Pakistani Military's Conventional Deterrence Against India's Cold Start Doctrine

It is widely assumed that India enjoys substantial conventional military superiority over Pakistan. Many speculate that the difference between the conventional military strengths of the two South Asian rivals is so great that Pakistan would be forced to quickly resort to the use of nuclear weapons in the event of an Indian attack. Are these assumptions and speculations accurate? How has the situation evolved since the nations went nuclear in 1998? Are nukes Pakistan's only deterrence against Indian aggression? Let's examine the answers to these questions based on the recent work of several analysts and authors.

India-Pakistan Standoff 2001-2002:

Soon after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, there was an incident with several gunmen entering the Indian parliament building and killing 14 people on December 13, 2001. India immediately accused Pakistan of involvement in the attack and vowed to respond militarily. Pakistan categorically denied India's accusations.

What followed was a massive mobilization of Indian troops to the Line of Control in Kashmir and the international border with Pakistan.  It was dubbed "Operation Parakram" by the Indian Army.  Pakistan responded with its own major mobilization of troops on its side of the LoC and the international border. Thus began the longest standoff between the two neighbors.

By October 2002, India began to pull back its troops along her border and later Pakistan did the same, and in November 2003 a cease-fire between the two nations was signed. Why did India back off from its explicit threats to attack Pakistan? A recent book "Defeat is an Orphan" by Myra McDonald answers this question as follows:

"Since partition, the Indian Army--with 1.1 million men compared to 550,000 in the Pakistan Army--had the advantage in terms of numbers. But it was a lumbering beast. India's vast size meant the army was spread more thinly across the country than in Pakistan, acting as a brake on mobilization. Its three armoured strike corps, designed to strike deep into Pakistan territory, were based in central India and took nearly three weeks to maneuver into position because of their sheer size. The slowness of the mobilization gave Pakistan enough time to prepare its defenses....Much of the equipment pressed into frontline service, from Vijayanta tanks of 1970s vintage to even older artillery pieces, was barely suited to fighting a modern war. It was only when the Indian Army began to mobilize that its slowness and shortages ---of road vehicles for deployment, missiles, ammunition, and war stores---became apparent. "The very first few days of Operation Parakram exposed the hollowness of our operational preparedness," said General V.K.Singh, who was then with XI Corps in Punjab. Having lost the advantage of surprise because of its slow mobilization, the Indian Army did not have enough superiority in numbers and equipment to guarantee a decisive victory. Nor could it rely on air power to make up for its weakness on the ground. At independence, India had abolished the role of commander-in-chief of all armed forces, replacing it with three weaker, co-equal, service chiefs who each had a tendency to go their own way. Thus though India's air power was superior to that of Pakistan in 2001-2002, the different branches of its armed forces were not integrated enough to consider a ground assault backed by air strikes and close air support. Had India pressed ahead with an attack on Pakistan that January--and in such situation is with the defender--it risked becoming quickly bogged down. "The slender edge that India had could have led to nothing but a stalemate and...a stalemate between a large and much smaller country amounts to victory for the smaller country, " said Brigadier Kanwal in an analysis of India's military preparedness. Nor did India have the capacity to dig in for a long war where its greater size relative to Pakistan could have eventually triumphed. Thanks to cutbacks, it had run down stocks of ammunition to save money. Even without Pakistan's possession of nuclear weapons to deter an Indian invasion, the balance of power in conventional forces was enough to give pause for thought."

India's Cold Start Doctrine:

The Failure of India's Operation Parakram forced some soul searching and a re-evaluation that gave birth to the Indian Army's Cold Start Doctrine (CSD). It is a limited-war strategy designed to quickly seize Pakistani territory without provoking a a nuclear conflict. Supposedly a secret strategy, Indian Army Chief General Rawat confirmed its existence in 2017. Here's an analysis by Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood of India's CSD and Pakistan's expected response:

