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India - Introduction

India v Pakistan
2002Kashmir Crisis Op Parakram
1999Kargil Conflict Op Vijay
1990Kashmir Crisis Op Rakshak
1987Brass Tacks
1984Siachen GlacierOP Meghdoot
1965Indo-Pakistan War
1965Rann of Kutch
1947Indo-Pakistan War
India v China
1986Indo-China ClashesOp Falcon
1962Indo-China War
Other Conflicts
1985AssamOP Rhino
NagalandOp Riddle
MizoramOp Hifazat
TripuraOp Bajrang
1983Sikh Uprising OP Blue Star
1967Naxalite Uprising
1961Invasion Of Goa
Peacekeeping Operations
1987Sri Lanka Op Pawan
India is the seventh largest country in the world, slightly more than one-third the size of the United States. The country is composed of four geographic regions: the Himalayas, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the northwest desert region, and the Indian Peninsula. The Himalayas are in northern India and consist of three parallel mountain ranges interspersed with large plateaus and valleys. The rugged, steep mountains are covered with snow year-round and average 20,000 feet in height. Further south is the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a large flood plain. The desert region of the northwest contains sand dunes and ridges, some almost 200 feet high. The Indian Peninsula is an interior plateau that is bordered by parallel mountain ranges. Offshore islands include the Andaman andNicobar Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean and Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea.

The climate in India is cool and dry inthe winter months of December through February. The temperatures in the mountains are extremely cold. The summer season, which lasts from March through May, is dry and hotthroughout most of India. Once again, areas with higher elevationsremain cooler. The monsoon (rainy) season is June through November. The extreme weather during this season can do great damage.

The supreme command of the Indian armed forces is vested in the president of India. Policies concerning India's defense, and the armed forces as a whole, are formulated and confirmed by the Cabinet.

The Indian Army numbered over 1.1 million strong and fields 36 divisions. Its primary task is to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country against external threats. The Army has been heavily committed in the recent past to counterterrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir, as well as the in the Northeast. Its current modernization program focuses on obtaining equipment to be used in combating terror. The Army often provides aid to civil authorities and assists the government in organizing relief operations.

The Indian Navy is by far the most capable navy in the region. The Navy's primary missions are the defense of India and of India's vital sea lines of communication. India relies on the sea for 90% of its oil and natural gas and over 90% of its foreign trade. The Navy operated one aircraft carrier with two on order, over a dozen submarines, and nearly two dozen major surface combatants. It was capable of projecting power within the Indian Ocean basin and occasionally operates in the South China Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Arabian Gulf. Fleet introduction of the Brahmos cruise missile, the possible lease of nuclear submarines from Russia, and the introduction of a new aircraft carrier in 2014 added significantly to the Indian Navy's flexibility and striking power.

Although small, the Indian Coast Guard has been expanding rapidly in recent years. Indian Navy officers typically fill top Coast Guard positions to ensure coordination between the two services. India's Coast Guard is responsible for control of India's huge exclusive economic zone.

Fielding about 600 fixed-wing combat aircraft, the Indian Air Force was the worlds fourth largest. It is rapidly becoming a 21st century force through modernization, new tactics and the acquisition of modern aircraft, such as the SU-30MKI, a new advanced jet trainer (BAE Hawk) and the indigenously produced advanced light helicopter (Dhruv).

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Page last modified: 14-12-2017 17:04:18 ZULU