- The new concept of Integrated Battle Groups (IBGs) which the Indian Army plans to create as part of overall force transformation is close to implementation.
- IBGs are brigade-sized, agile, self-sufficient combat formations, which can swiftly launch strikes against adversary in case of hostilities.
- Each IBG would be tailor-made based on Threat, Terrain and Task and resources will be allotted based on the three Ts.
- They need to be light so they will be low on logistics and they will be able to mobilise within 12-48 hrs based on the location.
- An IBG operating in a desert needs to be constituted differently from an IBG operating in the mountains.
- The key corps of the Army are likely to be reorganized into 1-3 IBGs.
Objective and Structure of IBG
- Holistic integration to enhance the operational and functional efficiency, optimize budget expenditure, facilitate force modernization and address aspirations
- While a command is the largest static formation of the Army spread across a defined geography, a corps is the largest mobile formation.
- Typically each corps has about three brigades.
- The idea is to reorganise them into IBGs which are brigade-sized units but have all the essential elements like infantry, armoured, artillery and air defence embedded together based on the three Ts.
- The IBGs will also be defensive and offensive. While the offensive IBGs would quickly mobilise and make thrust into enemy territory for strikes, defensive IBGs would hold ground at vulnerable points or where enemy action is expected.
The need of IBGs
- After the terrorist attack on the Parliament, the Indian military undertook massive mobilization but the Army’s formations which were deep inside took weeks to mobilise loosing the element of surprise.
- Following this, the Army formulated a proactive doctrine known as ‘Cold Start’ to launch swift offensive but its existence was consistently denied in the past.
- Its existence was acknowledged for the first time by Gen Rawat in January 2017.