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Independent Brigade Groups




Air Def


Strike Corps
I Corps 1 1 1
II Corps 1 1 1 1 1
XVII Corps 3 3 1 1 1
XXI Corps 1 1 1 1
Holding Corps
III Corps 1
IV Corps 1
IX Corps ? ?
X Corps 1 1
XI Corps 1 1 1
XII Corps 1 1 1
XIV Corps 1
XV Corps 1
XVI Corps 3 1
XXXIII Corps 1
TOTAL 10 + 2 15 + 4 4 3
reported 5 7 15 3 4
Regiments / Battalions
armored 21
mechanized 6

A Brigade is commanded by a Brigadier, and an Infantary Brigade consists of three Infantry Battalions. There is great flexibility in their force mix, and in 'grouping for tasks'. Brigade (regiment in some armies) size combined-arms groups can be shed or added on at will. Standard Tables of Organization and Equipment do exist, but these are taken lightly for accounting purposes only.

A regiment can be a type of battalion (eg. in the Artillery/Engineers) or a grouping of a number of battalions of the same type (eg. The Rajput Regiment). The regiments of armor are equipped with three basic types of tanks - 55 T-72M1, 55 modified T-55s or 72 Vijayantas. The Indian army intended to have 65 regiments of armor by the year 2000, each with between 55 and 72 tanks. The T-72M1 is the principal combat tank of the army and has replaced the Vijayanta in local production. The new Arjun Main Battle Tank is entering service at an extremely slow rate. By 2009 the Pakistan border was where 58 out of the army's 59 tank regiments were deployed.

Independent brigade groups, as the name suggests, are vested with limited capability to carry out an independent mission. Independent brigade groups or independent brigade-sized formations may be armoured (135 tanks + 45 supporting AFVs), mechanized, air defence (missile or gun), parachute, engineer, field artillery, electronic warfare or even standard infantry and mountain. These form 'Corps/Army troops', that is, they are held at Corps and Army levels for balancing out missions and task forces. At these levels, one would find heavy logistic support units in terms of supply, transport, field ordnance depots, and medical facilities. These Independent Brigades operate directly under the Corps Commander (GOC Corps).

One source reports that the Indian Army had 5 Independent Armoured Brigades [although there are seven such brigades that are identifiable by number], 15 Independent Artillery Brigades [although the allocation by Corps discloses no more than 12 or 13], 7 Independent Infantry Brigades [only four of which are attested], 1 Independent Parachute Brigade, 3 Independent Air Defence Brigades, 2 Independent Air Defence Groups and 4 Independent Engineer Brigades [although the whereabouts of a fourth such brigade is not apparent]. This source did not mention any Independent Mechanised Brigades, though other sources attest at least two Independent Mechanised Brigades.

Field Grade Units

  • A Battalion is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel and is the Infantry's main fighting unit. It consists of more than 900-1,000 personnel. A battalion may consist of three to four companies. Artillery and armoured formations have battalion equivalents called regiments. These are organized in a similar manner - armoured regiments have three tank squadrons while artillery regiments have between three and four artillery batteries. All of these formations are of a similar size, numbering approximately one thousand personnel. Having evolved from the British Indian Army, the Indian army followed a British-style regimental system and used British designations for the echelons of command since independence. Infantry battalions, approximately the same size as their U.S. counterparts, are given a numerical designation within their regiments such as 4 Sikh (4th Battalion, the Sikh Regiment). Battalions of India's Gorkha (Indian spelling) Rifles make a small exception, being identified by two numbers indicating battalion and Gorkha regiment: 5/5 Gorkha Rifles is thus the 5th Battalion of the 5th Gorkha Rifles. Armored and artillery "regiments" are the equivalent of U.S. battalions: 40- 50 tanks and 18 artillery pieces respectively. Several of the older armored regiments bear honored historical names dating from the colonial period; India's 9 Horse is thus also the "Deccan Horse."
  • A Company, headed by the Major, comprises 100-120 soldiers. Subunits within armored regiments are called squadrons and troops after British practice rather than the U.S. terminology of companies and platoons.
  • A Platoon, intermediate between a Company and Section, is headed by a Lieutenant or depending on the availability of Commissioned Officers, a Junior Commissioned Officer, with the rank of Subedar or Naib-Subedar. It has a total strength of about 32 troops.
  • A Section, the smallest military outfit, has a strength of 10 personnel. Commanded by a Non-commissioned officer of the rank of Havildar Major or Sergeant Major.

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Page last modified: 25-07-2016 11:26:20 ZULU