"While Pakistan’s nuclear response to CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) has dominated the narrative, it is the conventional response that was devised first. In the last few years of General Musharraf’s presidency, especially between 2004 and 2007, India and Pakistan were engaged in backchannel negotiations and came tantalizingly close to finding a solution to the Kashmir issue. Then the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement forced Musharraf out of power and a new leadership took charge. With General Kayani as the new chief of army staff, the threat from India came back into focus, and so did the perceived risk of CSD. Given India’s military capability and its declared Cold Start Doctrine, Kayani believed that Pakistan could not afford to let its guard down as the country prepared according to “adversaries’ capabilities, not intentions.” He went on to give his assessment of the timeline by which India would be able to operationalize CSD — two years for partial implementation and five years for full — betraying the urgency he attached to a counter-response. Between 2009 and 2013, the Pakistan Army conducted military exercises codenamed Azm-e-Nau to formalize and operationalize a conventional response to CSD. At its conclusion, Pakistan adopted a “new concept of war fighting” (NCWF) that aims to improve mobilization time of troops and enhance inter-services coordination, especially between the Army and the Pakistan Air Force (PAF). To this end, Pakistan Air Force’s aerial exercise High Mark was conducted alongside Azm-e-Nau III in 2010, which saw the participation of over 20,000 troops from all services in areas of southern Punjab, Sialkot, and Sindh along Pakistan’s eastern border with India. The 2010 exercises were the largest conducted by the Army since 1989. PAF’s exercise High Mark, conducted every five years, synchronizes the Air Force’s response with Army maneuvers, covering a vast area from Skardu in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. As per military sources, with the implementation of the NCFW, the Pakistan Army will be able to mobilize even faster than India. This should worry India as CSD’s raison d’etre lies in the short reaction time it requires to launch an offensive. If Pakistan is indeed able to mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot, literally and figuratively, it blunts the effectiveness of the Indian military doctrine."

Source: SIPRI

India's Conventional Superiority:

Professor Walter Ladwig III of the Department of War Studies at London's Kings College  says that India's conventional edge over Pakistan is overblown. In a 2015 paper, Ladwig wrote that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege". Here's an excerpt of Ladwig's paper titled "Indian Military Modernization and Conventional Deterrence in South Asia":

"In recent years, headline grabbing increases in the Indian defense budget have raised concerns that India’s on-going military modernization threatens to upset the delicate conventional military balance vis-√†-vis Pakistan. Such an eventuality is taken as justification for Islamabad’s pursuit of tactical nuclear weapons and other actions that have worrisome implications for strategic stability on the subcontinent. This article examines the prospects for Pakistan’s conventional deterrence in the near to medium term, and concludes that it is much better than the pessimists allege. A host of factors, including terrain, the favorable deployment of Pakistani forces, and a lack of strategic surprise in the most likely conflict scenarios, will mitigate whatever advantages India may be gaining through military modernization. Despite a growing technological edge in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

Summary:

Common assumptions about India's insurmountable conventional superiority over Pakistan are not founded in reality, according to military experts.  Professor Walter Ladwig of the War Studies Department at London's Kings College believes that Pakistan’s conventional deterrence against India in the near to medium term is "much better than the pessimists allege".  Pakistan's  NCWF (New Concept of War Fighting) developed in response to India's CSD (Cold Start Doctrine) is designed to "mount a counter-offensive even before India fires the first shot", according to Indian analyst Meenakshi Sood. Ladwig sums it up well: "Despite a growing technological edge (over Pakistan) in some areas, Indian policymakers cannot be confident that even a limited resort to military force would achieve a rapid result, which is an essential pre-condition for deterrence failure".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Is Pakistan Ready for War with India?

India's Israel Envy: What If Modi Attacks Pakistan?

Project Azm: Pakistan to Develop 5th Generation Fighter Jet

Pakistan Navy Modernization

Pakistan's Sea-Based Second Strike Capability

Who Won the 1965 War? India or Pakistan?

