Helicopter Roles Pre Requisites History Essay

1. Military operations in urban environments represent highly ambitious and complex projects with overlapping environmental, substructure, and population considerations as has been brought out earlier in the survey. These are extremely diverse in nature and scope in range and complexness from stray criminal/terrorist Acts of the Apostless, through organised urban insurgence set on national socio-political transmutation, to force-on-force conventional struggle at the major theatre war degree.[ 1 ]In all these scenarios, choppers have the capableness to play a critical function as is apparent from the assorted instance surveies in the old chapter. Helicopters are the lone resource with the flexibleness to swing between every map required in the modern battleground and its qualities of flexibleness and adaptability would be critical in the ‘hybrid ‘ runs of the hereafter.[ 2 ]Therefore choppers need to be viewed as a decisive instrument of military force that can efficaciously prosecute urban warfare.


2. Helicopters could be employed in a assortment of functions in an urban environment as they provide rapid mobility in a decreased conflict infinite enabling a speedy response. Attack choppers can be used for preciseness targeting every bit good as suppression fire and can besides help with ISR and communications utilizing their advanced suite of detectors and wirelesss. On the other manus, lift choppers can supply a distinguishable advantage by puting forces and weapon systems at critical locations at critical times to surprise and overpower the enemy and can besides transport needful supplies to urban countries that may be unaccessible to anchor transit.[ 3 ]However the chief function of choppers during urban operations in any struggle is to back up operations of the land forces. As per US Army Field Manual on ‘Combined Arms Operations in Urban Terrain ‘ , air power forces runing on the urban fringe efficaciously enhance isolation, reconnaissance, resupply, troop motion, emptying, and support by fire for land forces.[ 4 ]The manual divides the functions envisaged for choppers in urban terrain into following classs[ 5 ]: –

( a ) Assess. Helicopters can detect from the highest of ‘high land ‘ and, thereby, expand the situational consciousness of friendly forces at all degrees. These could be employed to place parts of the urban country indispensable to mission success by supplying reconnaissance capableness to set up enemy strength and temperament every bit good as path and country reconnaissance for tactic of land forces. They can besides be employed to augment communicating and surveillance capablenesss and enhance Command and control by runing as relay Stationss.

( B ) Shape. Helicopters could be employed to determine the urban conflict infinite in offense every bit good as defense mechanism. In offense, these could be employed in countries to assail in order to insulate nonsubjective country, travel military personnels and supplies, enhance C2, behavior reconnaissance and augment land forces. In defense mechanism, these could be used to avoid isolation by moving as a tactic component to put the conditions for the chief conflict. These could be employed for indirect fires, Close Air Support ( CAS ) and suppressive fires in support of land tactic and security elements every bit good as for direct fires to destruct cardinal marks and enemy elements trying to get away, resupply, or reenforce the urban country.

( degree Celsius ) Dominate. Helicopters could besides be used to exactly mass the effects of combat power in order to quickly rule an country by supplying tactic and support assets in consonant rhyme with land commanding officer ‘s purpose and strategy of tactic. They could assist land forces in ab initio procuring a bridgehead and thenceforth clear an nonsubjective by executing an air assault to infix foot elements every bit good as by prosecuting high precedence marks act uponing point of incursion with preciseness direct fires.

( vitamin D ) Passage. Helicopters besides play an of import function in passage of an urban country from military control to command of another bureau and in follow-on operations every bit good as stableness and support missions. Towards this choppers could be utilised for screen or country security, aerial surveillance, casualty emptying and a show of force.

3. In add-on to above listed functions in concurrence with land forces the choppers could besides be employed independently in an urban scenario to contradict enemy ‘s advantages and accrue decisive additions as was seen during the terrorist onslaughts in Mumbai. In fact, their versatility could be utilized best in such scenarios as there is minimal aerial every bit good as land menace to their operations in comparing to a conventional struggle. The choppers could be employed in following functions: –

( a ) Helicopters are a cardinal enabler of surface tactic and would play a important function in the rapid deployment of forces in instance of an urban eventuality thereby enabling a speedy response. Particular Forces rely upon choppers to supply the reactivity they need when aiming insurrectionists and terrorists in urban terrain. In Operation CRICHTON, a UK counter-terrorist operation in Iraq between 2003 and 2009, British Particular Forces used choppers to travel quickly around the Baghdad country, capturing and killing 1000s of known Islamic activists.[ 6 ]Helicopters can infix military personnels by set downing near to an aim every bit good as usage particular techniques like ‘Slithering ‘ to infix specialist military personnels in urban terrain like it was done in Op Neptune Spear.

