THE WEEK IN REVIEW

Indo-US war games to be conducted in Rajasthan desert in 2nd week of March 2012; India holds major military exercises along the Chinese border

March 2012
Volume: 
3
Issue: 
1
Missiles, Space, Nuclear and Defence Review
National Defence Issues

According to reports, the Indian Army is all set to undertake two major exercises in Rajasthan desert, including one with the US Army titled “Yudh Abhyas 2012”, to fine tune its war fighting strategies. For the exercise with USA to be held in March second week, an advance group of 30 US military personnel, along with a platoon of its trademark armoured vehicle Stryker and support equipment landed in New Delhi on Monday. The rest of the contingent comprising another 170 personnel is expected to arrive soon. They will move straight to the training area in Rajasthan where the exercise will be conducted under the aegis of the South Western Command. Strykers came to India for the first time in 2009 for an exercise with the Indian Army at Babina near Jhansi. That was for the first time Stryker was deployed in anywhere Asia other than Afghanistan where these heavy duty armoured personnel carrier were put to use. The 2012 Indo-US joint exercise is designed to promote cooperation at the tactical level while sharing training procedures and building joint operating skills. During the exercise, troops from both nations will engage in joint planning for a variety of missions, including live fire drills, cordon and search operations and search and rescue training. 1

In another development, according to reports, India has begun major military exercises along the Chinese border involving Special Forces of the Army and frontline fighters such as Su-30MKI as part of the endeavour to be battle ready in the inhospitable mountainous region. The exercise is Code-named as 'Pralay' (devastation). The day-and-night exercises are mainly dominated by the aerial manoeuvres with support by ground forces. The four-day exercises in the north-eastern sector, including Arunachal Pradesh, began, coinciding with the official India visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi here. China has been laying claim over entire Arunachal Pradesh and voices objections whenever any senior union minister visits the state. IAF spokesman said the exercises were taking place "along the Brahmaputra river and eastern region" and "involves joint Army-Air Force operations by Eastern Air Command and Army Eastern Command." The exercise is aimed at testing the combat potential of the IAF in various roles such as air defence, ground support operations, counter air operations and electronic warfare, he said. Besides the frontline Su-30MKI, Mirage-2000, MiG-29 and Jaguar fighter aircraft, IAF would be flying the strategic lift C-130J transport plane along with AN-32 and the AWACS. "Apart from war fighting in the skies, various ground contingencies related to Air Force operations are being tested," the IAF spokesman said, adding that lessons learnt from this exercise would be incorporated in future operational strategies. Army would also be using the remotely piloted aircraft for the exercise. 2

  1. 1. “India, US set for major war games in Rajasthan desert,” Deccan Herald, February 27, 2012, at http://www.deccanherald.com/content/230602/india-us-set-major-war.html
  2. 2. “India holds military exercises close to China border,” The Times of India, March 01, 2012, at http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-01/india/31113443_1_military-exercises-iaf-c-130j