Ranked as the 7th largest country in the world and flanked by a few difficult neighbours, it is definitely a Herculean task to safeguard a country like India. But nothing can be too big a task for us Indians. We know very well how to protect ourselves from terrorists and insurgent attacks. We may get knocked down, but we get up again… ALWAYS. Thanks to the elite special forces we have. Here are 9 Indian forces every Indian should be proud of.
MARCOS (Marine Commandos), is a special forces unit that was raised by the Indian Navy in 1987 for direct action, special reconnaissance, amphibious warfare and counter-terrorism.
The training of MARCOS is probably the most stringent in the world with the commandos being tested for physical and mental toughness.
Called as the “Dadiwala fauj”, meaning the “bearded army” by terrorists because of their bearded disguise in civil areas, MARCOS are capable of operations in any kind of terrain, but specialise primarily in maritime operations.
2. Para Commandos
Formed in 1966, the Para Commandos are part of the highly-trained Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army and are the largest part of the Special Forces of India. The parachute units of the Indian Army are among the oldest airborne units in the world.
The main aim of a Parachute Regiment is quick deployment of soldiers behind enemy lines to attack the enemy from behind and destroy their first line of defence.
This shot of the Indus River in Kargil shows the Tiger Hill in the backdrop. The Para Commandos played a pivotal role in helping India claim this peak from the Pakistanis during the 1999 Kargil War.
3. Ghatak Force
True to its name ghatak (which means ‘killer’ in Hindi), this infantry platoon goes for the kill and spearheads strikes ahead of a battalion. Every infantry battalion in the Indian Army has one platoon and only the most physically fit and motivated soldiers make it to the Ghatak Platoon.
The Ghatak soldiers are well-trained, superiorly-armed and equipped to handle situations like terror strikes, hostage situations and counter insurgency operations.
COBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) is a specialised unit of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) that was formed to counter Naxalism in India. It’s one of the few Indian special forces, that’s exclusively trained in guerrilla warfare.
Since its inception in 2008, it has successfully wiped out a number of Naxalite groups from India. Set up with a grant of Rs 13,000 million, it is one of the best-equipped paramilitary forces in India.
5. Force One
Force One came into being in the year 2010 after the deadly 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai. The prime role of this special elite force is to protect the city of Mumbai from terrorist attacks.
This force boasts of the fastest response time in the world and responds to a terror strike in less than 15 minutes. Respect!
6. Special Frontier Force
Raised in the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian war as a special force for covert operations behind Chinese lines in the event of another war with China, it was never really used for its intended role and has mainly served as an elite special operations and counter-insurgency force.
This covert paramilitary special force operates under India’s external intelligence agency RAW and reports directly to the Prime Minister via the Directorate General of Security in the Cabinet Secretariat. It’s so classified a set-up that even the army may not know what it’s up to.
7. National Security Guard
The National Security Guard is India’s premier counter-terrorist force. The NSG provides security to VIPs, conducts anti-sabotage checks, and is responsible for neutralising terrorist threats to vital installations.
The selection process is so demanding that it has a drop out rate of about 70–80 percent. The 7500 personnel strong NSG is evenly divided between the Special Action Group (SAG) and the Special Rangers Group (SRG).
8. Garud Commando Force
Formed in 2004, the Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force. The training for being a Garud is the longest among all the Indian Special Forces. The total duration of training before a trainee can qualify as a fully operational Garud is around 3 years.
The youngest special force of the services, the Garud Commando Force is entrusted with the duty of protecting critical Air Force bases, carrying out rescue operation during calamities and other missions in support of air operations.
9. The Special Protection Group
The Special Protection Group is a security force of the Government of India that is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, the former Prime Ministers and members of their immediate family members.
They have to gather intelligence, assess threats and provide protection. Their track record has been impeccable after the Rajiv Gandhi assassination and no attacks have been carried out on any Prime Minister ever since.
You make us proud. Really, really proud.
The next ISRO mission will entail sending DAWN-like spacecraft to probe asteroids, said ISRO chairman A.S.Kiran Kumar on Monday, while attending the 24th convocation at Sathyabama University. The university is developing nano-satellites for the next Mark III mission.
The advisory committee on science chaired by Prof U.R. Rao will go through the discussions and decide what kind of plans ISRO should have in future, he informed. For now, he said ISRO would launch disaster monitoring constellation satellite for Surrey space technology.