( B ) Where military personnels are tasked with uncluttering a edifice known to house the enemy, choppers can help tactically by infixing them onto the roof. In add-on to accomplishing surprise and concentration of force, soldiers find it much easier to unclutter a multi-storey edifice from top to bottom than from the land floor up.[ 7 ]

( degree Celsius ) Helicopters are besides important in combat hunt and deliverance ( CSAR ) missions. For illustration throughout Libyan run, US HH-60 Pave Hawks off HMS Ocean provided the CSAR capableness needed for the operation.[ 8 ]The reactivity of rotary flying assets besides enables the rapid bringing of medical assistance to forces injured in operations. Able to transport medical experts and their equipment, choppers can present critical support and conveyance casualties to set up medical installations far more rapidly than surface conveyance methods. The medical exigency response squad at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan relies upon CH-47 Chinook choppers to retrieve casualties and let the disposal of pre-hospital exigency attention during medical emptyings.[ 9 ]

( vitamin D ) Helicopter gunships can be used to accurately aim terrorist vehicles, even when on the move amongst other traffic, every bit good as other such urban marks. For bespoke missions aiming single ‘high value assets ‘ against a littered urban background, choppers can besides offer the perfect vantage point for snipers. The UK Ministry of Defence utilized airborne snipers on stand-by to react to security menaces during the Olympics Games in London.[ 10 ]


4. Helicopters have got the potency of being employed in multiple functions in an urban scenario as brought out above. But although there is important public-service corporation in utilizing choppers in the urban environment, there is besides an built-in hazard as aircraft that operate in a low, slow government are vulnerable to assail over hostile urban terrain. Despite using counter-measures and tactics to understate their exposure, choppers remain susceptible to surface-to-air arms. In Grozny in the mid-1990s, the Chechens became really effectual in scuppering Russian choppers. Rebel combatants would lie in delay so prosecute the aircraft from multiple waies when they entered the ‘ambush zone ‘ .[ 11 ]Any such loss could turn out counterproductive and supply the insurrectionists with a psychological triumph as was seen in Mogadishu. Thus any employment of these platforms in such a high menace scenario needs a well planned out scheme backed by strong political will, tactical intelligence, capablenesss and preparation.

Political will and legal restraints

“ Some of the most confining restraints on future U.S. military actions in urban environments are non traveling to be technological or operational ; they are traveling to be legal and political. ”

-Matthew C. Waxman[ 12 ]

5. The first and the most of import factor in employment of airpower in any struggle is political will and same holds true for employment of choppers particularly in an urban scenario. It is more applicable in instance of ant-terrorist/ counter insurgency/ limited operations in ain countries where there be opportunities of indirect harm and the usage of choppers is viewed as an escalatory step. The other facet is of exposure of chopper to little weaponries fire and shoulder fired missiles which forms the armory of all anti national elements in present clip. Therefore, there exists a danger of losing an plus and giving the antagonist a immense psychological triumph. Loss of even a individual aircraft represents a enormous promotion in favor of the antagonist and at times could be ruinous for the state. Therefore due to these grounds, the needed political will empowering the usage of airpower in an urban environment is by and large deficient and is frequently the biggest restriction. Political restraints besides arise from the demand to keep certain minimal support degree among the domestic populace, international community and local population in conflict country[ 13 ]which are likely to be adversely affected in instance of an application of any kind of air power in violative function.

6. Urban environments pose tremendous challenges for carry oning military operations within the boundary of international jurisprudence. The international jurisprudence modulating struggle is intricate and based on constructs of military necessity, humanity, proportionality and differentiation.[ 14 ]Hence any usage of chopper in any of the functions listed above particularly in an internal security state of affairs would hold to take these constructs into consideration. This leads to extremely restrictive Rules of Engagement ( ROEs ) which may deny friendly forces certain advantages, expose them to extra hazards, or even promote drawn-out belligerencies. Additionally, the strong propinquity of military and civilian marks in an urban environment presents the antagonists with an chance to work these legal restraints to immunize legitimate marks from onslaught.[ 15 ]During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO ) placed heavy weapon and anti-aircraft arms on or around infirmaries, schools, churches and mosques. Tenants of multi-storey edifices were forced to stay on upper floors and act as human shields to deny Israel the firepower advantage afforded by its air force. The PLO ‘s maltreatment of the Laws of Armed Conflict was mostly overlooked by the international media ; nevertheless, the Israeli Air Force ( IAF ) was roundly condemned for its urban air onslaughts and the casualties they produced.[ 16 ]Hence these restraints would be tightly felt by contrivers in employment of choppers and would necessitate strong political committedness.

Tactical Intelligence

7. Operationss in urban terrain are characterised by the “ fluidness ” of events, where chances to prosecute high precedence marks occur out of the blue and for merely a short clip span. Hence any employment of choppers in such an environment would hold to be done with maximal transparence to restrict chopper ‘s exposure and would necessitate high degree of tactical intelligence. Planners need to hold a clear image of the mark, defense mechanisms and the environment which requires fast and dependable communicating systems, fielding of an extended intelligence web, integrating of all types of detectors runing 24×7.

