Aviation Week - Aerospace Defense, Business & Commercial News

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Terrible State of Indian Artillery ​ - Self Propelled Artillery

Self Propelled Artillery

Self propelled artillery provides mobility along with crew protection for advancing troops, one of the pivotal characteristics of the any fast moving strike corp to back it's infantry and armored brigade. Towed artillery is already in poor shape but the status of Self Propelled Guns is purely shocking.

Current State:

Indian Army's self propelled artillery consisted of two formats of weapon systems, Conventional SPG's which superficially resemble tanks, but can provide light resistance against small arms and sharpnell, and a unique take on mobile artillery dubbed catapult, where a howitzer is stabilized and mounted on a tank chassis. 2S1 Gvozdika and the FV433 Abbot SPG formed the backbone of the conventional Self propelled gun, whereas the limited numbers of the m46 howitzer mated with the Vijyanta tank chassis formed it's catapult wing.

Following is the head to head comparison with the Pakistani Army Mobile Artillery outfit:

As of now compared to the 325 Self propelled Guns that Pakistan's Army fields, India has ZERO guns. All of the 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm howitzers along the 122mm towed howitzers have been withdrawn from service, and the Vickers FV433 too has been retired due to lack of spares. So the ratio as of now stands 325:0, and that is the reality of much touted conventional superiority.

Gap Analysis:

With a minimum of 1:3 ratio against Pakistan Indian Army should have had at-least 975 Self Propelled Guns to be able to support forward deployment of mobile artillery units. India also needs multiple caliber strengths to ensure high mobility as well as cross country capability of the platforms. The interim solution was to build the Bhim SPG - essentially a Arjun Chassis mounted with the Denel L52 G5 self contained turret with the same turret being mounted on tatra trucks as a wheeled solution. The second track was to build the m46 based catapult on the Arjun chassis. The Bhim SPG was scuttled due to allegations corruption and the Arjun Catapult disappeared mysteriously.

Future State:

Indian army has already selected the K9 Vajra - Techwin-L&T SPG as the replacement for the 2S1 Gvozdika 122mm. The rest would be filled by the "Mounted Gun System" a predominantly wheeled system which will bring contenders like the Tata 155 mounted gun - Which incidentally uses the same Denel L52 G5 turret which caused the Bhim to be cancelled. The system again is the same as was proposed by the OFB a decade back but in new avatar where it uses some targeting changes and a tata platform instead of the Tatra. Other contenders are the Kalyani Group/ELBIT Systems - Soltam, Larsen & Toubro/Nexter - Caesar, and the Punj Lloyd/Yugo 's - NORA. A few years ago incidentally the the towed versions of Soltam and G5 both failed accuracy trials of India, not that it says much as nature of Indian Army trails are always on the cusp of unrealistic. The acquisition plan falls straight at 800 mounted Guns + 100 SPG. The tracked self propelled gun, K9 Vajra's are on order, but the 800 mounted guns are again facing delays.

Solution Strategy:

155 MM Catapult : Along with the current acquisition plans another approach to plug the gap for the High Mobility artillery would be to re-evaluate the Arjun Catapult with the Metamorphosis 155mm gun, as the prototype of the system with the same gun with the 130mm version exists and has been tested. With more than 700 M46 guns available for upgrades, and mounting system available, a re-engineered catapult with 155 mm M46 gun on one of the best cross country chassis, would be a efficient solution. Given that road map of Indian army only has 100 tracked units an additional 200 tracked catapults would be a lethal solution to provide artillery cover to fast moving infantry and armored brigades.

Light Mobile Artillery - The effectiveness of the 105mm light field gun is renowned within the Indian army circles. Kalyani Group is offering such a solution with the Garuda, which is a highly mobile system and uses the OFB LFG as its primary gun. A mounted version of the 105 mm gun on a wheeled platform can provide a highly mobile light mobile artillery out fit which can keep up with the ultra fast moving Regimental battalions of the Brigade of Guards.

