Military Modernisation

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  • Learning from Russia: Comparing Russian and Chinese Military Reforms

    Understanding the Chinese Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has been a challenge for military thinkers and planners due to opacity and secrecy within the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). This article delves into the traditional relationship between the erstwhile Soviet (now Russian) and Chinese militaries and draw parallels between the two RMA. It argues that in many ways the Chinese RMA has followed the Russian RMA, which was driven by the latter’s experiences in modern wars in Georgia, Ukraine, Crimea, and Syria. The article concludes that the PLA has suitably modified the Russian military doctrines, reorganisation and restructuring as well as the induction of military equipment to suit the threats and challenges that confront it. Military thinkers and planners would do well to study the Russian RMA to extrapolate the future trajectory of the changes that are underway in the PLA.

    October-December 2020

    Assessment of Chinese Military Modernisation and its Implications for India by P.K. Chakraborty

    China has had a chequered relationship with India since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. Beijing views India as a strategic rival and appears to consider India’s rise as an impediment to its own. The narratives, especially, convey or hint at India’s gain being China’s loss. Even though bilateral trade between the two countries has become substantial over the years and multiple linkages have been established post the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict, China still keeps India discomfited with its various overtures.

    July-September 2020

    Prasad asked: How has globalisation increased the pace of development of military technology and warfare?

    A. Vinod Kumar replies: Globalisation, a post-Cold War phenomenon, entails a plethora of conceptions pertaining to global interdependence of societies, peoples and cultures. In the economic realm, globalisation represents the integration of economies through free trade, driven by lowered tariffs and minimal protectionism.

    Cyber Exercises and the Indian Armed Forces

    A cyber exercise – whether CyberEx or its successor – needs to be developed as a platform for practitioners and thinkers to test conceptual and technical skills under near-real-world whole-of-nation scenarios of cyber contingencies.

    May 16, 2019

    Is Indian Military Aviation Reorienting?

    For the first time in the history of military aviation in India, helicopters have surpassed fighter aircraft in terms of sheer numbers. Are the Indian Armed Forces reorienting for helicopter dominated air operations?

    May 07, 2019

    Internet of Things Centricity of Future Military Operations

    Since the last decade of the twentieth century, network centricity has profoundly transformed warfighting and the outlook of the military. The next level of the networking ladder is Internet of Things (IoT), which has already started to disruptively change the ways in the civil domain, bringing a considerable autonomy to various processes by linking of a plethora of smart devices that are talking to each other. Militaries, in the near future, are also likely to see similar proliferation of IoT, which will bring a material change to their functioning and conduct of operations.

    April-June 2019

    Anoop K. asked: How crucial are Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) for India’s military as well as paramilitary forces?

    Vikrant Deshpande replies: As modern warfare shifts from the industrial to the information age, transparency, situational awareness and non-contact warfare will be key force multipliers and therefore UGVs and even their armed versions will be an integral part of force modernisation, the world over and in India. They also have a crucial role in internal security, especially in an IED prone environment like Left Wing Extremism. The only issue is cost to benefit ratio.

    Aerial Drone Swarms: The Next Generation Military Weapon

    Affordability, software domination, reduction in mission costs and risk reduction are some of the advantages swarm technology promises in military campaigns.

    February 15, 2018

    Military Change: Survival of the Most Adaptable

    The Greek philosopher Thucydides famously stated the proximate words: ‘The only constant [in life] is change’. (Even the most stable isotope, Tellerium-128, changes; it will decay to half its mass in 2.2 septillion years!) Change, therefore, is inevitable and takes place in every animate and inanimate thing and becomes necessary to remain relevant in the environment that one lives in. If your enemy changes his way of fighting and you do not, then a dysfunction in countering your enemy is inevitable.

    April 2017