8. The perpendicular extent of the urban superstructure creates ‘dead land ‘ which is unseeable to line-of sight detectors detecting the land from anyplace other than straight overhead. Furthermore, activities taking topographic point inside edifices, below the surface or under Bridgess will besides stay unobserved to detectors roll uping IMINT. Although deep urban canons between really tall constructions are comparatively rare – over 90 % of urban countries contain edifices less than 20 meters high – detector platforms must run as near to the operating expense as possible to maximize the sum of the surface that is seeable.[ 17 ]Therefore there is a demand of dedicated and uninterrupted ISR attempt to construct up a existent clip image of land state of affairs which would necessitate a big figure of assets.

9. Among all the detectors, UAVs play the most of import function in intelligence assemblage. For illustration, used as detectors to relay a scope of intelligence and fire support informations in existent clip and in cross manner, Israeli UAVs facilitate lasting affair between detector and operator, rendering cooperation with the chopper peculiarly effectual.[ 18 ]Such existent clip intelligence enables speed uping the determination rhythm and shortening the sensor-to-shooter cringle. In add-on transportation of existent clip information from detectors through informations links enables effectual battle of the mark every bit good every bit good as alteration of programs in instance of a alteration in state of affairs. In the 2nd Battle for Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Joint Surveillance Targeting and Attack Radar Systems ( JSTARS ) and RPAs provided Coalition forces with intelligence on enemy strong points in urban countries that were either being fortified or occupied anterior to assail. This intelligence drove the aiming program and allowed Coalition land and air elements to strike the enemy ‘s strong points in a co-ordinated multi-axis onslaught.[ 19 ]


10. The urban operations are extremely demanding in footings of capablenesss of the platforms being employed be it detectors, fixed wing or choppers. In regard of the choppers, these can be chiefly considered under following classs: –

( a ) Targeting. The mark designation and trailing is the most ambitious facet of violative chopper operations in an urban terrain as it requires clear differentiation between battlers and civilians. Though accurate ISR would be able to supply information about the mark, mark acknowledgment remains the primary duty of the assailing platform, which is the most ambitious undertaking in an urban terrain teeming with similar looking marks.

( B ) Apart from acknowledgment, combat within urban zones requires a really high degree of preciseness, which means that engineering plays a prima function. Highly fugitive antagonists taking multiple signifiers must be picked out in the thick of population and the key is to observe these hostile elements and neutralize them every bit quickly as possible while restricting indirect harm as any such harm would turn out counterproductive.[ 20 ]Internationally, it is now an age where society has become so sensitive to loss of human life that it does non look kindly on any state that does non understate indirect harm and avoid casualties. Hence this would ask choppers to be equipped with preciseness arms aided by modern detectors. Here a lesson could be learnt from the Israelis. The solution adopted by them relies on the usage of high public presentation detectors combined with launch platforms equipped with assortment of preciseness arms. The bulk of weaponries used are GPS or optical maser guided and depending on the combat stage, the proportion of guided weaponries used can make 90-100 % .[ 21 ]

( degree Celsius ) In position of the above, modern choppers are being equipped with such preciseness onslaught arms and weaponries to increase their effectivity in urban terrain. The Tiger armed reconnaissance chopper has a 30 millimeter cannon and 7.62 millimeters ball machine gun which are ideal for usage against ‘soft ‘ marks. Effective out to 1.5 kilometers, but with scattering seldom greater than 5 factory radians, such fires are good suited to urban air support missions necessitating a high grade of favoritism.[ 22 ]

( vitamin D ) Survivability. The urban terrain is one of the most hostile terrains for chopper operations. In an urban combat, choppers are exposed to little weaponries, machine guns, howitzer, RPG, heavy weapon projectiles and Man Portable Air Defence Systems ( MANPADS ) and point defense mechanism Surface to Air Missiles ( SAMs ) may be an issue in countries non cleared by fixed flying suppression of air defense mechanism and near air support sallies.[ 23 ]The biggest menaces are MANPADS and SAMs and the high per centum of abrasion suffered by choppers in assorted struggles bears a testimony to this fact. Furthermore, unfastened countries that appear contributing to helicopter operations may show concealed jeopardies such as wires, rinsing lines or forward passs. Therefore, crews must stay watchful to all these dangers to avoid compromising their activities or even losing an aircraft.[ 24 ]This necessitates demand of particular tactics every bit good as advanced survivability and crashworthiness characteristics for choppers runing in this terrain.

