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Pak kept out of army show

Military observers and defence attaches will assemble at Pokhran, where India conducted nuclear explosions in 1998, to witness the growth in India’s military might during Exercise Brazen Chariots, reports Rahul Singh.
Hindustan Times | By Rahul Singh, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 12, 2008 01:11 AM IST

Military observers and defence attaches from over 100 countries will assemble at Pokhran in Rajasthan, where India conducted nuclear explosions in 1998, to witness the growth in India’s military might during Exercise Brazen Chariots.

Pakistan, however, will have to make do with second-hand accounts of the ‘free-force maneouvres’, to be staged jointly by the army and air force on March 19. Pakistani military officials have not been called to watch the exercise as Islamabad, perhaps finding it hard to eliminate 60 years of suspicison, remains adamant about not opening up military maneouvres to each other’s official observers.

To build mutual trust and increase understanding of each other’s concerns, both India and China have agreed to send observers for military exercises conducted by either side. “One of the military CBMs (confidence building measures) proposed to Pakistan pertained to exchanging military observers. The ball is in their court,” said a senior army officer.

Brazen Chariots will showcase the results of large-scale maneouvres, codenamed exercise Dakshin Shakti, currently being conducted in the deserts of Rajasthan (March 3-14) to test the military’s battle-worthiness. The army has mobilised over 37,000 troops, part of a strike corps, and fielded its cutting edge weapon systems for the exercise to address the dynamic changes sweeping today's battlespace.

The military is focusing its attention on tightening the sensor-to-shooter loop (military jargon for time taken to detect and destroy a target) to triumph in future wars. The armed forces will aim to leverage “information advantage” to increase combat power through the application of network centric warfare. Brazen Chariots is a collective effort of the army’s Southern Command and air force’s South Western Air Command.

It will encompass the entire spectrum of armament and military equipment currently in service with the army and air force.

It will feature modern combat aircraft such as the Su-30 MKI and MiG-29, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), T-90 tanks, new command and control systems, the newly-inducted Smerch and Pinaka multiple rocket launch systems.

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