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Interesting Facts about Indian Armed Forces, Facts about Indian Army

This article provides detail information regarding rare, amazing and interesting facts about Indian Armed Forces. This article also gives ensight on Indian Army’s strength, Commands, Regiments, Ranks etc.

Facts about Indian Armed Forces

The supreme commander of Indian Armed forces is the President of India. Indian armed forces have four divisions – Indian Army, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and Cost Guard. The three main divisions Indian Army, Navy and Air Force have their own Chief of Staff which is the functional head of respective divisions. There is no overall head of combined all units which ensures that the Armed Forces will be controlled by Civilian Government. The three Chief of Staff constitute of Chief of Staff Committee, the Chairman of which rotates among the service Chiefs as per seniority.

Facts about Indian Armed Forces : Present Posts

  • Present Commander in Chief – Ram Nath Kovind
  • Present Defence Minister – Nirmala Sitharaman
  • Chief of Army Staff – Gen. Bipin Rawat
  • Chief of Naval Staff – Adm. Sunil Lanba
  • Chief of Air Staff – Air Chief Marshal Birendra Singh Dhanoa
  • Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee – Admiral Sunil Lanba

Facts about Indian Armed Forces : Government Establishments

The responsibility of national defence lies on Ministry of Defence which is also the operational controller of Indian Armed Forces. All the three Chief of Staff report directly to the Defence Minister. The defence minister is responsible to the parliament for all matters of national defence and security. The Defence Ministry has four departments – i) Department of Defence, ii) Department of Defence Production, iii) Department of Defence Research and Development, iv) Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare.

The department of Defence Production ensures production and supply of indigenously built weapons and instruments to the Indian Armed Forces. The department of Defence Production consists of 41 Ordnance factories which are established all over India. There are eight Defence Public Sector Units also working dedicatedly for the production and supply of indigenous arms and ammunition to the Indian Armed Forces. These PSUs are – 1) Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL), 2) Bharat Engineers Ltd (BEL), 3) Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), 4) Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML), 5) Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL), 6) Mazagaon Dock Ltd (MDL), 7) Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) and 8) Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani)

Indian Armed Forces have two other supporting organisations – “Assam Rifles” and “Special Frontier Force” which comes under the category of Paramilitary forces.

Facts about Indian Armed Forces : Strength

  • India has about 13 Lakhs of active serving personnel which makes it the third largest Armed Forces in World.
  • The strength of Indian Army is 11.29 Lakhs, Indian Air Force is about 1.27 Lakhs, Indian Navy is about 58 thousand and that of Coast Guard is 10 thousand.
  • China has largest Armed forces with 22.85 Lakhs of active serving personnel. US stands second with 14.9 Lakhs of active serving personnel. Fourth and Fifth position being taken by North Korea and Russia.
  • Pakistan stands sixth in terms of active serving personnel.

Commissioned Ranks of Indian Armed Forces

Indian Army Indian Air Force Indian Navy
General Air Chief Marshal Admiral
Lieutenant General Air Marshal Vice-Admiral
Major General Air Vice-Marshal Rear-Admiral
Brigadier Air Commodor Commodor
Colonel Group Captain Captain
Lieutenant Colonel Wing Commander Commander
Major Squadron Leader Lieutenant Commander
Captain Flight Lieutenant Lieutenant
Lieutenant Flying Officer Sub Lieutenant

Interesting Facts about Indian Armed Forces

  • Farkhor Military Air Base, near Dushanbe, Tajikistan which is operated by Indian Air Force along with Tajikistan’s Air Force is India’s first and only military base outside its own territory
  • The strength of Indian Armed forces is over 13 Lakhs making it World’s third largest Military Force (First being China followed by US ).
  • In terms of “Volunteer Army” India stands second after China. Volunteer here refers to self interest in joining the army and not forceful induction.
  • Indian Armed Forces are the World’s largest Arms importer. These arms are mainly imported from Russia, France, Israel and US.
  • Siachen glacier which is considered as the world’s highest battlefield is controlled by Indian Armed Forces.
  • India holds 5th rank among world countries by defense budget. India allocated 2.5% of its GDP to defense budget in year 2017. This amounts to 55 billion US dollars. Four top countries which are above India in terms of allocated defense budget are USA, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.
  • Indian Armed Forces has inflicted the biggest surrender of world on Pakistan in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. More than 93000 Pakistani soldiers were captured and then released after Shimla pact.
  • Operation Rahat launched in Uttarakhand to rescue the civilians from flood was the largest civilian rescue operation of world.
  • Russia is long time Military partner and India has Military pacts with him regarding supplies of weapons, arms and ammunition, training of personnel, up-gradation of machinery, mutual military co-operation.
  • India Armed Forces is in process of development of Chah Bahar sea port in Iran which is considered as a strategic Indian Naval base in coming future.
  • During the decades of 50s Indian Armed Forces has made peace pact with neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan ensuring them of complete safety and sovereignty
  • Indian Armed Forces also has a security pact with Japan.
  • Indian Armed Forces signed peace treaty with Bhutan in year 1951 which states mutual respect of borders, co-operation to further strengthen the relationship and resolving any disputes in cordial way.
  • Indian Armed Forces have signed defence pact with Qatar in 2008 by which India ensures complete protection to Qatar from external threats.
  • In 2012 Indian Armed Forces performed joint Naval Drill with Japan in Indian Ocean and South China sea which was considered as a great diplomacy in countering the China’s rising influence in Indian Ocean and South China sea.
  • Indian Armed Forces is in agreement with Myanmar for developing and supplying four Offshore Patrol Vessels to Myanmar for boosting its maritime security.
  • Indian Armed Forces have extended its military support to Vietnam including repairing and up-gradation of Fighter Planes (MIG 21) of Vietnam.