( vitamin E ) The most widely used technique for avoiding hits on choppers has been nap-of-the-earth flight and terrain cover as these deny line of sight trailing and arm aiming or counsel. In add-on, modern choppers have acquired comprehensive Electronic Warfare Self Protection ( EWSP ) suites to assist turning away and jam opposing air defense mechanism arms. A modern chopper would be equipped with a radio detection and ranging warning receiving system, optical maser warning receiving system, UV or IR missile attack warning system, a defensive jammer to degrade radio detection and ranging guided SAMs and Anti Aircraft Artillery, and progressively, undirected or directed infrared jammers to get the better of MANPADS. What a comprehensive EWSP suite, networking and good tactical winging provide is avoidance and debasement of menaces most likely encountered in theodolite to and from a LZ in contested district.[ 25 ]

( degree Fahrenheit ) EWSP is effectual against high tech and guided arms but a big proportion of chopper losingss in recent times have been due to shut quarters fire by visually aimed arms such as AK-47/AKM assault rifles, RPG-7 and machine guns.[ 26 ]In an urban terrain where the rotary wing aircraft must run in close propinquity to an opposition, an RPG-7 can be a much more unsafe menace than MANPADS. These low tech arms can kill merely every bit efficaciously as high tech arms which raises the demand of techniques for indurating choppers against hits, now termed as ‘ballistic tolerance ‘ . After the Vietnam experience where 1000s of UH-1/AH-1 household choppers were lost to a combination of AK-47/AKM rifles, ZPU, ZU-23 and ZSU-23-4P guns and MANPADS, the US invested much attempt to specify new ballistic tolerance and crashworthiness specifications for the new UH-60 Black Hawk and AH-64 Apache choppers. The ballistic tolerance and crashworthiness criterion defined for the UH-60 has now become efficaciously the benchmark for all modern utility/assault choppers. Photographs of AH-64s badly damaged or lost during the Iraq run are exemplifying of this. Most of these choppers hit were able to acquire place, those that did non, frequently managed to gimp clear of the battleground before doing forced landings.[ 27 ]

Jointmanship and Training

11. The importance of preparation in order to present in existent clip ca n’t be over emphatic. The demand to develop in single combat accomplishment is ineluctable ; nevertheless, to develop units to run in concurrence with other services is more of import. Urban operations require close integrating between the choppers and the land forces and therefore realistic and joint preparation is a pre-requisite for success. The attack has to be directed towards the urban venues alternatively of the traditional battleground[ 28 ]and joint philosophies and tactics are required to efficaciously turn to this battleground of tomorrow.

12. Aircrew need to utilize advanced and timeserving agencies of developing developing for air power urban operations. This requires development of urban aiming drills for weapons-delivery procedure, mission-planning accomplishments, target-acquisition techniques and sensor- employment processs. Further there is a demand of substructure where realistic articulation preparation could be carried out like urban developing complex- “ Yodaville ” -in Restricted Area R2301 West, Yuma, Arizona developed by US Marine Corps. Specifically designed for urban CAS, the mark complex provides “ realistic simulation of urban or built up countries for Marine air power to develop. ”[ 29 ]

13. In order to prosecute missions in urban terrain, forces need to develop jointly. Here a lesson could be learnt from the US Marine Corps preparation programme. The Marines have expended significant clip, energy, and resources to research constructs and engineerings for bettering Joint Urban Operations. Since the mid-1990s, the Marine Corps War contending Laboratory, in concurrence with the US Navy ‘s Fleet Battle Experiment, has directed a series of advanced war-fighting experiments-Hunter Warrior, Urban Warrior, and Project Metropolis-to look into the urban environment and research emerging engineerings utile to urban operations.[ 30 ]Any deficiency of formal preparation demands, instruction and preparation course of study, realistic air power urban-target composites, and dedicated resources, together with extremely complex and unsure urban environments would make important operational hazard.[ 31 ]


14. In this chapter we have seen the assorted functions in which a chopper can be employed in an urban warfare, conventional or unconventional, every bit good as the assorted considerations and restraints that have to be kept in head while be aftering the employment of these various platforms. The chapter besides brings our certain pre-requisites for effectual employment of these choppers. Thus choppers possess an odd potency in their employability in an urban environment provided they are backed by strong political will, sound philosophy, realistic preparation and modern twenty-four hours technological capablenesss.

Chapter V


“ They are… the post-modern equivalent of jungles and mountains – bastions of the homeless and unreconcilable. A military unprepared for urban operations across a wide spectrum is unprepared for tomorrow. ”

-Ralph Peters[ 32 ]

1. India has undergone multiple passages in the economic, societal and political domains since its birth in 1947 and has emerged as an of import participant in the emerging universe order. Its economic and military rise in the last two decennaries has catapulted it into a place where it is being touted as a hereafter world power. It is soon ranked 4th in the universe economic order every bit good as military might[ 33 ]and is included in the group of most powerful states in the universe as per assorted surveies. Its turning economic position fuelled by a 300 million strong in-between category, the demographic advantage of a burgeoning ‘young population ‘ , increasing ventures into high-technology countries such as infinite and future projections of national growing are expected to hike its economic system farther.[ 34 ]However, it continues to confront legion challenges and menaces on the domestic, regional and planetary foreparts[ 35 ]crossing the full spectrum of struggle from atomic to sub-conventional. These include unsolved territorial differences with neighbors, insurgence, left wing extremism and terrorist act. This requires India to consolidate its military art to efficaciously address challenges in hereafter.

