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Indian Rocket Force: Countering China’s Asymmetrical Edge Along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)

Source : IgMp Bureau

Indian Rocket Force: Countering China's Asymmetrical Edge Along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
Indian Rocket Force: Countering China's Asymmetrical Edge Along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) 9

India is taking significant strides to counter China’s asymmetrical advantage over its territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The establishment of India’s own “Rocket Force,” known as the Integrated Rocket Force (IRF), marks a pivotal development in India’s defense strategy, particularly in response to the evolving dynamics with China and Pakistan.

The Integrated Rocket Force (IRF) is set to be a tri-service organization aimed at bolstering India’s non-contact conventional warfare capabilities. It is anticipated to incorporate ballistic missiles with a range of approximately 1,500 kilometers, significantly enhancing India’s defensive posture.

India’s decision to establish the IRF comes amidst increasingly complex stand-offs with China, particularly highlighted by the clashes in the Galwan Valley in June 2020. These incidents underscore the need for India to modernize its defense capabilities and respond effectively to evolving threats along the LAC.

India’s efforts to develop the IRF align with China’s establishment of the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF), which oversees Beijing’s land-based ballistic missiles. The IRF aims to provide India with a similar capability to respond to potential threats and deter aggression from its neighbors.

As part of the IRF, India is considering the induction of Pralay ballistic missiles, which have a range of 150 to 500 kilometers. These missiles, equipped with solid-propellant rocket motors and advanced guidance systems, are designed to counter interceptor missiles and enhance India’s medium-range striking capabilities.

The establishment of the IRF reflects the vision of the late Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, who advocated for the creation of a strategic rocket force to counter border threats. This initiative is supported by Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, highlighting the unified approach of the Indian armed forces towards enhancing national security.

The establishment of India’s Integrated Rocket Force marks a significant milestone in India’s defense preparedness. It underscores India’s commitment to modernizing its defense capabilities and countering potential threats along the LAC, ensuring the country’s ability to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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