Mountain Strike Corps shelved as it was unwieldy: Senior army official

The Army has shelved its plan to raise the Mountain Strike Corps that was planned to be the military’s offensive thrust on India’s northern borders.

Published: 30th August 2019 02:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2019 09:43 AM   |  A+A-


Image of army jawans in Kashmir valley used for representational purpose (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Army has shelved its plan to raise the Mountain Strike Corps that was planned to be the military’s offensive thrust on India’s northern borders.

“The Mountain Strike Corps was becoming unwieldy,” said a senior Army officer aware of the development.

“The concept of war has dramatically changed. Today we need to fight with leaner but lethal formations,” said the officer, adding that smaller formations which can disperse or receive limited damage are being planned instead.

The Cabinet Committee on Security had in 2013 cleared the raising of Mountain Strike Corps christened as the 17th MSC or the Brahmastra Corps, with China in mind. It was to have nearly 90,000 troops.

Elaborating on the reasons for shelving the plan, the officer said the new Integrated Battle Group (IBG) being created instead of the unwieldy MSC will be self-sufficient, more agile and offensive formations.

Each IBG will be unique in itself and will be raised as per the ground conditions like the terrain, available infrastructure, enemy’s military arrangements etc.

The placement of each arm and service will be done as per the task and terrain where the armoured, artillery and infantry units will be rationalised with the support elements, informed the officer. 

The IBG will be leaner as “the size will be less than a division but more than a brigade, around two brigades”, said the officer.

The concept of IBG was finalised in 2018 but “may take another two years for the reorganisation of the troops as the units are currently serving their peace and field rotations”.

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