2. Thus the demand of the hr is a clear apprehension of the strategic environment, present and future, in which our armed forces operate/ will run. China ‘s increasing footmarks in parts and its turning support to Pakistan is a strategic concern to India. The instability in Afghanistan and in the adjoining parts of Pakistan makes India ‘s northwest one of the most volatile parts in the universe.[ 36 ]Internally, there exist jobs of insurgence and terrorist act in assorted parts of the state. Concurrently, India is quickly urbanising with all its economic growing and spread outing in-between category. A close analysis of all this would uncover that military intercession is a likely possibility in future and urban Centres are most likely to be the site of struggles be it insurgency, low strength struggle or all-out war. This could be better understood by analyzing the tendency of urbanization and its security deductions in India.


3. Urbanization, a procedure characterised by more and more people populating in the urban countries, is one of the most of import transmutations the universe has witnessed in recent decennaries. India excessively has been an built-in portion of the procedure and has undergone rapid urbanization since independency. While the rate of urbanization has non been every bit dramatic as other states, it has steadily urbanised in the last century. The growing rates have been changing over the decennaries with one-year exponential growing rate of 2.76 per cent registered during 2001-2011. From 1921 to 2001, when entire population grew by 4 times, the urban population increased by 10 times and as a consequence, the urban population which was merely 25.8 million representing 10.8 per cent of entire population at the beginning of twentieth century increased to 1210.2 million consisting 31.2 per cent of entire population in 2011.[ 37 ]

4. As per nose count study of 2011, the urban population has grown by 31.8 per centum and rural by 12.2 per centum during 2001-11. Degree of urbanization has besides increased from 27.81 % in 2001 to 31.16 % in 2011 and for the first clip since independency, the absolute addition in population is more in urban countries than in rural countries.[ 38 ]The figure of towns has jumped from 5,161 to 7,935 between 2001 and 2011 – a net add-on of 2,774 towns. Thus it is apparent that India is doing a slow but steady displacement from ‘rural ‘ to ‘urban ‘ . However population growing is now expected to be mostly an urban phenomenon and it is projected that by 2031, approx 600 million people would populate in urban countries and figure of metropolitan metropoliss would jump to 87. Besides by 2031, urban portion of GDP would increase to 75 % from present figure of 52 % and by 2039, degree of urbanization would make 50 % and India would account for more than 15 % of universe ‘s urban population.[ 39 ]However, it is really hard to foretell the future degree of urbanization for a state like India because it non merely depends upon demographic tendencies, but economic and political factors as good.

Deductions on Indian security

5. This rampaging and ill managed urbanization is making new and pressing security challenges for India. Urban exposure to political destabilization, terrorist act, organised condemnable force, and administrative upsets has been one of the most underestimated facets of urban development in India. The tendency of urbanization has besides non been homogeneous across the length and comprehensiveness of the state and the gait of development of India ‘s constructions of administration and institutional competency has fallen short of its high rate of economic growing. The growing narrative has non yet translated into the economic democracy envisioned in the Constitution which is doing greater societal and political emphasiss than those that India had to confront in the first six decennaries after independency.[ 40 ]The rise in Maoist force in big countries of India could be cited as a effect of this administration and developmental shortage.

6. Another facet of Indian urbanization is ‘Ghettoization ‘ which has characterised the political economic system of urban colonies in India, with ghettos marked by the “ concentration of poorness and de-concentration of chance. ” Caste, communal, and category ghettos is a consistent characteristic of most Indian metropoliss and make the apparition of the “ gated metropolis ” in a tense draw between subdivisions of its ain people.[ 41 ]These wide facets of the metropolis hold given rise to intensifying tendencies in offense and a broadening domain of urban terrorist act. Furthermore the Indian metropolis lends itself far more easy to terrorist act than the orderly metropoliss of the West as the sheer size of some Indian metropoliss ( Delhi, for case, has a population greater than 171 of the universe ‘s 227 states ) provides absolute namelessness and deficiency of a centralized and comprehensive individuality system due to built-in pandemonium.[ 42 ]

7. In this new scenario, terrorists are taking to maximize loss to urban life and assets and have shifted their focal point from simply aiming authorities organic structures to crowded countries in which they can bring the maximal loss to life and belongings.[ 43 ]In 2004, the Maoists articulated a new scheme in their Urban Perspective papers to aim urban Centres, pulling up guidelines for “ working in towns and metropoliss ” and for the resurgence of a mobilization aiming pupils and the urban unemployed.[ 44 ]Even the terrorist infested provinces of Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir are on the way of urbanising.

