Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,153
6,358
Tripura, NE, India
NSG also has a high degree of standardization in terms of equipment and gear followed by MARCOS and GARUDS but Para SF is a complete chaos with no uniformity among members within the same unit which I believe is attributed to their high numbers (>10k). Though NSG has around 7.5k operatives in all 5 hubs combined, they're under MHA which has a more streamlined approach towards acquisitions
It has more to do with management and acquisitions than sheer number, I believe.
NSG should look into Sig's new rifles that were fielded for US Army's NGSW
NSG lacks a large inventory of weapons with greater stopping power. The most common guns in their service is the H&K MP5 and the MP5 SSD which are now about to be systematically replaced by the SIG MPX. There is the SIG SG551 carbine in 5.56N caliber, recently acquired SIG DMRs and the occasional AK here and there. But a large common inventory of large caliber assault rifles is still absent. Interestingly the appearance of the FN Herstal SCAR-H/L is becoming increasingly common. Makes you wonder if they are still running trails on it or was it acquired in quantity. I really hope they would acquire it in quantity though. I would also like them to give the SSS Defence offerings a shot.

I don't worry much about NSG and their firearm acquisitions, if the US trials work out I am sure SIG would offer the same to the NSG and the broader armed forces. The NSG has a procurement system that actually works. I worry about the getting quality gear for the NSG, especially plate carriers, combat shirts/pants, high cut helmets, helmet mounted optics, eye and ear protections etc.

In the recent years I've seen increasingly better quality plate carriers but not enough standardisation yet, high cut helmets are becoming very common, eye protection is now standard issue, increasingly better combat t-shirts but no standardisation yet. But problems remain. Hands free comms are increasingly common but ear protection is non existent, no modern combat pants yet, combat t-shirts and pants doesn't have integrated pads yet, the pouches on plate carriers are soggy and not rigid as they should be, helmet mounted NVGs are still stuck at mono tube NVGs. No binocular NVD is available, let alone quad tubes. Also for a force that insists on wearing all black all the time, they don't mind wearing golden name patches. Why would you do that ? It is such an archaic practice, like the army teaching infantry men to charge in with bayonets.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zapper

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
It has more to do with management and acquisitions than sheer number, I believe
I agree MHA is way better than their defence counterparts in terms of acquisitions but MARCOS & Garuds are better standardized than Paras which I believe is due to their smaller numbers
 

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
Interestingly the appearance of the FN Herstal SCAR-H/L is becoming increasingly common
Looks like one-off purchases or must've procured small batches. Recent public appearances and exercises of NSG still field MP5 primarily

I would also like them to give the SSS Defence offerings a shot
Few reports surfaced that SSS's sniper rifles were in testing with NSG & Para. They should opt for em instead of going for the $10-14k Victrix Scorpio
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,153
6,358
Tripura, NE, India
Few reports surfaced that SSS's sniper rifles were in testing with NSG & Para. They should opt for em instead of going for the $10-14k Victrix Scorpio
I meant the assault rifles. The ceo has said that they are working on a carbine with an integrally suppressed barrel.
 

Lolwa

Member
Feb 6, 2020
163
90
Delhi
Looks like one-off purchases or must've procured small batches. Recent public appearances and exercises of NSG still field MP5 primarily


Few reports surfaced that SSS's sniper rifles were in testing with NSG & Para. They should opt for em instead of going for the $10-14k Victrix Scorpio
Well the victrix are in lapua magnum and the paras were testing the 7.62x51 sniper . So both can be used in conjunction. Sss should actually focus on making an in-house ar 15 variant for the forces which could be scaled up to a dmr like the m110. I would want our forces have a good mix of foreign and indigenous firearms.

Also we should buy niche calibers like the .408 cheytacc and .300 Winchester magnum for sniper rifles having good mix of sniper rifles could be interesting but should be limited to special forces and not mainline army.
 

Aniruddha

Member
Oct 3, 2019
224
71
Mumbai
Well the victrix are in lapua magnum and the paras were testing the 7.62x51 sniper . So both can be used in conjunction. Sss should actually focus on making an in-house ar 15 variant for the forces which could be scaled up to a dmr like the m110. I would want our forces have a good mix of foreign and indigenous firearms.

Also we should buy niche calibers like the .408 cheytacc and .300 Winchester magnum for sniper rifles having good mix of sniper rifles could be interesting but should be limited to special forces and not mainline army.
Para SF and NSG are testing both 7.62x51 Viper and .338 Saber sniper rifles of SSS Defence.
 

