At the end it’s the SOLDIERS’ FOOT required for “KABZA”

A week back when I saw a broadcast mail flashing – Talk on “Technology Requirements for the Army” by Brig Subhash Chandra Sharma (Retd), President & Director, AXISCADES Aerospace & Technologies Pvt Ltd on 29th September, a figure of Army man with all his enthusiasm and dignity silhouetted  my  imagination.Today I attended that talk and felt, in all the pessimism surrounding us, people are there who care for our country “NO MATTER WHAT”.

 Brig Sharma has profusely  worked in electronic warfare, tactical communications, electromagnetic battlespace operations, wargaming, and optimization of counter-insurgency operations. He is an M Tech from IIT, Mumbai, MBA from Punjabi University, Patiala, B Tech (Electronics & Telecom) from MCTE, Mhow and AIMA Advance Course in Strategic Management from CDM, Secunderabad. He has held senior designations in Army procurements, field trials and inductions; He has in-depth knowledge of Defence Technologies, future requirements, projects, procurement procedures, and offsets.

Brig Sharma started his talk by  quoting ” Our Army has performed surgical strikes last night destroying terrorists’ camps in PoK, one strike also took place earlier but Pakistan won’t report it!!” . Starting with the fact that next war will happen over water, Brig Sharma gave the very example of Indus Water Treaty under discussion.Ahead is the summary of what I assimilated in those one and half hours.

Low Intensity Conflict(LIC), the very example is the terrorism and what India is facing right now, where no one knows who the enemy is and when someone is  going to lob a grenade in front of you. Be it LIC or conventional war our Army is always out in the field ensuring our safety. The Himalayan face-off in 1962 with China was fought with .303 assault rifles, with great pleasure Pakistan thinking of our outdated ammunition came on in 1965 but thanks to low modernisation of communication in those days it did not  know that we were already upgraded to 7.62 assault rifles with 20 rounds per magazine and who haven’t heard of “BATTLE of ASAL UTTAR” and we all know the outcome. After that army went for 5.56 rifles which in turn reduced weight and increased firing rounds. The idea behind was to injure the enemy rather killing them in battleground to engage their logistics in helping injured soldiers distracting them from assault. But eventually Indian Army came to know it does not matter to Pakistan  be it died or dying soldier!!

 Army is an interlinked chain of command encompassing

  1. Armoured Corps-tanks(with Gunner, Driver and Commander, 3 personals all over)
  2. Mech Infantry-IVCs(example BMP-2 which can accommodate 9 personals)
  3. Artillery-assault rifles, carbines,rockets, LMGs/MMGs, mortars etc.
  4. Infantry- “QUEEN of the ARMY”
  5. Air Defense- radar, missiles etc
  6. Engineers-building bridges, clearing minefields, other technical works etc
  7. Signals- links all above, communication, radiation, radio, optical etc.

Armoured Corps and Mech Infantry are called Mech Forces all in together. It deals with mobility, fire power, protection and capacity of the force. Describing about engineers role in the army Brig Sharma used a term called prodding where a soldier crawls on stomach and prods ground sites in search of mines if a trap is set-up(THAT’S THE LIFE OF A SOLDIER). A soldier has to carry ammunition, essentials, gadgets for communication and then fight, it becomes imperative to design and improve all equipments and ammunitions for accommodation with maximum facilities all together which is why  Infantry Soldier as a System(INSAS) is looked upon . “We need 14 lakhs assault rifles for our soldiers, let us come up with innovative ways as scientists  to help them and make them unbreachable in the battleground”. “Air force can bomb a place, or navy can carry out water wars but at the end it’s the SOLDIERS’ FOOT required for “KABZA”(as people call it)”, Brig Sharma emphasised.

To our BRAVE SOLDIERS, their sheer grit and raw courage.

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Author: Khushboo Pandey

Ph.D Student, Interdisciplinary Center for Energy Research (ICER), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

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