Conclusion: Indian Self Propelled Artillery has evaporated in to thin air, this is not just in tune with the depreciating artillery profile of the Indian Army, but an exception where an entire fleet has been decimated due to neglect, mismanagement, and weak planning. Scuttling of domestic projects like Bhim and Arjun catapult, along with long delays in making decisions, today has completely rendered the
forces at great disadvantage in face of war. This constant deterioration will dent the war fighting capabilities of Indian army which will take decades to rebuild and in the interim, and in contingency will have to pay with asymmetrical number of casualties, because of lack of proper equipment. If Indian Army continues with this culture of Institutional inaction, the so-called conventional superiority would be only in number of Infantry soldiers facing superior Pakistani Firepower, the results as we can imagine would be devastating...

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Terrible State of Indian Artillery ​ - Self Propelled Artillery

JF 17 – Low cost solution to an expensive problem

FC1/JF17 – designed by the Chengdu Aircraft factory in collaboration with Pakistan Aeronautical Complex is truly the 4th generation successor to the legendary Mig21 Fishbed. It's most potent weapon is not it's payload which is no less lethal but it's simplicity, same as the original Mig21. Although PAC Kamra has not been yet able to mass produce the aircraft, due to it's teething technological challenges, nevertheless the aircraft is essentially a top notch performer.

It costs one third of any 4.5th generation aircraft, has a BVR capability, along with a semi Fly by wire system. It comes with a decent payload and ferry range. The only drawback in the system is the RD93 engine which is procured from a third party agency of Russia, a traditional ally of India, which incidentally is Pakistan’s main threat.

The JF17 blk 2 will also feature air to air refueling, and added munition systems like the PL12 AAM (derived AAM version from the Aspide) and the CM400AKG anti shipping munition. By the rate of production, it seems like PAC still doesn't have complete capability to manufacture the air-frame, radar, mission computer and is currently assembling the CKD kit from china. Soon PAC kamra will acquire the capability to manufacture the fuselage, wing spars and wing skins, build it's own air frame and avionics with transfer of technology from Chengdu Aircraft Company.

The Pakistani approach towards a low cost replacement for it's obsolete fleet of F7 (Mig21 clones), mirage 3/5, and A5 Fantan's was to get it's hand on the best possible solution and then develop it through field testing instead of getting into red tape of operational clearances. PAC is treated as a part of PAF, and thus JF17 projects success was directly an outcome of PAF's engagement. JF17 remains as a case study of what aircraft project can achieve when being overseen directly by the end users.

Terrible State of Indian Artillery ​ - Towed Artillery

George S. Patton famously said, “I do not have to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did.” There is a huge dilemma for the Indian artillery with this sentence. A nation that tries to maintain 3:1 ratio with Pakistan vis-à-vis its conventional firepower is reeling from decades of institutional inaction led obsolescence and some delays due to bizarre project planning and execution. Today as it stand, most of it’s prime artillery force is either decommissioned or in the state of dismay.

Towed Artillery ​

Current State:

Following is the head to head comparison between towed artillery of India and Pakistan.

India total towed strength on paper stands at 4150 compared to Pakistan's 3278 which to begin with is a grave issue for a nation trying to maintain 1:3 ratio in conventional firepower against Pakistan. Add to the fact no one has the seen the S23 and D30 guns in action, neither does the Ordinance factory board produce any ammunition in 180mm and 122 mm calibers, that points to the fact these units are either mothballed or out of service. This brings the total strength of Indian towed artillery to 3500 units- almost neck and neck with a potential adversary where we supposedly brandish the term "numerical superiority".

Heavy Artillery:

Pakistan fields couple of dozen of 203mm gun, and POF still manufactures the ammunition as it also possess 203mm Sel Propelled Guns. Whereas Indian heavy guns are out of action. Although this is not big advantage as 155 mm guns can discharge the duties of heavier guns circa WWII.

155mm Towed Artillery:

In the modern 155 mm towed howitzer head to head competition, Indian Army falls short of it's objectives outgunning and outnumbering the opposition.

India posses a total of 380 155mm guns compared to 394 Guns of Pakistan. This is quite perplexing as India had originally purchased about 410 155 FH77/B guns from Sweden with tech transfer, and only 200 of them survive. This points towards cannibalization of existing guns due to lack of spares which is pure negligence. Today OFB is touting that they are producing Dhanush 155mm guns for the army, a reasonable explanation is indeed needed for loosing half the fleet of FH77/B over the years, when we haven't had such terrible luck with the M46. where almost the entire fleet remains intact.

Another reason to worry is the transfer of technology from turkey to Pakistan in building the MKEK Panter, Pakistan is churning out about 30-40 guns every year of this kind, and most likely end up with about 350 units in next couple of year.

