender for acquiring 220 Towed AD Guns.
Instead of acquiring 2 different systems for the same role of Point Defence, 2 30mm Autocannons can be integrated into the QRSAM like on the Tunguska-M1 & Pantsir-S2. DRDO’s QRSAM is already miles ahead of its competitor Pantsir-SM due to the usage of GaN AESA Radar. It allows QRSAM to have a Detection Range of 120 Km compared to 75 Km of the Pantsir-SM and Tracking Range of 80 Km against 40 Km of the Pantsir-SM for an object of 2m² RCS. Interceptors on both the systems have a similar range of 30 Km. So the addition of Twin 30mm Guns will make the system better on almost all aspects while also being cost-effective for the Indian Army.
Integrated Rocket Force :
Russia began it’s SEAD/DEAD mission with a barrage of Kalibr Cruise & Iskander Ballistic Missiles knocking out key Ukrainian infrastructures like Airbases, LOS Bayrakar Battle Stations & LR-SAMs. Then began the Armoured and Air assaults. This made the whole operation a lot easier & safer.
In India, however, there’s no separate Rocket Force till date and the limited number of Kh-35E, Prithvi I, II & III Missiles have grown 2 decades old. The only up-to-date Guided Missiles in the Indian arsenal are Dhanus, Shaurya & BrahMos.
The development, trial & induction of cheap Prahar [150 Km], Pragati [170 Km], Pranash [200 Km] & Pralay [500 Km] Quasi-Ballistic Missiles along with JSR Guided Rocket [300 Km] & ITCM Cruise Missile [1000-1500 Km] thus needs to be fast-tracked.
Precision Guided Munitions :
Missiles might destroy key Military Infrastructures of the enemy, but to really win over a space of land, one needs to have boots on the ground.
The enemy surely won’t make it easy for the opponent by engaging head-on. They will try their best to have the element of uncertainty on their side by scattering amid the Civilian-buildings just like the Ukranian Army. Continuous firing of Ballistic & Cruise Missiles on such targets would be prohibitively expensive.
This is where Precision Guided Munitions come in handy. PGMs are intended to precisely hit a specific target and minimize collateral damage. During the Gulf War, PGMs accounted for only 9% of weapons fired, but accounted for 75% of all successful hits. Compared to Dumb Bombs, PGMs are 35x more likely to hit their targets even after being released from higher altitudes, resulting in significantly leaser amount of sorties required to deal the intended damage from safer higher-altitudes, thus negating their higher price.
At present, India operates a large amount of Foreign PGMs like the Russian KAB-500L, KAB-1500L & American GBU-16 Paveway-II. It also operates a good amount of Foreign Guidance-kits such as the Israeli Griffin & Spice which convert Dumb Bombs into PGMs.
At Wartime however, hundreds upon thousands of PGMs will have to be dropped, which might leave us at the mercy of foreign nations to help us fight our war. At present, India has only 2 types of Indigenous PGMs in limited quantities – Sudarshan & SAAW. Thus, it’s imperative that we hasten the development & mass production of different classes of Indigenous PGMs like the PG-HSLD [450 Kg/30 Km] [500 Kg/30 Km], Gautham [550 Kg/30 Km], SAAW-IR [125 Kg/100 Km] & Gaurav [1000 Kg/100 Km].
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