Indian armed forces

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IndiaIndia Armed Forces of India
English: Indian Armed Forces,
hindi: Bharatiya Sashastra Senae
Emblem of India.svg
Commander in Chief : President
Ram Nath Kovind
Military strength
Active soldiers: 1,325,000 (2015)
Reservists: 2,143,000 (2015)
Conscription: no
Eligibility for military service: 17th
Military budget: $ 51 billion (2016)
Share of gross domestic product : 2.4% (2006)
Founding: 1949
Flags of the three Indian armed forces in New Delhi in front of the India Gate (from left to right): Air Force, Navy, Army

The Indian Armed Forces ( Bharatiya Sashastra Senae ) are the armed forces of the Republic of India . They include around 1,325,000 soldiers , 1.1 million of whom serve in the army , 150,000 in the air force and 53,000 in the navy . This means that India has the third largest armed force in the world in terms of number of soldiers. There are also 1,155,000 in reserve and 1,293,300 paramilitary forces.

India ranked 89th out of 155 countries in the Global Militarization Index (GMI) in 2018 . According to the ranking by Global Firepower (2018), the country has the fourth strongest military capacity in the world and the second strongest in Asia after the People's Republic of China.

The defense budget in the fiscal year 2013-2014 (reference month March) is the equivalent of about 38.9 billion US dollars , about 2.04 trillion rupees .

History of the Indian Armed Forces

Before independence, the British Indian Army existed in British India from 1858 to 1947 . Together with the contingents, which came exclusively from Great Britain , they formed the Army of India or Army in India .

The British Indian Army formed the basis of the armies of the states created by the partition of the Indian subcontinent , the Indian Union and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan . The division of India refers to the division of the former British India due to religious and ethnic disputes that finally led to the establishment of two independent states between August 14 and 15, 1947: Pakistan and India. Until 1971 Pakistan consisted of two parts: West Pakistan (today's Pakistan) and East Pakistan (today's Bangladesh ). The division of the former British India into two dominions was laid down in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and marked the end of British colonial rule on the Indian subcontinent. In the course of the process of partition there were civil war-like conflicts that resulted in the deaths of several hundred thousand people. Some authors even speak of up to a million or more victims. About 20 million people were deported, displaced or resettled in the course of the division of British India.

Border disputes led to the Sino-Indian Border War in 1962 , which India lost. Indian support for an independence movement in what was then East Pakistan led to a third war between India and Pakistan in 1971, with the subsequent partition of Pakistan and the establishment of the new, also Islamic state of Bangladesh . The Indian-Pakistani conflict is particularly explosive due to the fact that both states are nuclear powers . India first carried out a nuclear test in 1974. Pakistan responded to further nuclear weapon tests in 1998 with its own nuclear tests. In recent years, there has been a rapprochement between India and Pakistan. So prisoner exchanges took place and connections were opened in the Kashmir region.

Since independence, the Indian military has shown little interest in exerting political influence. It is subordinate to the civil administration, the military supreme command has the president. In India there is no general conscription , instead the state maintains a professional army .

In December 2007, India and the People's Republic of China held a joint anti-terror military maneuver for the first time. The one-week exercise "Hand in Hand 2007" with a total of 200 soldiers was carried out in the Chinese province of Yunnan . There are further partnership security cooperations with the Southeast Asian neighbors Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, but also with Japan and the USA.

The Yuddh Abhyas exercise is part of a series of joint exercises between India and the United States of America that has been ongoing since 2005. The Indian army cooperates with the Mongolian army in the implementation of exercises ( nomadic elephant ). The first exercise took place in 2004. In 2012 the exercise took place in Belgaum and in June 2013 in Mongolia . The aim of the exercises is to improve counterinsurgency and terrorism operations and to train the conduct of peacekeeping operations under the mandate of the United Nations.

India also maintains ever more intensive arms cooperation with Israel. The Indian Navy has been importing numerous armaments products manufactured in Israel for years, including Barak-1 anti-aircraft aircraft systems and electronic warfare systems as well as Israeli drones.


India has 3555 main battle tanks, 1960 combat aircraft, 620 helicopters, 170 warships and 15 submarines (as of 2012). In recent years there has been a broad armament of the armed forces of India through more modern weapon systems developed in India. Various modern weapons systems made in India were (or will be put into service by 2018), such as Arjun main battle tanks, Pinaka rocket launchers, Vikrant-class aircraft carriers, Arihant -class strategic nuclear submarines , and Shivalik frigates equipped with stealth technology -Class , HAL Tejas fighter aircraft , stealth aircraft of the HAL AMCA and Sukhoi / HAL FGFA and HAL combat helicopters.