He repeated again that in June India’s Mangalyaan mission would be obliterated as earth, mars and sun would align on the same line and hence there will be no communication with Mars Orbiter Mission for at least 14 to 15 days. However, the MoM will be on its autonomous mode, he said.
On forthcoming GSLV Mark-III launch vehicle in 2017, he said it would carry a full satellite of about 3,500 kg and the rocket will make its first orbital flight – designated D1 – with the GSAT-19E spacecraft.
In a major milestone, an indigenous cryogenic engine, that will help India put satellites of upto four tonnes in geostationary orbit, was tested successfully at ISRO’s propulsion complex at Mahendragiri in this district.
The powerful version of the cryogenic engine was successfully ground tested at the Liquid Propulsion systems centre (LPSC).
The test was conducted for 635 seconds and it was successful, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre sources in Thiruvananthapuram said.
ISRO sources said its chairman A S Kirankumar came to Mahendragiri this morning and the testing started at 4.30 pm.
A team headed by Director D Karthikesan led the testing.
Congratulating the space scientists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as a “proud achievement” the successful testing, saying this would help India put satellites of up to four tonnes in geostationary orbit.
“Congratulations to our space scientists for the successful testing of our indigenous cryogenic engine,” he tweeted.
In a separate tweet, Modi said, “The engine tested today will enable us to put satellites of up to 4 tons in geostationary orbit. A proud accomplishment.”
The supersonic cruise missile system BrahMos, which is a joint venture between India and Russia, has caught the attention of countries like Argentina, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil in Latin America and also of South Africa, which is part of the BRICS grouping, because it has been developed at a low cost of $300 million.
Sources have told the FE that there have been preliminary discussions with these countries. Venezuela’s willingness to procure the supersonic missile (the air version) jointly produced by India and Russia will be on the agenda of talks when Prime minister Narendra Modi visits that country later this year.
The LatAm countries have been in talks with officials from BrahMos and expressed interest in mobile autonomous launchers for coastal defence batteries, ship-based weapon complex for submarines and frigates. Recently, the Brazilian Navy official had discussions with the BrahMos officials about the possibility of buying the missiles from India.
Last year, Modi had stated that India should move towards self-reliance in producing military weapons and systems and also look for exporting them to friendly nations.
BrahMos is a supersonic cruise missile developed by DRDO and Russian NPO Mashinostroyeniya. The missile could be launched from surface, submarine or air. Latin American countries as well as South East Asian countries have expressed their interest for the missile particularly for their naval and coastal defence.
The agreement for development of the advanced BrahMos system by India and Russia allows the use of the missile by the armed forces of both the countries, as well as for export to other friendly countries.
After Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) handed over the first BrahMos-A missile-integrated Su-30MKI aircraft to the Indian Air Force, Indian and Russian designers concentrated on creating the supersonic mini-BrahMos (BrahMos-M) which will be marketed as BrahMos-NG (Next Generation) missiles, meant to boost the defence capability of India’s Navy and Air Force.
Developed by the DRDO, NPO Mashinostroyeniya of Russia and BrahMos Aerospace, the new missile will have lighter weight and smaller diameter in comparison with BrahMos-A. Equipped with a compact engine it will reach speeds of Mach 3.3, carrying a payload of 300 kg to a range of 300 km. With a weight of 1.4-1.6 tons and a length of 6 m, the BrahMos-NG will be a breakthrough as it will meet the requirements of both the Indian Navy as well as the Indian Air Force.
BrahMos is expanding production to meet expected demand for thousands of missiles. “Our second manufacturing facility is ready and additional facilities are coming up,” says Praveen Pathak, general manager for market promotion and export.
On a larger scale, BrahMos Aerospace is confident that BrahMos-NG will open a huge potential market for the company, with specifications that very few competitors will be able to match.
You will come out of this stronger.
Nothing is permanent, not even this tragedy.
And you are not alone in this. We are with you.
In this hour of crisis, we are doing all we can to help you.
Please don’t lose hope. We are praying for you.
You will rebuild your rich heritage and you will build a greater infrastructure.
You will rise from the ashes, of this we are sure.
Love and Prayers from the Indians…
Remember your motto:
जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी
“Mother and Motherland are Greater than Heaven”