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
Well the victrix are in lapua magnum and the paras were testing the 7.62x51 sniper . So both can be used in conjunction. Sss should actually focus on making an in-house ar 15 variant for the forces which could be scaled up to a dmr like the m110. I would want our forces have a good mix of foreign and indigenous firearms.

Also we should buy niche calibers like the .408 cheytacc and .300 Winchester magnum for sniper rifles having good mix of sniper rifles could be interesting but should be limited to special forces and not mainline army.
The video posted by SSS was of the viper's testing but saber (.338 LM) is also being tested. Also, experimenting with various calibers could be taken up once we achieve standardization. Most western special forces have a high degree of commonality and uniformity in terms of equipment/gear while ours is completely chaotic

Most recently, Russian Spetznaz also upgraded
1587927596977.png


1587927632037.png


1587927647294.png


1587927663269.png
 

jetray

Well-Known member
Mar 15, 2018
725
512
India
The video posted by SSS was of the viper's testing but saber (.338 LM) is also being tested. Also, experimenting with various calibers could be taken up once we achieve standardization. Most western special forces have a high degree of commonality and uniformity in terms of equipment/gear while ours is completely chaotic

Most recently, Russian Spetznaz also upgraded
View attachment 15592

View attachment 15593

View attachment 15594

View attachment 15595
Their camouflage uniform really looks darn good.
 

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
Their camouflage uniform really looks darn good.
Yeah, that's increasingly common among western forces. Turkish special forces also joined the lot and their NATO alliance helped them model their units similar to US counterparts

Turkish Navy SF
1587932468361.png


This is during a joint exercise between Turkish Special Forces and pak's SSG(N)
1587931972155.png

1587932528609.png


47637498-6D75-4F35-8EF0-5FB225F08A86.jpeg


You can see how good the Turkish SF gear is while SSG still maintains woodland camo contrary to their army. I believe the terrain we operate (J&K and NE) is more suited to woodland camo over desert camo. You don't see any of the East/South East Asian forces using desert camo either
 
Last edited:

Ashwin

Agent_47
Staff member
Administrator
Nov 30, 2017
3,613
5,755
Bangalore
Special Forces meant to do ops like surgical strikes. They’re called ‘special’ for a reason

Two incidents in recent days caught my imagination, both related to Para SF, the elite forces of the Indian army.


The first was an encounter along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, where, in a close quarter fight, five fully-armed terrorists were eliminated. We also lost five Para SF soldiers — all belonging to the 4 Para Special Forces, which had undertaken the famed surgical strikes.


Second was the demise of a braveheart, Col Navjot Singh Bal, Shaurya Chakra, former commanding officer (CO) of 2 Para SF, who even in the ultimate test, stoically faced his fate, smiling, like the Warriors of Yore.


Many thoughts traversed my mind. What is that special ethos that motivates these men of the SF to make the ultimate sacrifice? I also ended up enquiring to a few SF Officers if the operation in J&K had proved rather costly? Shouldn’t we minimise our casualties?


Col Saurabh Shekhawat, KC, SC, SM, VSM, India’s highest decorated serving soldier replied cryptically: “Sir we do our best to minimise casualties through intense training and planning, but once the battle is joined, it’s Vijay Ya Veergati (victory or martyrdom).


Having had the good fortune to have some of the finest SF units under my command, including the Para Centre at Bangalore, I do have an idea what goes into the selection and making of a Para SF leader and soldier.




Raison d’être for Special Forces

Every nation needs to decide what its special forces are meant for. According to Stephen Cohen, “The task of special forces is the proxy application of force at low and precisely calculated levels, the objective being to achieve some political effect, not a battlefield victory”.


But, as Lt Gen P. C. Katoch, a war veteran of the SF, states: “In sharp contrast, in India, we have been simply looking at battlefield victory. SF units are deployed more on tactical missions rather than the broader, strategic and unconventional missions that should be their charter’’. Rahul Bedi also echoes the same in an article in The Citizen that the SF have often ended up as substitutes for conventional forces in counter-insurgency operations, for tasks that should be undertaken by regular infantry.


India’s Para SF are equipped reasonably, but not with the latest technology. It is time we provided them with the latest and the best that today’s revolution in military affairs offers: drones of all types, space and cyber-based applications among others.



Unconditional ownership of the SF

Combat has always been and continues to be most brutal, challenging, unforgiving and the ultimate test of the human spirit. This is also the raison d’être of the special forces, for they exist only for special missions and combat. Facing special challenges requires a very high level of individual proficiency in the skills peculiar to SF. But more than that, it’s the combined combat capabilities of the squad/team that matters more. And this calls for very high levels of trust and unconditional ownership of the plan and the follow-up action. Anything less would not do. This involves trusting your life with your buddy/squad and ownership of both success and failures, for no plan survives the first contact. In fact, there are more lessons to be learnt in failures.