Pakistani Military's Performance in 1971 War

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan’s MIRVs like Ababeel are designed to penetrate India’s anti ballistic missile defense systems that India is working on with Israel’s help

It’s part of the strategy to maintain both strategic and conventional deterrence to keep peace in the region
Riaz Haq said…
Kings College War Studies Prof Walter Ladwig on the impact of terrain in India-Pakistan conflict:

http://www.walterladwig.com/Articles/Conventional Deterrence in South Asia.pdf

The 2,900km long Indo-Pak border is characterized by diverse and
varied terrain that has differential impacts on military operations. To
the north in Kashmir –—which has seen fighting in four wars –the
landscape is mountainous and heavily forested. When combined with a
lack of wide roads, the movement of vehicles and large military
formations is significantly hindered. Moreover, much of the highaltitude
territory suffers from significant snowfall in winter, high levels
of rain, and overall low visibility, the combination of which limit the
operability and payload of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, as well
as disrupting surveillance and surface communications.47 Depending on
the time of year, it is possible to conduct large-scale military operations
across the Line of Control (LoC) separating Indian and Pakistani
controlled Kashmir in the areas of Jammu south of the Pir Panjal
mountain range and the Kashmir valley.48 However, difficult terrain
and under-developed transport infrastructure in these areas hinders the
ability to concentrate forces, control dispersed units, and marshal
reinforcements and supplies.49 Consequently, as Jack Gill notes a
‘verity’ of combat in Kashmir is that ‘a combination of weather, terrain,
and logistical hindrances … makes swift, deep penetrations unlikely, if
not impossible, in the face of even minor resistance.’
50 This is hardly
ideal for a limited aims offensive that seeks to succeed by quickly
overwhelming or bypassing defending forces.
A second section of the border running from Southern Jammu and
Kashmir through the Punjab down to northern Rajasthan is marked by
a near continuous line of concrete irrigation canals that stretch for
2,000km. Not only does this network of canals and their tributaries –
which have a horizontal depth of up to several kilometers in some
places –form an obstacle in its own right, they have been turned into
defensive fortifications with the addition of large pilings of soil, concrete
bunkers, minefields, and fortified gun emplacements.51 This barrier
system –which runs as close as several kilometers to the international
border –significantly hinders the offensive operations of armored
vehicles while providing concealed fighting positions for defensive
troops who are protected from direct fire and artillery weapons.
Securing a bridgehead and mounting a cross-canal assault against a
dug-in opponent can be expected to be a time consuming and bloody
affair. Beyond the canals, many areas of Pakistani Punjab are densely
populated with several sprawling urban centers, which would also limit
the pace of military operations and the potential for battlefield
awareness.
This section of the border poses several problems for a limited aims
offensive. Regardless of whether the attacker achieves strategic surprise,
as Mearsheimer notes, the kind of forward defenses found here pose
problems for limited incursions on the ground because they allow even
thinly populated defenders to offer stiff resistance.52 Moreover, the
limited aims strategy is based on the belief that in the face of a
successful offensive a defender will either acquiesce or attempt a
counterattack against the aggressor turned defender that results in an
attritional stalemate so costly they eventually abandon it.53 In this
respect, it should be noted that both Kashmir and the Punjab hold great
political significance for both the Indian and Pakistani governments.

Loss of territory in these areas would be unacceptable to the defender,
who would be pressured to escalate the conflict either horizontally or
vertically instead of abandoning further military action.
Riaz Haq said…
Kings College War Studies Prof Walter Ladwig on the impact of terrain in India-Pakistan conflict:

http://www.walterladwig.com/Articles/Conventional Deterrence in South Asia.pdf

The third section of the international border, where the Sindh and
Punjab meet, is often described as Pakistan’s major point of strategic
vulnerability. It is in this region, between Sukkur and Rahim Yar Khan,
where the country’s primary north–south transportation artery runs
extremely close to the international border. Consequently, some
analysts have suggested that this leaves Pakistan extremely vulnerable
to a central assault that would spilt the country in two.54 It would be a
significant reversal for the Pakistani government were Karachi and
Hyderabad in the south cut off from Lahore and Islamabad in the north
by a limited incursion. However, that historical risk has been signifi-
cantly alleviated by the construction of a largely parallel highway on the
western side of the Indus River that can facilitate the movement of
goods and military traffic while remaining screened from the international
border by a major river. Although this region lacks the extensive
fortifications described in the northern Punjab, the presence of irrigation
canals and the Indus River will constrain the available axes of
advance for a military force moving from the border towards the
Sukkur–Rahim Yar Khan region. This in turn will allow Pakistani
forces to fight from prepared positions, albeit not as hardened as those
found further north.
The southern-most sections of the international border, consisting
of the flat, barren deserts of Rajasthan and Gujarat are extremely
suitable for mechanized military operations. Indeed, during the
2001–2002 Operation ‘Parakram’ the Indian Army reportedly concentrated
all of its offensive forces in Rajasthan, suggesting that the
Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch is a likely location for either side
to undertake a large-scale armored offensive.55 Although the open
expanse of the Thar Desert lacks the kind of obstacles to a rapid
advance found further north, it also lacks the strategic value attached
to those regions. Irrigated and developed on the Indian side of the
border, on the Pakistani side areas of the harsh desert have been left
empty to provide a natural buffer-zone.
The story is similar in the Rann of Kutch, which depending on the
monsoons, is alternately a windswept desert or a salt marsh. In either
instance, the region has been described by one observer as ‘one of the
world’s least valuable pieces of real estate.’
56 Although relatively easy to capture in a limited aims offensive, neither of these two areas
would offer particularly useful leverage in post-conflict negotiations.
Loss of territory in this region would not impose a major cost on
Pakistan and if anything would allow it to trade space for time as it
readied a counterattack against Indian forces in significantly exposed
terrain.
The particular geography of the Indo-Pak border would inhibit an
RMA-enabled Indian limited aims offensive in two major ways. First,
the difficult terrain in the region north of the Thar Desert would prevent
modern sensor and weapons systems from operating at proving ground
effectiveness, while the presence of natural and man-made obstacles
would hinder a rapid advance. Second, the open spaces further south
that would allow an RMA-enabled force to shine lack the kind of
strategic objectives that would be worthwhile to target with a limited
offensive. Moreover, the vast, open expanse of the desert does not
provide significant advantages to an aggressor who subsequently has to
defend the territory they seized against a counterattack.
Riaz Haq said…
#India Is World’s Largest Importer Of #Weapons With Insatiable Hunger, While #Pakistan Slashes #Arms Imports. #Modi #BJP


https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/india-is-worlds-largest-importer-of-weapons-with-insatiable-hunger-while-pakista/309385


Report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India and growing preference of US over Russia as arms supplier.

India continues to be world’s largest importer for major firearms, an indication that Modi government’s Make In India drive for defence sector has faltered.

A report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has found that India was the “world’s largest importer of major arms in 2013–17 and accounted for 12 per cent of the global total”.



The report spotlights India’s floundering attempts to make firearms in India. India has managed to get just Rs 1.17 crore as FDI in the defecne sector under the “Make in India” framework.

“FDI of amount $0.18 million has been received in the defence industry sector from April 2014 to December 2017,” said junior defence minister Subhash Bhamre, in a written reply to Lok Sabha recently.

India’s imports increased by 24% between 2008–12 and 2013–17, according to the report and majority of the firearms were sourced from India’s long-time supplier Russia, which accounted for 62 per cent of India’s arms imports in 2013–17.

"Asian and Indian arms procurement in particular are a reflection of the growing security competition in Asia," Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan , a senior fellow at ORF, told Outlook.

--------

Surprisingly, India’s long-time foe has slashed its imports despite its tensions with India and internal conflicts.

“Pakistan’s arms imports decreased by 36 per cent between 2008–12 and 2013–17. Pakistan accounted for 2.8 per cent of global arms imports in 2013–17. Its arms imports from the USA dropped by 76 per cent in 2013–17 compared with 2008–12.”

Riaz Haq said…
#China acknowledges sale of advanced #missile #technology "highly sophisticated large-scale optical tracking and measurement system" to #Pakistan. #India #US https://n.pr/2uadwcF

China has sold Pakistan an advanced tracking system that could boost Islamabad's efforts to improve ballistic missiles capable of delivering multiple warheads, according to The South China Morning Post.

The website of the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced the deal with Pakistan, and Zheng Mengwei, a researcher with the CAS Institute of Optics and Electronics, confirmed to the Post that the purchase was of a "highly sophisticated large-scale optical tracking and measurement system."

The newspaper writes:

"An optical system is a critical component in missile testing. It usually comes with a pair of high-performance telescopes equipped with a laser ranger, high-speed camera, infrared detector and a centralised computer system that automatically captures and follows moving targets.

