Exercise Sindhu Sudarshan, conducted by Sudarshan Chakra Corps of the Pune-headquartered Southern Command, which concluded on Wednesday, was marked by the first-of-its-kind collective trial of a large number of newly-inducted equipment and technology in the actual battle conditions in Thar desert along the western front.
The Sudarshan Chakra Corps, which is a strike formation of the Southern Command, had been conducting one of the largest military exercises of the Indian Army to assess the capabilities to strike across the border, deep in enemy territory in the Western theatre. The exercise was named Sindhu Sudarshan, signifying the target of reaching the Sindhu river in the case of an offensive.
Nearly 40,000 troops, 700 Armoured Vehicles and 300 artillery guns of the Sudarshan Chakra Corps, with support of Indian Air Force elements, were part of the exercise. The exercise was conducted in Thar by demarcating an imaginary international border, where deployment of enemy was enacted by a section of troops.
The integrated exercise involved the use of Mechanised Forces, Infantry, Artillery and other ‘force multipliers’ such as drones and electronic warfare systems. The Army’s indigenous Rudra Advanced Light Helicopters (ALH) were deployed alongside Indian Air Force Helicopters. These elements acted as units called the ‘integrated battle groups’, which were to conduct the offensive operations at multiple locations along the imaginary border.
An Army official said, “Many newly-inducted surveillance and networking tools were used in the exercise at one time. The effective networking of participating arms was closely watched. A multitude of aerial and land-based sensors were fielded to get a comprehensive tactical picture for the observers. The Rudra ALH were equipped with electro-optical pods, helmet-mounted sights and night-vision goggles. The use of the newly-inducted K-9 Vajra weapon systems was validated for operations in the desert. In many places, renewable energy sources were used instead of fuel and satellite-based communication systems were employed for communication.”
Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General S K Saini reviewed the last leg of the exercise on Monday and Tuesday. Lieutenant General Yogendra Dimri, General Officer Commanding of the Sudarshan Chakra Corps, briefed the Army Commander.
A press statement from the Army read, “Southern Army Commander Lt Gen S K Saini complimented the troops for the professionalism and operational readiness they showed during the exercise which displayed the prowess, capability and resolve of the Southern Command to face all challenges across the spectrum of conflict.”