India's only military base abroad has been the Farkhor air base in Tajikistan since 2004 . In addition, there is a military agreement with Mozambique that provides anchor rights and supplies for Indian warships. There are also close military ties with Mauritius . The Indian Air Force controls the Mauritian airspace and there is a cooperation with the Indian Navy.

Nuclear forces

India has self-developed short-range missiles as well as the medium-range missile Agni III with a range of up to 5500 kilometers, which can also be equipped with nuclear warheads. In addition, India is developing the Agni V, an ICBM. In 2012, the Strategic Forces Command had 84 nuclear warheads at their disposal.


The Indian Army ( Bharatiya Thalsena ), the army, has around one million soldiers and is divided into six regional commands:

The Army Aviation owns (as of the end of 2010) 39 Dhruv (99 more ordered), 20 SA315 (10 more ordered) and 80 SA316 combat helicopters. The Indian Army has ordered 110 HAL attack helicopters .

Hal attack helicopter 2013

The Indian Army currently has, among other things


Arjun main battle tank

Guns and rocket launchers:

Pinaka rocket launcher


The Indian destroyer Mysore (front), 2007
Aircraft carrier Viraat
The Indian frigate Tabar

The Indian Navy ( Bharatiya Nausena ), including naval aviators, is divided into three naval commands :

The flagship of the fleet is the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya , the former Russian Admiral Gorshkov .

The Indians proceeded in a methodically plausible and purposeful manner when expanding their naval forces. Initially, mainly British ships were bought, copied under license and based on this, own designs were made. When Great Britain distanced itself from India (formerly a British colony) after the Kashmir conflict in 1965, the Soviet Union took this position.

In the meantime, India is also independent in the field of high-quality warship construction and thus - alongside China - the second Asian state that can cover almost the entire range of modern warship construction through its own shipyards. In addition, India was able to launch the first stealth frigate (Shivalik class, Project 17 “new NILGRI class”) manufactured by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited in Mumbai (Bombay) in mid-April 2003 (of a total of up to ten) . The hull, which was built completely without deck superstructures and armament, should be able to move the 4,900 ts ship at more than 30 knots after commissioning. With regard to armament, anti-ship missiles of the Russian-Indian type BrahMos with a range of 300 km that can be launched from a VLS , alternatively anti-submarine missiles, are expected. For this purpose, Russian-Indian Kashmir missiles or the Israeli Barak are to be used for close-range air defense (20 km).

In 2004 India signed the purchase agreement for the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov , the aim was to replace the carrier Viraat . The ship was modernized at the Russian Semash shipyard in Severodvinsk and handed over to India as Vikramaditya on November 15, 2013 . India has been building its own aircraft carrier called Vikrant since 2005, commissioning should take place in 2015, but was postponed until the end of 2018.

In 2006 India acquired around 175 3M54 Klub-S (SS-N-27 Sizzler) guided missiles for Sindhughosh-class submarines .

The Navy leased a Charlie-class nuclear powered submarine from the Soviet Union and deployed it between 1988 and 1991. The boat K-43 , known in the Indian Navy as the INS Chakra , was controlled by Soviet sailors who trained the Indians. India itself started the Advanced Technology Vessel program in 1985 , which aims to build its own nuclear submarines . On July 26, 2009, the first nuclear- powered submarine manufactured in India was launched as the INS Arihant and put into service in 2012. To prepare submarine crews for use on a nuclear submarine, the Russian nuclear submarine K-152 Nerpa was leased by the Indian Navy for 10 years in 2012 and, like K-43, was used as an INS Chakra (2009) put into service. The INS chakra belongs to the Akula II class ; the cost is around $ 650 million. The Sagarika nuclear missile is also being prepared, which should have a range of up to 1000 kilometers and can be launched from submerged submarines, but should not be ready until years after the first ATV (advanced technology vessel).

In February 2008, the Indian Navy tested a new submarine-based ballistic missile (SLBM) of the type K-15 Sagarika from the DRDO armaments company in the Gulf of Bengal for the first time from a launching base 50 meters below sea level near the naval base in Visakhapatnam . With the " INS Arihant ", India has a first launch system for launching this missile with a range of up to 700 kilometers and a warhead of 500 kilograms. At the same time, the Indian Navy is the first navy in the world to put a submarine with ballistic missiles into service outside of the 5 UN veto / nuclear powers .