The device records high-resolution images of a missile's departure from its launcher, stage separation, tail flame and, after the missile re-enters atmosphere, the trajectory of the warheads it releases."

The CAS said a Chinese team spent three months in Pakistan helping calibrate the system. "The system's performance surpassed the user's expectations," it said, adding that it was considerably more complex than Pakistan's home-made systems, the newspaper said.

Although ostensibly for missile testing, it is similar to technology deployed in ballistic missile defense systems.

Rival India has been working on a missile defense system, which it claims to have successfully tested late last year. Meanwhile, Pakistan has concentrated on a possible countermeasure. In January 2017, it tested a missile that reportedly can deliver multiple warheads, known as MIRVs, which can greatly increase the number of incoming targets, possibly overwhelming missile defense systems.

Pakistan, after its first successful launch of the MIRV-capable missile, known as Ababeel, said in a statement that it is "aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan's ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment."

India and Pakistan have been locked in a nuclear arms race since the two countries openly conducted nuclear weapons tests within days of one another in May 1998. Since that time, their respective rocket and missile programs have also proceeded swiftly, frequently raising tensions in the South Asian region.

On Thursday, India's Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the successful launch of a supersonic cruise missile, the BrahMos, jointly developed by India and Russia. One version is an anti-ship missile, and the army also has fielded its own variant. India is working on yet another version that could be launched from a Sukoi Su-30 fighter jet.

China, which also views India as a regional rival, has long been recognized as the covert benefactor of Pakistan's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, providing technical know-how and expertise.

Last year, Pakistan deployed a Chinese-made low-to-medium altitude air defense system (LOMAD).

But the latest public statement by Beijing of a deal with Islamabad for such sensitive technology is rare — and possibly meant as a signal to New Delhi, with whom it has had recent border tensions, and possibly the U.S., which has increasingly tilted toward India in recent decades, especially amid what is viewed as Pakistan's tepid commitment to shutting down Islamic extremism.

In January, President Trump tweeted that Pakistan had given the U.S. "nothing but lies [and] deceit" in exchange for billions of dollars in foreign aid.
Riaz Haq said…
This Makes War in Syria Look Small: If India and Pakistan Fight Millions Will Die in a Nuclear Fire

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/makes-war-syria-look-small-if-india-pakistan-fight-millions-25321

The sea component of Pakistan’s nuclear force consists of the Babur class of cruise missiles. The latest version, Babur-2, looks like most modern cruise missiles, with a bullet-like shape, a cluster of four tiny tail wings and two stubby main wings, all powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. The cruise missile has a range of 434 miles. Instead of GPS guidance, which could be disabled regionally by the U.S. government, Babur-2 uses older Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships, where they would be more difficult to neutralize. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in January and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

(This first appeared last March.)

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan raises military budget as India faces squeeze

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1297296/world

Dispute started when Chinese troops attempted to build a road in the area and India, at Bhutan’s request, sent in troops to stop the Chinese.
China sold Pakistan a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system, making it the first country in the subcontinent to acquire a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads.
NEW DELHI: India should be concerned at the recently announced steep rise in Pakistan’s defense budget — especially as its own budget has been squeezed, experts said on Saturday.

Late last month in its budget announcement for the financial year, Islamabad laid out a nearly 20 percent hike in its military spend, a huge boost to its defense spending and one that is likely to stir more tension with its larger neighbor India.

The two are nuclear-armed and what worries experts about Islamabad’s budget rise is that the money could go toward boosting its nuclear program, including plans for a sea leg of its nuclear deterrent program.

“New Delhi should be concerned,” said Sharad Joshi, assistant professor its nuclear deterrent program.

“New Delhi should be concerned,” said Sharad Joshi, assistant professor at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, “especially when the increased focus by Islamabad is on its nuclear program, its quest for a sea-based deterrent capability, including the expansion of its nuclear-capable cruise missile fleet.”

The news comes at a time when India’s military, owing to a budget crunch, reportedly has a depleted arsenal and no cash to replenish it — even as the government wants its armed forces to be ready to deal with a conflict simultaneously with Pakistan and China.

