Indian Army was founded on 1 April 1895; it’s been 123 years since the formation. The main mission of the Indian Army is to ensure national security and national unity,defending the nation from external aggression and internal threats, and maintaining peace and security within its borders. Earlier army was under British East India Company, their main motive was to record orders relating to the Army. Then as India fought for its Independence in 1947, ten Gurkha regiments were transferred to the British Army. The rest of the British Indian Army was divided between the newly created nations of India and Pakistan. General Maharajah Shri Rajendrasinhji Jadeja, was the first Chief of Army Staff of the Indian army, and the second Indian, after Field Marshal K. M. Carapace, to become Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army. Our Army has fought many wars including, World wars, Independence, First Kashmir War (1947), Annexation of Hyderabad (1948), Sino-Indian War (1962), Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971, Siachen conflict (1984), Kargil war (1999) so far.
The 65 Armoured Regiments in Indian Army (including the PBG and 61st Cavalry). These include the following historic regiments dating back to the nineteenth century or earlier: 1st (Skinner's) Horse, the 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse), the 3rd Cavalry, the 4th (Hodson's) Horse, the 7th Light Cavalry, the 8th Light Cavalry, the 9th (Deccan) Horse, the 14th (Scinde) Horse, the 17th (Poona) Horse, the 15th Lancers, the 16th Light Cavalry, the 18th Cavalry, the 20th Lancers and the 21st (Central India) Horse. A substantial number of additional units designated as either "Cavalry" or "Armoured" Regiments have been raised since Independence.
Indian Army is ranked as the fourth strongest army in the world. Initially, British issue Mini rifle was the .702 calibre Pattern of 1851 was used. Of the vast range of weapons, there are some guns which have been in service for a long time, have witnessed wars in the past and bear testimony to the sacrifices made by the Indian soldiers. Some of the weapons used in the army are Pistol Auto 9mm 1A, INSAS Assault Rifle, AKM Assault Rifle, AK-103 Assault Rifle, Vidhwansak Anti-material Rifle, Dragunov SVD 59 Sniper Rifle, IMI Galil 7.62 Sniper Rifle, Mauser SP66 Sniper Rifle, SAF Carbine 2A1 Sub Machine Gun, NSV Heavy Machine Gun and so many new weapons has been added in the past few years.
When you look at the Indian Army, you will always wonder about their uniforms. There are 8 types of uniforms in the Indian Army:
General Duty, dresses are the ones that make the army man look smart and formal. These are different for winters and summers. For winters, the officers wear a peach color shirt, black tie and an olive green blazer along with a beret or a peak cap. This is called Dress 5SD. Angola Shirt is worn by some regiments. Regiments also preserve certain color of their traditions. In summers, all ranks wear the popular Olive Greens which is also a standard uniform in all peace areas. It was first worn in 2005 when Army moved from Khaki to Olive Greens to distinguish from the Pakistan Army.
Blue Patrol, is the dress code for ceremonial uniform during winters. The blue patrol is worn with a ‘bandgala’ coat. The shoulder pips are embroidered along with ranks on the coat except for armoured corps officers who wear a chain mail along with their ranks on the shoulders. This is also preferred as the mess dress and formal dress during winters.
6A/6B, the code 6 is the mess dress for the Indian Army. The 6 Alpha is the white mess/formal dress for winters similar to the blue patrol. It is worn with a white coat with black trousers. It is worn very rarely as officers prefer blue patrol over 6A. Dress 6 Bravo is the summer mess dress worn with a cummerbund with respective regimental color.
Ceremonials, these are worn during military ceremonial occasions like guard of honor, wreath laying, military funeral, etc. These include wearing ceremonials with Dress SD during winters and half sleeves during summers. The ceremonials include neck scarf, cummerbund, medals and decorations.