Facts about Indian Army

  • Indian Army was established on 1 April 1895 as British Indian Army.  Chief of Army staff or Chairman of Chief of Staff Committee is of “General” rank.
  • Indian Army is the land based branch of Indian Armed Forces. It is also the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces.
  • The supreme head of the Indian army is called “Chief of Army Staff”. Its headquarters is in New Delhi.
  • The lowest commissioned rank of Indian army is Officer Cadet while the Highest rank is General.
  • Field Marshal is the top most of all but it is considered as Honorary post.
  • Only two persons have reached up to the level of Field Marshal, they are K M Kariappa and Sam Manekshaw.
  • Indian army day is celebrated on 15 Jan every year in the memory of K M Kariappa for taking over the post of first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Francis Butcher. General Francis Buthcher was the last British Commander in Chief of Indian Army.
  • Junior Commissioned Ranks in Indian Army in order of precedence are Subedar Major, Subedar, Naib Subedar, Havaldar, Naik, Lance Naik.

Facts about Indian Army : Regiments

  • There are three main regiments of Indian Army. Infantry Regiments, Armoured Regiments, Artillery Regiments.
  • There are total 32 Infantry Regiments in Indian Army. The most notable infantry regiments are  Punjab Regiment, The Madras Regiment, The Grenadiers, Rajput Regiment, Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment, The Garhwal Rifles, Kumaon Regiment, Assam Regiment, Bihar Regiment, Jammu and Kashmir Rifles, Rashtriya Rifles, Gorkha Rifles etc.
  • Madras Regiment is the oldest Regiment of Infantries and it was established in year 1758 in Tamil Nadu (then Madras State).
  • At present there are 63 armoured regiments present. The most notable armoured regiments are – President’s Bodyguard, 1 Horse, 2 Lancers, 3rd Cavalry, 4 Horse, 5 Armoured Regiment, 16 Cavalry, 40 Armoured Regiment, 45 Cavalry, 61 Cavalry etc.

    Facts about Indian Armed Forces

    61st Cavalry Regiment

  • The 61st Cavalry Regiment is the largest horse-mounted cavalry unit still operational in whole world. This regiment is used not for war time but for internal security, Police assistance and Parades.
  • Artillery regiment is active from 1827. At that time it was known as Royal Indian Artillery of British Indian Army. Its headquarters is in Nashik. This regiment is the one which uses fire powers during war. During Kargil war the Artillery regiment used Pinaka multi barrel rocket launchers which caused maximum damage to Pakistani intruders.

Facts about Indian Army : Commands

  • Indian Army is made up of 7 commands. These commands and their respective headquarters are –
    Eastern CommandKolkata
    Western CommandChandigarh
    Northern CommandUdhampur
    Southern CommandPune
    Central CommandLucknow
    Northwestern CommandJaipur
    Army Training CommandShimla
  • Andaman and Nicobar Command is the only special Tri-Service Command of Indian Armed Forces. It was established in year 2011 due to strategic reasons for keeping watch on Andaman sea, South China sea and Malacca Strait. This tri-service command incorporates two Navy sea bases, four Air Force naval air bases and two Army brigades.

Facts about Indian Armed Forces : Major Operations

  • Operation Polo – Annexing the princely state of Hyderabad in Indian union in 1948.
  • Operation Vijay – Capturing Goa, Daman and Diu by defeating the Portuguese colonial power in 1961.
  • Operation Meghdoot – Siachen glacier in Jammu and Kashmir in 1984.
  • Operation Pawan – Operation to take Jafna out of LTTE control in 1987.
  • Operation Cactus – Neutralizing the coup of PLOTE in Male, Maldives.
  • Operation Vijay – Recapturing the peaks of Kargil in 1999.
  • Operation Parakram – Military standoff between India and Pakistan in 2001 post attack on Indian Parliament.
  • Operation Rahat – Also known as Operation Surya Hope for rescue operation in 2013 Uttarakhand Floods.