The possibility of such a two-front war has been on the agenda for the forces. Last month the Indian Air Force held its biggest ever combat exercise — with an eye on being prepared for a simultaneous threat from Pakistan and China.

That two-week exercise, which ran day and night, was done in two phases — the first phase was on the Western side, along the border with Pakistan. The second phase was in the north and included operations that involved landing at high-altitude areas, reportedly aimed at Chinese defenses on the Tibet front.

Barely a week later, army commanders gathered to take stock of the country’s security in a bi-annual exercise in which they focused on management of existing security infrastructure, how to mitigate future security threats, how to increase India’s combat edge over potential adversaries and ways to optimize the budget to make up for the critical deficiency in ammunition.

Like Pakistan, India and China, too, are old rivals. India has lost one war to its eastern neighbor and the two continue to wrestle for dominance in the subcontinent where India likes to hold sway. More importantly, China is also a political and military ally of Pakistan.

In June, India and China were locked in a stand-off on the Doklam plateau, an area spread over less than a 100 sq km comprising a plateau and a valley between India, Bhutan and China, and which is disputed between China and Bhutan.

That dispute started when Chinese troops attempted to build a road in the area and India, at Bhutan’s request, sent in troops to stop the Chinese. The standoff lasted nearly three months.

More recently, China sold Pakistan a highly sophisticated, large-scale optical tracking and measurement system, making it the first country in the subcontinent to acquire a missile capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads and one that can overwhelm a missile defense system.

The news of that sale came on the heels of India testing its Agni-V intercontinental ballistic missile, which has a range long enough to strike nearly all of China.
Riaz Haq said…
The Pakistan Navy (PN) has released one of the first images of its Zarb land-based anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) system (also known as the Zarb Weapon System) being test-launched.


http://www.janes.com/article/79542/pakistan-navy-releases-images-of-zarb-coastal-defence-system


In the April issue of its Navy News magazine, the PN published a photograph of the Zarb ASCM being fired from an 8×8 transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle at the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara, Balochistan Province, as part of the recently conducted naval exercise ‘Sealion III’.

The missile, which was fired by the PN’s Naval Missile Regiment under the Naval Strategic Force Command, successfully hit its intended target, said the publication without providing further details about the test or the system.

Other than the colour scheme, the missile shown in the images appears to be a Chinese C-602, which is the export variant of the domestic YJ-62. The C-602 is a medium-range anti-ship/land-attack missile, which has a stated maximum range of 280 km and is armed with a 300 kg high-explosive semi-armour-piercing (SAP) warhead.

The TEL vehicle used to fire the Zarb ASCM features three container launch units (CLUs) and is also almost identical to that used by the YJ-62 mobile coastal defence system operated by China’s People’s Liberation Army.

The TEL vehicle has a main front cab, a separate rear command cab, a power-generation system, and an elevating launch platform holding the three CLUs.

Although arranged differently and of a different coloration, the CLUs also appear to be exactly the same as those used by the Chinese Navy’s Luyang II (Type 052C)-class destroyers.
Riaz Haq said…
The defence establishment's response to the controversy over Point 5353 plumbs new depths.

PRAVEEN SWAMI

http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1720/17200340.htm

IN August, news broke that Pakistan holds one of the most important mountain features in the Drass Sector, Point 5353-metres. Since then, there has been a welter of fresh revelations, the most important of them being lawyer and Rajya Sabha MP R.K. Anand' s disclosure that five other positions on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) are held by Pakistan. Anand also made public Army's internal correspondence on the causes of the debacle over Point 5353. The revelations did not lead to a considered rebuttal, but generated a wave of hostile official polemic, often through pro-establishment journalists. One so-called security affairs expert charged that the revelations were part of a Pakistani intelligence plot to generate a "divisive debate" in Indi a.

