Scaling up innovation potential and decentralising Army Design Bureau to Command headquarters level, exploring separate funding head, update contract procedure, better synergy with other Union ministries, revising human resource policy for infusion of tech-friendly resources and creating ‘Adversarial Force’ for realistic wargame and training, are some of the key decisions the Indian Army has taken for its organisational and procedural transformation.

These slew of initiatives were discussed and accepted during brainstorming of top leaders at the biennial Army Commanders’ Conference, that concluded on April 2. The Ministry of Defence stated that to ensure induction of indigenous niche technology for futuristic capability development, it was agreed that the innovation potential of Army Design Bureau (ADB) will be upscaled besides separate ADB Cells will be established at the Command Headquarters.

“This is aimed at empowering Command Headquarters, formations and unit commanders in facilitating greater outreach to the industry and identification/ trials of niche technology,” the MoD announced in a statement released on Thursday.

It was also agreed to explore the option of creating a separate fund head to overcome funding challenges for giving push to inhouse innovation. To ensure lifetime support, future procurements will incorporate aspects for holistic sustenance requirements during contract finalisation stage. In addition to that, test bed brigades and formations will be nominated to ensure greater efficiency and continuity in trials and finalisation of trial reports, the Ministry informed.

“More opportunities to collaborate with other ministries will be explored, to optimally utilise resources and synergise efforts for enhanced capability building and infrastructure development in border areas,” the MoD stated.

The Army will revise human resource management policies and attune them to facilitate absorption of niche technology with matching training infrastructure. The revised policy will be more innovative towards meeting the requirements of a tech-enabled future-ready Indian Army, it stated. Finally, the armed force will look into the feasibility of creating a tailor-made organisation to function as an Adversarial Force for execution of realistic wargame and training, as per the MoD.

Third revolution in military affairs

At the Conference, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan advised the top Army commanders to follow the ‘Third revolution in military affairs’, a doctrine conceptualised for future ‘hyperwar’ expected to be fought at the speed of light in cyber space, in its attempt to embrace the aspects of jointness, integration and technological absorption.

Addressing the Army Commanders’ Conference, General Anil Chauhan complimented security forces for absorbing ‘transformational changes enthusiastically’ in the midst of professional commitments at borders and ‘exhorted the senior leadership to embrace the aspects of jointness, integration and technological absorption in sync with the call of the ‘Third Revolution in Military Affairs’, the Ministry said.

According to the western defence strategists, the ‘First Revolution in Military Affairs’ was defined with the advent, among others, of nuclear and thermonuclear weapons. Likewise, the ‘Second Revolution in Military Affairs’ captured precision strike and accompanying sensor, detection and surveillance systems.

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Manoj Pande emphasised the need to ensure seamless situational awareness between commanders at all levels and troops on the ground. “The COAS also highlighted that there is a constant need to undertake doctrinal and structural reforms by embracing change and being open to new ideas to meet future operational challenges,” he told his commanders and other senior officials of the Army.