8. India ‘s external environment besides barely lends itself to stability as demonstrated by the 2009 Failed State Index. Harmonizing to the index, 25 of the 60 provinces most at hazard of failure are located in Asia. Significantly, every state that portions India ‘s boundary lines is among those states listed-Afghanistan ranks 7th ; Pakistan, 10th ; Myanmar, 13th ; Bangladesh, 19th ; Sri Lanka, 22nd ; Nepal, 25th ; Bhutan, 48th ; and China, 57th. South Asia is besides the new epicenter of planetary terror-with “ Af-Pak ” at its nucleus and Bangladesh competing for an honorable reference. This is the quintessential “ bad vicinity, ” arguably “ the most unsafe topographic point on Earth. ”[ 45 ]In add-on, urbanization poses its ain challenges. While India has urbanised at a steady rate in the last century, so has its neighbors. Infact China and Pakistan have outpaced India in urbanization. Though our boundary line with China is chiefly uninhabited and cragged terrain, countries across our western boundary line particularly Punjab every bit good as Bangladesh are quickly urbanising. Pakistan plans to utilize these built up countries as an obstruction to our military progress in instance of a conventional struggle. So any future struggle on our western boundary line or brush with Bangladesh would constantly affect operations in urban terrain. In add-on, with India ‘s lifting economic profile, there would be a corresponding addition in outlooks at the planetary degree for an enhanced Indian function in planetary security and economic personal businesss and the state would be progressively called upon to supply for planetary public goods such as protection of planetary parks, human-centered aid, peacekeeping, peace edifice and environmental extenuation, all of which would constantly represent Military operations in urban Terrain as can be seen from the recent operations across the universe.


9. It is apparent that we are looking at an of all time increasing Indian military engagement in urban terrain in future and gratuitous to state that choppers would hold an of import function to play in these operations. Though Indian Armed Forces have been exposed to urban operations in low strength struggles, counter insurgence and peace maintaining operations, the part of choppers in all these operations except in IPKF operations in Sri Lanka has been minimum. However the increased accent on urban warfare creates an pressing demand for our state and Armed Forces to re-orient their thought towards the employment of choppers to accomplish non merely tactical effects but besides ‘war-winning ‘ operational and strategic consequences in this new environment. The Basic IAF philosophy 2012 besides lists “ Urban warfare, affecting precise deployment and unsnarling of extremely specialised military personnels from congested and dumbly populated countries ” as a future chance of chopper operations.[ 46 ]Their employment demands to be considered non merely in concurrence with land forces but besides in single specialized operations like reconnaissance and targeting. However state ‘s present ability to use these platforms in an urban scenario needs to be analysed in regard of the pre-requisites as brought out in the last chapter.

Political will and restraints

10. In our state, military is an instrument of national power and duty of its application lies with the political leading. Hence any determination on employment of any kind of air power would hinge on the will of our national leading. Past experiences have shown that our political leading has been by and large loath for military solutions particularly use of airpower in internal security state of affairss excluding NE India in 1960ss and 1970ss. In recent times political restraints on the usage of military force have increased because democratically elected leaders are deterred by some of the destructive results of military battle. Our democratic govt flexible joints on public support and when military action is conducted for what is perceived as less than critical national security involvement like in a sub conventional scenario, public support may go fragile. This places limitations on usage of airpower as it is by and large viewed to be excessively intrusive and destructive. The employment of choppers in limited functions of transit and emptying in the on-going counter terrorist operations in J & A ; K bears a testimony to this fact.

11. In add-on there are immaterial considerations like media exposure, international image, fright of human rights groups and other alleged broad voices which would order the determination to use choppers. In IPKF operations, ab initio, the Mi-25s were non allowed to be used by the Indian Government[ 47 ]and late in anti-Naxal operations, there has been a immense argument on the usage of choppers with a subdivision of politicians oppugning the properness of utilizing the “ state ‘s defense mechanism forces against its ain people ”[ 48 ]without gaining the impact of utilizing these machines. For case, if armed chopper support was available to the miserable Central Reserve Police Force work forces in Dantewada, so the minute they came under fire from brows, the choppers could hold come to their aid by machine-gunning the Naxals located on brows.[ 49 ]Therefore the choppers are being utilised merely for transit responsibilities. Hence it is rather apparent that the individual most of import factor in any future employment of these platforms in urban terrain, particularly in sub-conventional warfare would be the resoluteness of the authorities, peculiarly within ain district. This becomes even more critical when the usage of off violative air power is contemplated.[ 50 ]

Tactical Intelligence

12. The importance of tactical intelligence for employment of chopper in urban terrain has already been brought out. IAF soon has detector capablenesss in the signifier of orbiters, UAVs and AWACS which would be supplying intelligence in any future urban battleground. However the assets available are limited in Numberss every bit good as capablenesss. These detectors have the capableness to maintain an country under reconnaissance for long period of times but the capableness to supply such detectors for every urban scenario in a conventional struggle is problematic due to distinctive features of ISR in such terrain and limited figure of available detectors.