Addressing an audience of businessmen in Mumbai in early August, Union Defence Minister George Fernandes put forward the sole cogent official response to the revelations about Point 5353. "5353," he said, "is the point over which the LoC goes. The fact i s, our troops had never occupied that. The normal practice among them has been that where the line goes over a peak, then nobody occupies it." The Minister then proceeded to assault what he perceived to be irresponsible media organisations, much to the d elight of the assembled Mumbai businesspersons, many of whom have had their own skirmishes with reporters. But an analysis of Fernandes' statement shows not only little concern for fact, but an alarming willingness to use falsehood to ensure that his cho sen team in the defence establishment can continue to be incompetent with impunity.

"5353 is the point over which the LoC goes"

Assertions that the LoC is imprecisely defined on the ground, and that the territorial status of Point 5353 is therefore unclear, have formed the central component of official discourse on the controversy. A few hours spent poring over old newspapers are all that it takes to set the record straight. Sadly, few of the many commentators who have engaged with the revelations made in Frontline and other publications on the status of Point 5353 have seen it fit to make the effort.

During the Kargil war, Pakistan had put forward claims that the LoC was undefined on the ground, and that its territorial contours were imprecise. An irate spokesman of the Union Ministry of External Affairs responded on June 19, 1999. "The LoC is well d efined and delineated," he said, "and is the very cornerstone of Indo-Pakistan relations." Pointing out that detailed co-ordinates of the LoC were given in 19 annexures to the agreement of December 11, 1972, arrived at between Lieutenant-General Abdul Ha mid Khan and Lieutenant-General P.S. Bhagat, the spokesman added that "so far as the de jure position is concerned, there are no doubts."

Speaking in New Delhi on June 23, 1999, his first press conference after military operations began in Kargil, Chief of the Army Staff V.P. Malik was even more explicit. "In today's display," he said after a formal presentation, "we have also given you de tails of the LoC; its delineation; how it was delineated." "With marked maps, a military man without a GPS (Global Positioning System) can make an error of a few hundred metres on the ground, but an error of 8 to 9 kilometres is unimaginable."

Riaz Haq said…
Return of Haji Pir Pass in 1965 – Myth and the Reality

Read more at:
http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/return-of-haji-pir-pass-in-1965-myth-and-the-reality/

By Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal, PhD
Issue Net Edition | Date : 29 Aug , 2015
In 1965 war, Indian Army had captured the strategic Haji Pir Pass. During the Tashkent talks between Indian and Pakistan, held through the good offices of Soviet Union, India agreed to return Haji Pir Pass, Pt 13620 which dominated Kargil town and many other tactically important areas. To add myster ..

One- had the pass been held by us, the distance from Jammu to Srinagar through Poonch and Uri would have been reduced by over 200 Kms. Two – later on Pak commenced its infiltration into J & K in 1965, through the Uri – Poonch Bulge which continues even today. They why did we commit this error of judgement?


Pak dagger into Indian heart in Chhamb Sector. Since Pakistani forces had already reached Fatwal ridge only four Kms. from Akhnoor, it could always resume operations for capture of Akhnoor. The author understood this implication better in 1987 when he was commanding his unit near Jauriyan, a few kilometers west of Fatwal Ridge. The Indian policy makers at that time did not

Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN AIR FORCE INAUGURATES NEW AIR BASE – PAF BHOLARI

https://quwa.org/2017/12/25/pakistan-air-force-inaugurates-new-air-base-paf-bholari/

On December 25, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) formally inaugurated its newly built main operating base (MOB), PAF Bholari.

In his inauguration speech, the PAF’s Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Sohail Aman stated that the new base would enable the PAF to support the Pakistan Army “more efficiently.” The CAS added that PAF Bholari will also “augment and supplement” the Pakistan Navy’s operations.

Located in Thatta District in Sindh, northeast of Karachi, construction of PAF Bholari began in December 2015. At that time, the current CAS of the PAF had implied that PAF Bholari’s focus would be on the “conventional threat” – i.e. the PAF’s traditional focus on India.

Notes & Comments:

The PAF’s Southern Air Command (SAC) hosts a comprehensive suite of assets for air defence, strike and maritime operations. In recent years, SAC has seen the introduction of a JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter squadron (i.e. No. 2 Squadron at Masroor Air Base in Karachi) and the ZDK03-based Karakoram Eagle airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. PAF Shahbaz in Jacobabad, Sindh also hosts the No. 5 Squadron’s F-16C/D Block-52+ squadron. The PAF’s MBDA Excoet anti-ship missile (AShM)-configured Mirage 5PA continue to operate from Masroor along with the No. 2’s C-802 AShM-armed JF-17.

