The Indian Armed Forces is a combination of three major military services. The components of the Indian Armed Forces serve over three zones i.e., land, water and air. Although different in nature, the Indian defence system has similar aims – to protect the country. It is focused with ensuring security of India by combating threats, aggression or conflicts, both within the country and outside. There are several interesting facts surrounding the Indian defence system that one must know about. In this article, we will be discussing the types of armed forces in India.
So, without any delay, let us start our reading journey!
Types of Army in India
The types of army or the Armed Forces in India are mainly three:
- Indian Army
- Indian Navy
- Indian Air Force
Let us read about the three types of Army in India in detail:
- The Indian army was formed in 1895 and later in 1903, the presidency armies of the East India Company were incorporated into it.
- The President of India i.e., Droupadi Murmu is the Supreme Commander of the Indian army.
- The professional head of the Indian army is the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who is the highest-ranking military officer of the Indian army. The incumbent COAS is General Manoj Pande.
- The headquarters of the Indian army is located in New Delhi, India.
- The motives of the Indian army are to maintain national security and unity, to protect India from internal, external threats or aggression so that peace and security can prevail within its borders.
- Some of the major operations of the Indian army had been Operation Vijay (1961), Operation Meghdoot (1984), and Operation Cactus (1988).
- The Indian Army shares a major portion (80%) of the country’s active defence personnel.
- Indian army is the extensive standing army in the world with 12,37,117 active troops and 960,000 reserve troops.
- The Indian Army is divided into 7 commands both operationally and geographically.
- The highest altitude bridge named Bailey Bridge has been built by the Indian army.
- The Indian army had a horsed cavalry regiment which is the 3rd of the last regiments remaining in the world.
- Military exercises are simulated conditions of a war environment where troops engage in a full-scale war with military resources. Some of the major military exercises carried out by the Indian army are Operation Brasstacks, Exercise Nomadic Elephant, Exercise Ashwamedha etc.
- Indian Army ranks fourth in world in terms of Global Firepower Index.
- Indian army training takes place at the following training academies or institutes:
- Indian Military Academy, Dehradun
- Officers Training Academy, Chennai
- Army War College, Madhya Pradesh
- High Altitude Warfare School, Jammu and Kashmir (the most elite training institution)
- Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Mizoram
- College of Military Engineering, Pune
- On 14 June, 2022, the Indian government introduced a new scheme known as the Agnipath scheme that aims to enroll military youths (Agniveers) into the Indian Armed Forces for a period of four years. This scheme has received widespread criticism from its citizens where many have demanded it’s rollback.
- After USA, Russia and China, India ranks fourth in global fire power.
- The India army rescued countless people from the flooded region of Uttarakhand. The operation was named Operation Rahat and it was one of the biggest rescue operations till date.
- The Indian Navy of the Indian defence system was founded on 26 January 1950.
- The President of India i.e., Smt. Droupadi Murmu is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Navy.
- Its area of operation is in the Persian Gulf Region, covering Horn of Africa to the Strait of Malacca.
- The headquarters of the Indian Navy is located in New Delhi and functions under the Chief of Naval Staff.
- The main aim of the Indian Navy is to secure India’s maritime borders and combat any threats or aggression committed against its citizens or maritime interests of the country.
- As per 2019 data, there are 67,252 active personnel, 75,000 reserve personnel and 150 ships in the Indian Navy.
- Indian Navy also carries out joint exercises to promote bilateral trade relations between nations.
- The history of maritime can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization when a tidal dock was built. The Rig Veda also accounts Varuna (God of water and celestial ocean) to be a knower of ocean routes and mentions ships used for naval expedition by Indians.
- N. Mukherjee became the first Indian officer in the Royal Indian Navy to be promoted as the acting engineer captain.
- The first engagement of the Indian Navy comprising only Indian members fought in 1961 against the Portuguese navy to liberate Goa.
- 4 December is celebrated Navy Day every year to commemorate the decisive and devastating attack on the Pakistan Naval Headquarters of Karachi which was a mission under the Operation Trident.
- The Indian Navy has played a massive role in providing humanitarian aid for natural disasters not only within the country but also globally.
Some of the Navy operations carried out within the country and abroad are as follows:
- Operation Madad (Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu)
- Operation Sea Waves (Andaman and Nicobar Islands)
- Operation Castor (Maldives)
- Operation Rainbow (Sri Lanka)
- Operation Gambhir (Indonesia)
- The Indian Navy is also responsibe for security against pirates.
- One of the oldest naval bases in India is INS Shivaji.
- Indian Naval Academy is the largest naval academy in Asia. There are diverse subjects that one may pursue which include gunnery, aviation, logistics, music, hydrography etc.
- Other institutions include National Defence College, College of Defence Management and Defence Services Staff College, Naval War College (Goa) etc.
- The highest rank of a naval officer is the Chief of Naval Staff. The incumbent Chief of Naval Staff is Admiral R. Hari Kumar.
Indian Air Force
- The first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force (IAF) was Sir Thomas Walker.
- The first Chief of Staff of the Air Force was Air Marshal Subroto Mukherjee.
- The incumbent Chief of the India Airforce is Air Staff Vivek Ram Chaudhari. He is the 27th
- The Indian Air Force was formed on 8 October 1932.
- The Indian Air Force was initially called Royal Indian Air Force (RIAF) between 1945 to 1950. The word “Royal” was removed from it later in 1950, after the Republic came into being.
- The aims of the Indian Air Force are to have a strong security system in the Indian air space and to perform aerial combat in case of threat or conflict.
- The IAF is the fourth largest air force all around the globe. It is also the seventh strongest air force in the world.
- The Indian Air Force also took part in UN peacekeeping missions.
- The IAF has six commands like Western Air Command, Central Air Command, Southern Air Command etc.
- The motto of the Indian Air Force is “Nabha Sparsham Deeptham” that literally translates to “Touch the Sky with Glory”. These words are taken from the eleventh chapter of the Bhagavat Gita.
- During the Indo-Pak war, Nirmal Jit Singh Sekhon was the only IAF officer to be awarded the “Param Vir Chakra” that is given to those who outperform their bravery.
- The first and only military base in a foreign land is Farkhor Air base that is located in Tajikistan.
- The Indian Air Force airlifted around 20,000 people during the Uttarakhand flashfloods in the Rahat mission and made a new world record.
- The first largest airbase in Asia belongs to the IAF. It has more than 60 air bases in various parts of India.
- Padmavathy Bandopadhyay was the first woman Air Marshal to become a specialist in aviation medicine.
The Indian Armed Forces has disciplined, dynamic, motivated and skill-oriented soldiers that are battle ready to fight off terrorists and other enemies to the country. Surely, the Indian Armed Forces in the Global Defence System is one of the top contenders as it ranks fourth in the GPI out of 140 countries. The Indian Armed Forces is well-known for its amazing feats and also performs rescue operations that are worth-praising. Countries that have received military or security services from the Indian Defence System during tough times are full of gratitude for one of the most dedicated and skilful soldiers that continues to inspire generations of eager aspirants.
What is the most beautiful thing about Indian Armed Forces? Which among the three major defence system in India inspires you the most and why? Let us know in the comments section.