The Indian Para SF holds the ethos of unconditional and extreme ownership. Trust, of course, is the glue that binds the SF together. Trust that has been earned and created through living and training together under most severe conditions for prolonged periods. Innovation, ingenuity, boldness and risk-taking ability are key facets of it.


Leadership is the ultimate force multiplier

Superlative leadership, especially at the officer’s level is the acknowledged hallmark of the Indian Army. Same is the case with the Para SF. But because of the decentralised nature of their operations, leadership at the JCO and NCO level becomes equally important. And these leaders have to deliver, for they are conscious of the fact that in the ultimate analysis what matters is the success of their mission. The SF junior leaders have to not only be masters of their trade, but also have the sharpness of intellect and battlefield intuition to put their finger on the right course of action, under severely stressful and time-constrained operational situations.


The SF officers are a breed apart, single-minded in their devotion to their profession, almost to an extreme. A large number of them have risen to high ranks, but some have also paid the price of not being able to adjust to life outside the uniform when they call it quits. And this is not peculiar to the Indian Para SF, but a phenomenon seen across the special forces in many nations. Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia, a para officer of repute and erstwhile DGMO, sums it up well: “A bunch of misfits who fit well together. For the hazardous tasks they are called upon to undertake, they have to be special in all respects’’.


Optimising the Para SF

Most Para SF Officers recognise that in peacetime, employment of SF in counter insurgency/counter terrorism (CI/CT) tasks gives them valuable combat experience. But continuous employment also detracts and is detrimental to their combat edge, attitude and training, required for the specialised tasks at operational/strategic levels in war. I would tend to agree that short-term focus should not govern the deployment and employment of SF in peacetime. Para SF is a very precious force multiplier and should be used judiciously.


The country must provide the SF, all that they need and more. The Defence Procurement Procedure must make a special provision for the SF. Anything less would be unacceptable dereliction on the part of those responsible. The SF should be provided the highest priority under the charter of the chief of defence staff and the department of military affairs. The equipment provided must be of top quality whether indigenous or from abroad. During the current pandemic crisis, where all procurement has been put on hold, the SF procurement should be allowed to proceed on fast track. The financial outgo would be limited.

AFSOD needs nurturing

The creation of the Armed Forces Special Operations Division (AFSOD) is a good first step to capitalise on the SF capabilities for strategic-politico-military tasks, including out of area contingencies.


While some dedicated allocations have been made from the SF of the three Services, it’s still a work in progress and needs careful nurturing, as also support from the three Services, especially the Army.


The AFSOD has great potential to fill the existing gap at the politico-strategic-military level. The importance of providing it with dedicated assets (including aircraft), intelligence on a regular basis and an SF adviser of appropriate rank cannot be overstated. In peacetime, we should also provide them with discreet exposure in countries of interest.

Minimising casualties

Most analysts tend to avoid this, not wanting to question the professionalism and sacrifice of officers and soldiers, including in Special Forces. Based on my own convictions, while in service and even now, I am quite convinced that the Indian Army is losing more soldiers in CI/CT operations than is desirable and maybe, some steps can be taken to minimise our casualties.


To get a correct understanding, let’s look at two perspectives with respect to Para SF.


The first is at the unit/lower level, where the ethos are Balidan (sacrifice) and Vijay ya Veergati. It is not possible for the CO of an SF unit to lower this very high benchmark and combine it with caution because, as any SF officer will tell you, once the battle is joined the focus is on getting the job done, efficiently and with a ruthless streak to eliminate the target. The SF have also undertaken a large number of clean operations with no casualties, but the risk is ever-present and part of the job. My concern is mostly at a higher level, where tasking is done and requisite support provided. It is for the senior leadership to ensure that the SF are used only for critical missions, and once the tasking is done, they are allowed to complete the task as they know best, without undue pressure of time/ deadlines.


This is a truth that needs to be acknowledged at the highest level and rectified. As a senior SF officer told me: losing a valuable officer or trooper in CI/CT operations is always painful, and it is for the senior officers to be mindful of this. Once the target/ terrorist is locked, we will get him, tomorrow, if not today.