13. The capablenesss of detectors available with IAF and their capablenesss every bit good as failings are as given below: –

( a ) Satellites. While imaging orbiters can cover big wrappings of country without go againsting another state ‘s air infinite they are expensive, vulnerable to misrepresentation techniques, hard to “ dynamically re-task ” , have extended re-visit times and do non supply direct inputs to the ultimate user. Besides, since these orbiters usually occupy a low Earth orbit, they can non stay stationary over a given point or country of involvement. Hence their real-time tactical application becomes badly restricted.[ 51 ]Therefore in order to run into the extended ISR demands of urban terrain, figure of orbiters required is tremendous.For illustration, where 50 orbiters were utilised in January 1991 for Desert Storm ( of which a lower limit 18 were on station at all times ) , for Operation Iraqi Freedom in April 2003, over 100 orbiters were pressed into service.[ 52 ]However, our state has limited assets at present and the capableness construct up is likely to take clip.

( B ) RPAs. New coevals RPAs available with IAF can transport the latest Electro-optical ( EO ) , Infra-Red ( IR ) or Man-made Aperture Radar ( SAR ) detectors. They can wing at high heights for drawn-out periods of clip and their multiple capablenesss allow them to set about a host of missions that include reconnaissance, surveillance, and mark acquisition ( RSTA ) , wireless and informations relay and preciseness onslaughts on high value mark systems. However these require an extended support substructure which limits their options for deployment in operational countries. They besides require informations links from the control Stationss to the determination shapers and users. RPAs can cover merely limited countries with coveted declaration in short clip periods and ab initio necessitate intelligence inputs and counsel from either orbiters or human beginnings to make a localized country of involvement, within which, they can so seek for marks. Besides in a conventional urban scenario, while the initial flight profile, little size and low velocities may hide their entry, but one time detected, the RPA is vulnerable to enemy air defense mechanisms.[ 53 ]However in a sub-conventional scenario they can be efficaciously utilised for deriving mark information but aiming in an urban scenario is extremely dynamic and clip medium, which requires uninterrupted surveillance and reconnaissance attempt.

( degree Celsius ) AWACS. The initiation of AWACS has heralded a new chapter in the IAF ‘s transmutation to a more nimble and effectual combat force. AWACS would be in the theater supplying surveillance and combat support at really short notice. However in today ‘s, non-linear and highly unstable conflicts where, more than one conflict direction undertaking is put to the trial, the biggest challenge is to keep the flow of accurate and timely information from AWACS.[ 54 ]The limited handiness of AWACS and their deficiency of integrating with choppers would besides be a restriction in effectual employability of choppers in an urban terrain.

( vitamin D ) Data nexus. The handiness of detectors is one of the demands for tactical intelligence but the platform taking to use it in existent clip besides needs to be integrated with these detectors. However in IAF, there is no integrating of choppers with these detectors at nowadays.


13. The capablenesss required by choppers to be effectual in urban terrain were discussed in the last chapter. The Indian Air Force chopper stock list comprises of Mi-8, Mi-17/ 1V public-service corporation choppers and Mi-35 onslaught choppers. Recently IAF has inducted Mi-17 V5 choppers. The capablenesss of these platforms for urban warfare are as given below: –

( a ) Medium Lift. The Mi-17 category of medium lift Russian choppers form the majority of the stock list of IAF. As per the latest philosophy of IAF, these are envisaged to be used in Counter Air Operations, airborne operations and Search and Rescue and their employability in urban terrain is looked upon as a hereafter construct. Even if these choppers were to be employed in an urban scenario in an violative function, they lack preciseness aiming capablenesss, thereby doing them susceptible to doing indirect harm. If used in an air mobility function for transit of military personnels, these would be extremely vulnerable to enemy MANPADS as they have limited ego protection suite and clang worthiness abilities. IAF has late acquired 80 Mi-17 V5 choppers which have advanced avionics and better dark and inauspicious conditions capablenesss. However, in footings of aiming and survivability, their capablenesss are similar.