Navy equipment (floating units)

The Satpura in April 2012
  • 3 Shivalik-class frigates
    • INS Shivalik
    • INS Satpura
    • INS Sahyadri
  • 6 frigates of the Talwar class ( modified Kriwak III class )
    • INS Talwar (F40)
    • INS Trishul (F43)
    • INS tabar (F44)
    • INS Teg (F45)
    • INS Tarkash (F46)
    • INS Trikand (F47)
  • 3 frigates Brahmaputra class (modified Godavari class)
    • INS Brahmaputra (F31)
    • INS Betwa (F39)
    • INS Beas (F37)
  • 3 Godavari-class frigates ( Leander- class )
    • INS Godavari (F20)
    • INS Ganga (F22)
    • INS Gomati (F21)
  • 1 Nilgiri-class frigate ( Leander- class)
    • INS Taragiri (F41)
  • 1 Arihant-class nuclear submarine
    • INS Arihant (S73)
    • under construction: INS Aridhaman
    • 3–5 units planned in total
  • 1 Akula II class nuclear submarine
    • INS Chakra , taken over by Russia on December 29, 2011 and leased for 10 years.
    • 6 units planned according to the INS chakra model
  • 10 Sindhughosh-class submarines (modified kilo-class )
    • INS Sindhughosh (S55)
    • INS Sindhudhvaj (S56)
    • INS Sindhuraj (S57)
    • INS Sindhuvir (S58)
    • INS Sindhuratna (S59)
    • INS Sindhukesari (S60)
    • INS Sindhukirti (S61)
    • INS Sindhuvijay (S62)
    • INS Sindhurakshak (S63) , sunk after a fire in the port of Mumbai on August 13, 2013
    • INS Sindhushastra (S65)
  • 4 Shishumar-class submarines ( submarine class 209 )
    • INS Shishumar (S44)
    • INS Shankush (S45)
    • INS Shalki (S46)
    • INS Shankul (S47)
  • Submarines of the Scorpene class
    • The construction of 6 submarines is planned
  • 2 Deepak-class fleet tankers
    • INS Deepak (A50)
    • INS Shakti (A57)
  • 2 sailing training ships of the Tarangini class

Marine equipment (aircraft)

(Status: end of 2014)

Air Force

A Sukhoi Su-30 K of the Indian Air Force landed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada

The Indian Air Force ( Bharatiya Vayu Sena ) has 170,000 soldiers and is divided into five air commands:

There is also a training command in Bangalore and a repair command in Nagpur . The current air force commander is Pradeep Vasant Naik.

India's military research and development facility (DRDO) has begun planning a promising fifth generation AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) fighter aircraft. As the general director of the aerospace division of DRDO announced, the new fighter aircraft should be ready in 2018. The 20-ton machine has two engines and is difficult to locate due to the stealth technology.

After the success of the BrahMos project, Russia and India agreed the FGFA program in spring 2007 . Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft is a joint project between the Russian aviation consortium OAK and the Indian Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) to develop a fifth generation fighter aircraft. Together with 126 medium multi-role combat aircraft that India is planning to procure as part of a US $ 10.4 billion project, 270 Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft, which Russia will supply for around US $ 12 billion, represent an increase in combat value The existing Su-30 MKI for another 2 billion US dollars and 120 pieces of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft (LCA-Tejas) for 3.6 billion US dollars are to form the mainstay of the Indian air force for the foreseeable future . Regardless of this, combat value enhancement measures for 50 older Mirage 2000s and 61 MiG-29 SMTs worth 2.2 billion US dollars are intended to ensure their operational readiness until 2025 and for another 125 MiG-21s until 2017. With this, the required combat strength of the Indian Air Force of 44 squadrons with more than 792 aircraft (18 aircraft per squadron) should be achieved within the next ten years and the reconstruction of the Air Force should be completed at a cost price of around 55 to 65 billion US dollars.

Air Force Equipment

More powers

Web links

Commons : Indian Armed Forces  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The World Factbook
  2. GLOBAL MILITARIZATION INDEX 2018. Max M. Mutschler, Marius Bales \ BICC, accessed on February 10, 2019 .
  3. Countries Ranked by Military Strength (2018) Globalfirepower, accessed February 10, 2019.
  4. India's Defense Budget 2013–14: A Bumpy Road Ahead , of March 4, 2013.
  5. Sudha Ramachandran: India's quiet sea power. In: Asia Times , August 2, 2007.
  6. ^ Announcement from RIA-Novosti, November 19, 2013
  7. ^ India Floats out Its First Indigenous Aircraft Carrier "INS Vikrant" From Cochin. ( Memento of the original from February 13, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Report to  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. India launches first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. Reported to the Times of India on August 12, 2013.
  9. ^ Rajat Pandit: India plans to buy 6 new subs, says Navy chief. In: The Times of India , December 2, 2007 (English).
  10. ^ Indian-built Arihant nuclear submarine activated In: BBC : August 10, 2013
  11. Dead after explosion on Indian submarine. In: Die Zeit , August 14, 2013.
  12. ^ India clears purchase of additional P-8I maritime aircraft for navy , naval-technology, November 29, 2019
  13. Indian Navy hands Kiran trainers to air force, Janes, June 24, 2015 ( Memento of the original from June 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  14. India completes production of Su-30MKI fighters ( Retrieved June 20, 2020