Indian Army

India Army to equip new Integrated Battle Groups with specialist weapons

File Photo: Indian Army soldiers in a land warfare exercise.

New Delhi: Keeping in tune with its new land warfare doctrine against nuclear rivals Pakistan and China, the Indian Army plans to fully raise a dozen or more ‘Integrated Battle Groups‘ (IBGs) with about 5,000 soldiers each within a year from now.

These IBGs, which are theatre-based formations for fighting a quick, short war to achieve strategic objectives, will be equipped with specialist weapons and platforms to meet each of their unique requirements based on the terrain of operations, people familiar with the plans said earlier this week.

The IBGs will cover the entire expanse of India’s borders with both its western and northern adversaries.

The Mountain Strike Corps’ subordinate formations, raised five years ago to focus on an offensive operation against China, will be converted into an IBG with about 10,000 troopers to provide it agility and technological edge, even as the existing Brigades and Divisions will get leaner.

Accordingly, there would be four IBGs each in the western and northern sectors focusing on Pakistan and China respectively, while northeastern sector would have up to six IBGs carved out of the Mountain Strike Corps.

A study specifically regarding the Mountain Strike Corps is currently under way, as it had been raised as a big formation and had become a bit of an elephant.

The changes to the structure of the army’s fighting formations have been effected to meet the changing nature of warfare, though the character of warfare itself will remain the same, they said, asking not to be named as the information is not yet public.

IBGs were first proposed in one of the four studies regarding the reorganising of the Army. These IBGs were field-tested earlier this year with exercises being carried out in the Rajasthan desert and the Punjab plains focusing Pakistan, and the mountains of the entire stretch of Line of Actual Control with China under an exercise named ‘Him Vijay‘.

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