In line with the CAS’ statements from PAF Bholari’s inauguration, the new MOB is located within reach of the Pakistan Army’s expected combat theatres in southeast Sindh. Likewise, PAF Bholari is within 150 km of Karachi and Pakistan’s littoral waters. Currently, Pakistan has a number of options for how to set-up Bholari, which can include assigning current and forthcoming JF-17 squadrons, the ZDK03 and/or Erieye AEW&C and – considering maritime operations are a factor – in-flight refueling tankers. During the inaugurating ceremony of the MOB the PAF held a flypast with four F-16s from the No. 19 Squadron, which operates the F-16A/B Block-15ADFs (Air Defence Fighter) acquired from Jordan. It is currently unclear if these will permanently operate from Bholari.

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India building new frontline airbase near border with Pakistan

http://www.janes.com/article/81678/india-building-new-frontline-airbase-near-border-with-pakistan

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has begun constructing a ‘forward’ airbase in the western Indian state of Gujarat to counter a similar facility located across the border in Pakistan’s Sindh Province.

Official sources told Jane’s that India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “quietly” approved the construction of the base at Deesa in March for an estimated INR40 billion (USD581 million).

The move followed the inauguration in December 2017 of the Pakistan Air Force’s (PAF’s) main operating base (MOB) at Bholari, which is located some 420 km northwest of Deesa and about 145 km northeast of the Pakistani port city of Karachi.
Riaz Haq said…
PAKISTAN NAVY RECEIVES ITS FIRST ATR-72 MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT

https://quwa.org/2018/07/15/pakistan-navy-receives-its-first-atr-72-maritime-patrol-aircraft/


The Pakistan Navy received its first of two ATR-72 Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) in the “second quarter” of 2018, announced Aerodata AG, one of the subcontractors involved in the program.

“This delivery represents a major milestone for Rheinland Air Service as prime contractor and Aerodata as the key project partner,” said Aerodata AG in an official news release dated for 02 July 2018.

Pakistan contracted Rheinland Air Service (RAS), an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm based on Germany, in 2015 to convert two refurbished ATR-72s into MPAs. As per Aerodata AG, the work began in January 2016, following the release of export permits by the German government.

Aerodata AG was contracted to supply its AeroMission mission management system, which will function in concert with the Leonardo Seaspray 7300E active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, Elettronica electronic support measures (ESM) suite, FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE III electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) turret and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability through lightweight ASW torpedo compatibility.

In addition, the ATR-72 MPAs were also configured with a self-protection suite providing defensibility to infrared, radar and laser-guided munitions. It also has passive electronic intelligence (ELINT) capabilities.

In June 2017, Aerodata’s President and CEO, Hans J. Stahl, outlined that Pakistan will deploy its new MPAs for “maritime surveillance, anti-submarine warfare and also search-and-rescue” operations.

In August 2016, the Pakistan Navy had received its third ATR-72, but it is unclear at this time if this unit is slated to receive the MPA upgrade. However, in 2015 the Pakistan Navy had reportedly requested $294 million US for the ATR-72 MPA program, potentially indicating that additional aircraft are intended.

If sought to replace its aging Fokker F-27s, the ATR-72 MPA offers a substantially improved capability-set, not least from the fact that it has ASW capabilities and an AESA surface-surveillance, search and targeting radar. Interestingly, Pakistan’s ATR-72 MPA appears to share many of the same subsystems as Leonardo’s ATR-72MP offering, i.e. Seaspray 7300E, Star SAFIRE EO/IR and Elettronica ESM. However, Pakistan opted for the AeroMission mission management system instead of Leonardo’s ATOS.

According to Aerodata, the AeroMission enables each human machine interface (HMI) console in the ATR-72 MPA to control all of the aircraft’s sensors. In addition, the AeroMission can compile feeds from each sensor to build a complete situational awareness picture for the crew and off-board assets (via network-enabled connectivity, e.g. tactical data-links). AeroMission includes a sensor fusion algorithm.

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