The Indian Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of India. They consist of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Indian Coast Guard, supported by Paramilitary forces (Assam Rifles and Special Frontier Force) and various inter-service institutions such as the Strategic Forces Command. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces. The Indian Armed Forces are under the management of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), which is led by the Union Cabinet Minister of Defense.
The President of the Republic of India is the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Armed Forces The Indian armed forces have been engaged in a number of major military operations, including the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Sino-Indian War, the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish, the Kargil War, and the Siachen conflict among others. India honours its armed forces and military personnel annually on Armed Forces Flag Day, 7 December. Since 1962, the IAF has maintained close military relations with Russia, including cooperative development on programs such as the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) and the Multirole Transport Aircraft (MTA).
The Indian armed forces are steadily undergoing modernization, with investments in such areas as a missile defense system and a nuclear triad. The Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence is responsible for the indigenous production of equipment used by the Indian Armed Forces. It comprises the 41 Indian Ordnance Factories under control of the Ordnance Factories Board and 8 Defence PSUs namely, HAL, BEL, BEML, BDL, MDL, GSL, GRSE, Midhani. The Indian Armed Forces are currently the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for more than 9% of global imports with Russia, Israel, and to some extent, France being the primary foreign suppliers of equipment. The country is expected to spend around US$112 billion between 2010 and 2016 on military equipment, most of which will be imported.
India currently maintains the 8th largest defence budget in the world. In 2011 the budget stood at $46.8 billion ($112 billion PPP), this represented 1.9 – 2.5% of GDP. Additional spending is provided separately by the government to be spent on infrastructure in border areas and for paramilitary organizations. A considerable portion of India’s defense budget is allocated to the modernization of the country’s armed forces, over the period 2007-2012 India was expected to spend about $50 billion on new equipment.
In 2009 India increased defence expenditure by 21%. Personnel The highest wartime gallantry award given by the Military of India is the Param Vir Chakra (PVC), followed by the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) and the Vir Chakra (VrC). Its peacetime equivalent is the Ashoka Chakra Award. The highest decoration for meritorious service is the Param Vishisht Seva Medal. During 2012, the Indian Armed Forces has a reported strength of 1.45 million active personnel and 2.20 million reserve personnel. In addition, there are approximately 1.40 million paramilitary personnel, making it one of the world’s largest military forces. A total of 1,578,400 ex servicemen are registered with the Indian Army, majority of them hailing from UP (17.35%), Kerala (14.16%), Haryana (12.57%), Punjab (11.58%), Maharashtra (9.18%), TN (6.58%), Rajastan (6.42%) and HP (5%). Many of them are re-employed in various Central government sectors.
India has been in possession nuclear weapons since 1974 and maintains a no-first use and a nuclear deterrence policy against nuclear adversaries. India’s nuclear missiles include the Prithvi, the Agni, the Shaurya, Sagarika, Dhanush, and others. India has long range strategic bombers like the Tupolev Tu-22 M3 and Tupolev Tu-142 as well as fighter jets like Sukhoi Su-30MKI, Dassault Mirage 2000, MiG-29 and HAL Tejas capable of being armed with nuclear tipped bombs and missiles.
Since India doesn’t have a nuclear first use against an adversary, it becomes important to protect from a first strike. Presently, this protection is provided by the two layered Anti-ballistic missile defense system. India conducted its first test with the Agni-V, a MIRV ICBM, in April 2012. India’s Strategic Nuclear Command controls its land-based nuclear warheads, while the Navy controls the ship and submarine based missiles and the Air Force the air based warheads.
India’s nuclear warheads are deployed in four areas: Ship based mobile, like Dhanush. (operational) Land-based mobile, like Agni. (operational) Submarine based, like Sagarika. (operational) Air-based warheads of the Indian Air Forces’ strategic bomber force (operational)
Missile defence program
The Indian Ballistic Missile Defence Program is an initiative to develop and deploy a multi-layered Ballistic missile defense system to protect India from missile attacks. Phase 1 Development of ABM System began in 1999. Around 40 public and private Companies were involved in the development of ABM System.
They include Bharat Electronics Ltd and Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Astra Microwave, ASL, Larsen & Toubro, Vem Technologies Private Limited and KelTech.
Development of LRTR (Long Range Tracking Radar) and MFCR (Multi-function Fire Control Radar) was led by Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (ERDE). For the AAD Missile System, Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) developed the mission control software. Research Centre, Imarat (RCI) developed navigation, electromechanical actuation systems and Active Radar Seeker.
Advanced System Laboratory (ASL) provided the motors, jet vanes and structures for the two missiles. High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) supplied the propellants for the missile. Phase 2 Two new anti-ballistic missiles that can intercept IRBM/ICBMs are being developed. These high speed missiles (AD-1 and AD-2) are being developed to intercept ballistic missiles with the range of 5000 km. The test trials of these two systems is expected to take place in 2011.
The new missile will be similar to the THAAD missile deployed by the U.S.A. These missiles will have to travel at hypersonic speeds and will require radars with scan capability of over 1500 kilometers to successfully intercept the target.
India is also planning to develop a laser based weapon system as part of its Ballistic Missile Defence to intercept and destroy missiles soon after they are launched towards the country. DRDO’s Air Defence Programme Director V K Saraswat says its ideal to destroy a ballistic missile carrying nuclear or conventional warhead in its boost phase. Saraswat further added that it will take another 10-15 years for the premier defence research institute to make it usable on the ground.