Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane has said he will soon deploy Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) on borders with China and Pakistan .
But there was no clear indication about implementing the other suggested reforms in accordance with the recommendations of the four study groups set up during the tenure of former army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.
Easternlink learns the army is not yet discontinuing the brigadier rank which was one of the recommendations that attracted the attention of Rawat, who is now Chief of Defence Staff.
Boards for the new clutch of brigadiers from the pool of full colonels is starting from July and will continue until September, taking up the various elements of the army in a phased manner.
Senior officers ruled out in near future the scrapping of the Brigadier rank because of several problems envisaged.
Speaking to Easternlink on tge IBGs, General Navarane said that the “test-bedding” for the IBGs had been completed but the actual deployment has been delayed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“The roll-out of the IBGs has been delayed due to the outbreak of the pandemic and the need to divert critical resources towards containing it ,” the Army Chief told Easternlink.
“However , we will roll out the IBGs in the requisite time frame as the conceptual groundwork has already been done and extensive test-bedding had already been already carried out ,” he said.
An IBG is an integrated mix of infantry, artillery, air defence, tanks and logistics units, designed to enhance warfighting capability and prevent wastage and duplication of critical resources.
Each IBG will be customised to the specific operational requirement, taking into reckoning topography of the battle zone c and the threat perceptions .
There will be at least 5,000 troops in each IBG headed by a Major General.
Navarane felt there could be some disruptions in defence production and procurement due to the pandemic but said it would be temporary.
The indigenous manufacturing will be impacted, he said, but not in a big way.
In October 2019, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, the Indian Army had carried out the “Him Vijay” exercise in Arunachal Pradesh primarily to test these IBGs and check its effectiveness in combat situations in mountainous terrains.
All the IBGs will be theatre-specific which means that a unit deployed in the deserts of Rajasthan will have equipment and forces trained for desert warfare while those deployed in the mountains will be suitably equipped and trained.