( B ) Attack choppers. IAF stock list soon consists of Mi-35 onslaught choppers of Russian beginning which have been upgraded with Mission 24 upgrade bundle from Israel Aerospace Industries ( IAI ) in 1998.[ 55 ]As per Doctrine of Indian Air Force, the primary functions for these machines would be anti-armour and BAS and to boot these would be employed as bodyguards to Particular Heliborne Operations, Suppression of Enemy Air Defences and anti UAV Opss. But there is no doctrine bing for their employment in an urban scenario. Even if these were to be employed, these are soon ill- suited for these operations due following restrictions: –

( a ) In instance of their employment in an urban terrain in a conventional struggle like fields of Punjab, the limited resources in footings of numerical strength would prevent their employment, enmasse in support of the land forces. India soon has merely two squadrons of these platforms.

( B ) The avionics ascent of the Mi-35s has given them a dark contending capableness and limited preciseness onslaught capableness with HMOSP ‘s forward-looking infrared radio detection and ranging.[ 56 ]However they still lack precise aiming capablenesss every bit good as suited armament to restrict indirect harm in an urban terrain.

( degree Celsius ) The MI-35s still lack an IFF system which is perfectly indispensable to extinguish opportunities of fratricide when operating in heavy urban environment.

( vitamin D ) The Mi-35s have merely a vintage Radar Warning Receiver ( RWR ) with a hardwired menace library. There is no Missile Approach Warner System ( MAWS ) thereby doing them vulnerable to the menace of MANPADS. The antagonistic step distributing system is manual and non integrated.[ 57 ]

( vitamin E ) It does non hold a secure and unfailing communicating system and deficiencies informations associating installations with RPAs, AWACS or other detectors.

( degree Fahrenheit ) Its big size and less manoeuverability make it a vulnerable mark.

( g ) Lack of a dedicated lookout chopper with necessary Target acquisition and appellation equipment to supply accurate description and location of marks.[ 58 ]

Jointmanship and Training

“ The lesson of the war in Afghanistan is that effectivity in Combat will depend to a great extent on jointness and how good the different subdivisions of the military can pass on and organize their attempts on the battleground. Achieving that jointness in wartime requires edifice that jointness in peacetime. We need to develop like we fight and fight like we train and, excessively frequently, we do n’t. ”

– Donald Rumsfield[ 59 ]

14. Jointmanship would be a cardinal battle-winning factor in any future struggle and it is most applicable to urban terrain where the mutuality of services is critical for success particularly in the employment of choppers in support of land forces. In sub conventional warfare, joint operations demand far greater synergism and responsiveness given the unpredictable nature of the antagonist. Hence synergism has to be developed consistently and honed foremost, in conventional scenarios, before being applied in eventualities originating from insurgence and terrorist act.[ 60 ]However, India fares drearily when judged against the standard parametric quantities of jointmanship. It will non be wrong to province that jointmanship in India is non-existent. The former Naval Chief Admiral J. G. Nadkarni put it honestly when he said: “ Jointmanship in India exists to the extent of the three Chiefs routinely being photographed backslapping each other, but non much more beyond that. ”[ 61 ]

15. Execution of jointmanship on land has been agonizingly hard and decelerate. All jointmanship proposals get opposed ferociously on spurious evidences and despite all the public affability ; there is limited interaction, duologue and communicating between the three services. This consequences in non development of common trust, which is apparent from the recent battle between the services over the ownership of onslaught choppers. Therefore in such a scenario the ability to set about joint operations in urban terrain in any struggle is likely to endure.

16. Training is the most critical ingredient of Jointmanship. Individual services have realised the importance of operating in urban terrain and are developing in a limited mode for the same. However there is about nil enterprise every bit far as joint urban war combat is concerned. Indian ground forces has had experience of operating in urban terrain, as was brought out in earlier chapters, but has failed to pull lessons from these experiences. One author, Bhashyam Kasturi, lauds the formation of Army Training Command ( ARTRAC ) as a possible agency to “ set operational experience into position for the whole ground forces ” , while observing that this agreement would non do operational experience available to other services in the Indian Armed Forces.[ 62 ]There is no thought given to these operations in either of the service philosophies every bit good as joint philosophy. Though regular articulation exercisings are now being conducted towards conventional war combat, the thought of joint urban warfare is still farfetched. Even the future initiations of new choppers by IAF every bit good as ground forces air power would necessitate inventing a joint doctrine for effectual employment in urban scenarios.


17. Urban warfare or military operations in urban terrain is a world that India ca n’t get away in any future conflict- conventional or sub conventional, insurgence or major terrorist onslaughts. The rate at which our state every bit good as our western neighbor is urbanizing demands to be paid attending to. Any operation by our land forces in such terrain would necessitate the over curving support of choppers to accomplish a decisive and speedy result. However there are certain hindrances in the effectual use of these platforms, both in an internal every bit good as external security scenario. There is a deficiency of political will every bit good as capablenesss in footings of detectors and platforms. To exceed it all, there is a clear deficiency of preparation and jointmanship.