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By Bulbul Singh

23 Apr 06. In line with the recent Army doctrine adopted in 2004, the Indian defense planners are reorganizing emphasis on the Indian army formations. The Army doctrine is based on the premise that there will be quicker and swifter battles in the future and there will not be long-drawn battles with adversaries. Under the doctrine, the future Indian solider will have to prepare to prepare to fight behind enemy lines.

The Indian Infantry will get additional attention under the new re-organization plan which will see substantial changes in the Indian infantry formations and high priority will be given to Infantry, said a defense ministry official.

Based on these future needs the Indian Army has formulated a long-term modernization plan to make 500,000 infantry soldiers as modern soldiers. Under the plan the soldier will be equipped on the model of U.S. Land Warrior and equipped with futuristic weapons and equipment. Most of the equipment will be purchased from overseas sources.

The Indian infantry soldier will have better observation capabilities, communication capabilities, survivability and sustainability capability in terms of protection, clothing and weapon capabilities will be enhanced advocates the plan which is still with the Indian defense ministry and will be put into action this year itself, said the Indian defense ministry official.

The Indian future infantry soldier will be equipped with a variety of gears that builds lethality, sustainability, survivability, mobility and ensures his integration in the C4I environment.

An Indian Army officer said priority would be given to increase fire power, night fighting, equipping with modern surveillance systems, greater mobility through advanced C4I systems by way of dedicated military satellites.

The Indian army will press for purchase of several advanced equipment from domestic and mostly overseas markets which will include better assault rifles, integration of the solider with the C4I module.

The clothing system will have protection gear and load carrying equipment capability and for surveillance capability the soldier will be equipped with day and night surveillance devices and sighting systems.

The Indian Army has shortlisted improved 5.56 caliber rifle as the baseline a weapon for the future infantry. The 5.56 caliber rifle will be mounted with thermal weapon sights, holographic sights, laser range finders, and global positioning systems.

The weapon will be integrated to a fire control system for facilitating precision air burst. The Fire Control System (FCS) will have a ballistic computer that integrates inputs from the weapon sights, Digital Compass and Global Positioning System.

The future helmets which will be given to all the Indian soldiers in phases will be lighter, provide better ballistic protection and will be equipped with Sensor Display systems which would be the soldier’s interface to the other subsystems in the digitized battlefield.

Ultra High Frequency radio sets will be provided for the soliders for effective communication.

Currently the following equipment is in use by the Indian infantry:
9mm FN35;and 9mm Glock 17 pistols, 9mm Carbine 1A and 9mm H&K MP-5 sub machine guns, 5.56mm INSAS Light Machine Gun, 7.62mm FN MAG, 7.62mm Bren L4, 7.62mm IB, .50 Browning M2HB, 12.7mm NSV and 14.5mm KPV machines guns. Other weapons include 5.56mm INSAS Assault Rifle, 62mm FN-FAL, 7.62mm 1C, 7.62mm 1A1, 7.62mm AKM, 7.62mm V.58,7.62mm Dragunov and 7.62mm Mauser SP66 rifles, 51mm E1, 81mm E1, 120mm E1 and 120mm AM-50 mortars.The Anti-Tank Weapons includes 84mm Carl Gustav, 106mm RCL M40, Milan-II ATGW, AT-3 Sagger ATGW, AT-4 Spigot ATGW and AT-5 Spandrel ATGW.

The Indian solider will be equipped to fight in Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare conditions in view of the possession of these weapons with Pakistan said the Indian Army of

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