The other responsibility on senior leadership is to provide the best technology in terms of UAVs/Drones and other surveillance, with a continuous live feed to the team undertaking the operation. This will certainly reduce unnecessary casualties. I am of the firm belief that gone are the days when a senior leader’s focus was “Mission at any cost”. Today we need military leaders who will accomplish the ‘’Mission at least cost’’.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AbRaj and Aniruddha

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,153
6,358
Tripura, NE, India
Quarter zip T-shirts galore. Credit : Unknowncommando

7th PARA(new camo) :
1588410405421.png

1588410437358.png


23rd PARA(Indian Army's standard issued camo pattern) :
1588410497133.png


The patches need to be smaller and the velcro patch for the flag should be rectangular not circular. But otherwise good improvement. Notice the integrated elbow pads.
 

BlackAnus

Member
Oct 20, 2019
38
11
Mumbai
Quarter zip T-shirts galore. Credit : Unknowncommando

7th PARA(new camo) :
View attachment 15723
View attachment 15724

23rd PARA(Indian Army's standard issued camo pattern) :
View attachment 15725

The patches need to be smaller and the velcro patch for the flag should be rectangular not circular. But otherwise good improvement. Notice the integrated elbow pads.
these guys are para airborne, not para sf, why post on special forces thread?
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,153
6,358
Tripura, NE, India
"abingdonboy" on D. F. I. :

Information from someone very senior in an Indian (private) defence company.

multiple SF teams deployed in active ops are trailing out their new uniforms with in-built elbow and knee pads. They are working with the operators to get the materials and stitching right, this has been a complaint from NSG that has been trailing out similar uniforms as well as combat shirts

AFSOD is a reality and is already operationally deployed.

SPG are the most kit-savvy defence customers (know what they want and are up to date on all latest equipment) and they are present at pretty much every expo, they have an ability to buy as they like. This is followed by NSG. Mil SFs have procurement offices that are largely run by non-SF personnel. They haven’t had any experience with AFSOD yet so can’t say if the situation is different for them.

More autonomy is being given to the NSG hubs to buy what they need individually as opposed to having to go through the NSG’s HQ in Delhi.
 

BlackAnus

Member
Oct 20, 2019
38
11
Mumbai
"abingdonboy" on D. F. I. :

Information from someone very senior in an Indian (private) defence company.

multiple SF teams deployed in active ops are trailing out their new uniforms with in-built elbow and knee pads. They are working with the operators to get the materials and stitching right, this has been a complaint from NSG that has been trailing out similar uniforms as well as combat shirts

AFSOD is a reality and is already operationally deployed.

SPG are the most kit-savvy defence customers (know what they want and are up to date on all latest equipment) and they are present at pretty much every expo, they have an ability to buy as they like. This is followed by NSG. Mil SFs have procurement offices that are largely run by non-SF personnel. They haven’t had any experience with AFSOD yet so can’t say if the situation is different for them.

More autonomy is being given to the NSG hubs to buy what they need individually as opposed to having to go through the NSG’s HQ in Delhi.
if true, its good news.
would love to see the new uniform.
 

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
"abingdonboy" on D. F. I. :

Information from someone very senior in an Indian (private) defence company.

multiple SF teams deployed in active ops are trailing out their new uniforms with in-built elbow and knee pads. They are working with the operators to get the materials and stitching right, this has been a complaint from NSG that has been trailing out similar uniforms as well as combat shirts

AFSOD is a reality and is already operationally deployed.

SPG are the most kit-savvy defence customers (know what they want and are up to date on all latest equipment) and they are present at pretty much every expo, they have an ability to buy as they like. This is followed by NSG. Mil SFs have procurement offices that are largely run by non-SF personnel. They haven’t had any experience with AFSOD yet so can’t say if the situation is different for them.

More autonomy is being given to the NSG hubs to buy what they need individually as opposed to having to go through the NSG’s HQ in Delhi.
Any idea of the new uniforms are being procured from an Indian firm or abroad as usual?
 

Gautam

Team StratFront
Feb 16, 2019
11,153
6,358
Tripura, NE, India
Any idea of the new uniforms are being procured from an Indian firm or abroad as usual?
Domestic firms. There is some degree of tailoring happening to the specific needs of the users. Page no 11 post #219 you can see NSG trailing what appears to be a new combat shirt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: zapper

zapper

Active member
Oct 10, 2019
175
103
US
Domestic firms. There is some degree of tailoring happening to the specific needs of the users. Page no 11 post #219 you can see NSG trailing what appears to be a new combat shirt.
Yeah, that shirt looks fairly decent. Atleast it doesn't have the gold highlight lettering like the current ones which gives out a lot of signature and is absurdly outta place