Combats, this is the standard field uniform of Indian Army. The disruptive pattern uniform have a forest camouflage pattern and hence, is also called “Jungle Dress”. In winters, a sweater or a jacket is worn over it. The ranks on this dress are embroidered on flaps and the usual metal ranks are not worn. While in war or exercise, only the basics, rank and name are worn on the dress and other decorations are worn during peace. The soldiers wear this on all Fridays including in peace areas.
Black, The black dress is worn by the officers and men of the Armoured Corps, the NSG and alike. While all the above are general dress codes for regular men, you really need to prove your worth to earn these colours.
Dungarees, Again, for the guys who like flying and like being airborne, they have to earn the dungarees for the pilots and aircrews. Only the name tab and rank is worn on the dungarees along with the aircraft symbol they are associated with.
Smock is worn by the highly qualified of the Indian Army. Smocks are worn by paratroopers of the Indian Army during winters are ceremonies.
Indian Army was just not male dominant department. Women’s also started to give in their inputs in the early years of independence. The role of women in the Indian army began when the "Indian Military Nursing Service" was formed in 1888, and nurses fought in World War I and II where 350 Indian Army nurses either died or were taken prisoner of war or declared missing in action, this includes nurses who died when SS Kuala was sunk by the Japanese Bombers in 1942. In 1992, the Indian Army began inducting women officers in non-medical roles. On 19 January 2007, the United Nations first all-female peacekeeping force made up of 105 Indian policewomen was deployed to Liberia. In 2014, India's army had 3 per cent women, the Navy 2.8 per cent and the Air Force, the highest, with 8.5 per cent women. In 2015 India opened new combat air force roles for women as fighter pilots, adding to their role as helicopter pilots in the Indian Air Force.
Indian future holds a great expectations and our Army has started to explore various areas by experimenting different and difficult machinery in India. The projects are up scaling the Brahmos missile and co-developing India’s Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA).
Brahmos Aerospace was formed as a joint venture between Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Federal State Unitary Enterprise NPOM of Russia. Brahmos Aerospace was established in India in February, 1998.
DRDO AURA: This stunner is a stealth UCAV (Unnamed Combat Ariel Vehicle) and is expected to be showcased in 2020. Its weight will be less than 15 tonnes and has the potential of flying at altitudes of over 30,000 ft! Moreover, this beauty could be armed with missiles (both nuclear and conventional) and precision bombs. AURA is the coming future.
HAL LCH (Light Combat Helicopter): To begin with, LCH is capable of going heights to as high as 7000 mts. It is armed with 20mm canon and holds the potential of carrying multiple air to surface/air to air/anti-tank missiles along with cluster/gravity/guided bombs.
INS VISHAL: Currently under development, it is expected to be commissioned by 2025. It will be nuclear powered and almost 50% larger than INS Vikramaditya.
Project 17A- Class Frigate: This project comprises of 7 stealth frigates for Indian Navy, with each frigate costing close to half a billion dollars. The first ship is expected to deliver by 2022.
Arjun MK-II Main Battle Tank: This is going to be the futuristic main battle tank of the Indian Army and an improvised version of MK-I. Its main features are:
– Capable of fighting in the night
– To counter the aerial targets, it has the Air defense system.
– Its main weapon is 120 mm rifled gun, and can strike the targets as far as 8 kms.
– Raised protection suite.
HAL Tejas Mark 1A: The aircraft is the answer of HAL (Hindustan Aeronautical Limited) and ADA (Aeronautical Development Agency). Its code name is Tejas Mark 1A.
Hypersonic BrahMos II: This cruise missile will be developed with the agreement between India and Russia enabling to destroy even the most modern systems. The name BrahMos is a combination name formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.
Project 75I-class submarine: This mighty submarine is fabricated with HLES-80 high grade steel, giving the capacity to dive at greater depths. It is powered by 2 diesel engines that are complemented by 2 Jeumont- Schneider EPM Magtronic batteries. It can strike land and surface targets as well. Its application is for mine laying, anti-shipping operations, intelligence mission etc.
Now we stand here with our heads held high saluting our national flag on 72nd independence of our nation, with strong Army with great sprites. Jai Hind!