Defence Primer,Power Projection

Defence Primer 2018: An Indian Military in Transformation?

China presents a long term, multifaceted challenge to India: on the disputed border and India’s maritime periphery. The aim of this primer is to assess India’s current military effectiveness and combat potential vis-a-vis China. While there are no easy answers or simple formulas for the assessment of Indian military effectiveness, it is vital to understand how the changing capabilities, doctrines and tactics of the Chinese military impacts the effectiveness of India’s conventional military deterrent. Given that China is unlikely to shift strategies away from relying on coercion and manipulating risk to achieve its territorial objectives, observing its military modernisation and development of power projection capabilities will influence the trajectory that characterises the Indian defence establishment’s strategy to counter the kinetic and geographic components of China’s growing capabilities.

India’s military effectiveness must be located at all the three levels of military activity: the strategic, the operational and the tactical. While overlapping, each is characterised by different actions, procedures and goals. This primer emphasises the operational approach, underlining the importance of doctrines, tactics, combined arms, inter-service systems and their proper utilisation on the battlefield, and makes a break from the narrative of observing capabilities centred on new military hardware as it is introduced in-service. If this primer succeeds in generating an honest debate on the military challenge China poses to India, it would serve its purpose.


China’s Military Rise and the Indian Challenge | Harsh V. Pant & Pushan Das

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army in Transition: Implications for Indian Defence | Richard A. Bitzinger

Achieving India’s Military Goals in an Era of Transition | Lt. Gen. S L Narasimhan (Retd.)

Closing the Gap: ADoctrinal & Capability Appraisal of the IAF & the PLAAF | AVM Arjun Subramaniam (Retd.)

Indian Vasuki vs Chinese Dragon: Towards a Future-Ready Indian Seapower | RADM Sudarshan Shrikhande (Retd.)

Indian Military in Transformation — Combat Potential and Military Capabilities Vis–a–Vis China | Brig. Arun Sahgal (Retd.)

Managing Comprehensive Competition with China: Insights from Multi-Domain Battle | Arzan Tarapore

Virtual Domains and Real Threats: Chinese Military Capacities in New Frontiers of Warfare | Elsa B. Kania

Nuclear Weapons and Sino-Indian Security Relations | Paul Kapur and Diana Wueger


Pushan Das

Harsh V. Pant