Metmorphosis gun has had tube blowouts a couple of times, so most likely it will run for the rest of it's life as low ring charges to avoid such situations, which will most likely bring down it's effective range from 39 km to about 25-28. So with the given inventory India does not possess the range or the numerical advantage over it's Pakistani counterparts.

(On a side note, M46 has been a god-send Russian system for us, much like the Mig 21. It has lived past it's age and still keeps running like a champ.)

Medium Artillery:

When it came to medium artillery, India traditionally maintained heavy superiority against Pakistan with its 130mm and 122 mm cannons. Given Indian Army has decided to pull back all of it's 122mm guns, Indian medium artillery looks abysmally weak in the comparison to Pakistani medium artillery. India has about 720 M46 130mm medium guns left in service, whereas Pakistan's 130mm M46 clones and 122 mm variants stand at a staggering 1243 units, almost 500 more medium guns than India.

And this ratio will continue to skew as we eat into long range M46's and turn them into short range 155mm upgrade. Another aspect to note is Pakistani army's Type 54 is a 21 Caliber (Length) gun, i.e it's shorter and highly mobile gun. India on the other hand has chosen not to field any short range, highly mobile medium sized gun which can be used for border escalations.

Light Artillery:

The only area where India posses an edge is in the light artillery with is indigenous 105mm work horses IFG and LFG units. India posses about 2400 field guns compared to 1643 guns comprising of 105 mm, 85mm and quarter pounders that Pakistan fields.

One of the major advantages of the Indian Field Guns is the barrel length of 37 Caliber which is longer than all of the comparable 105mm Pakistani light Artillery, which gives it a significant range advantage. Also the Light Field Gun is highly mobile and offsets the portability of the 85mm guns of the adversary. This is one area where Indian army truly outguns the opposition in both range, effectiveness and inventory.

Future State:

Indian Army seems to have made up it's mind on consolidating 155 mm in different length-calibers as it mainstay in towed artillery. A 1600 towed gun contract seems to point at the same. Given Pakistans 155mm and Medium gun combined strength will stand at around 1900 guns in next 3-5 years, if Indian army want's to pitch a 2:1 ratio it will need a combined strength of atleast 4000 guns.

Gap Analysis:

As the 155mm inventory strength today stands at a measly 380 units, Indian establishment will still have a shortfall of about 2000 guns if it wants to get to a 1:2 ratio vis-a-vis Pakistan. With consolidation large and medium artillery Indian Army will need substantial efforts in converting most of it's m46 fleet with a proven barrel solution for the Beas/Metamorphosis Program which can add another 700 odd 155 mm modified guns to the inventory. the 1600 towed artillery system will need a revamp or even an introduction of another system along side the one chosen to get similar advantages as we have gained in local production of IFG and LFG guns. Given that India doesn't struggle in the Light Artillery, upgrade programs on 105mm LGF, along with catapult and kalyani Garuda ultralight guns can turn the Light Artillery into more efficient unit.


Indian Artillery is in extremely poor state, and the red tape with acquisition of artillery system has put the lifes of our soldiers to risk. Given that half of the medium artillery is out of commission, and prime front line FH77/B fleet has been cannibalized to half it's size, it is of utmost importance to fast track both the development and the acquisition Processes for the towed artillery. Success story of the 105mm light Artillery has already set the precedence for Indian Army to follow local production of artillery system to be replicated in the 155mm category.

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Terrible State of Indian Artillery ​

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Agni Missile Series

Agni series
Agni missile series were originally developed under India's Integrated Guided Misile Development program. IGMDP consisted of various SRBM's, MRBM's Anti Tank and MRSAM etc. upon realization of the strategic importance of MRBM program, Agni missile program was decoupled from the IGMDP and given it's own independent allocation for further development.

Agni 1 - Medium Range Ballistic Missile

Range : 700-1250 Km

Status- Operational

Type: Medium Range Ballistic Missile

Agni I forms the backbone of Strategic Forces Command of India with its reach extending to most of the immediate theater of conflict. Agni 1 is road and rail mobile system and is capable of 2200lbs payload of nuclear or conventional warhead. For guidance the missile uses Ring Laser Gyro Inertial Navigation which can be augmented by terminal GPS guidance with radar scene correction. The re-entry vehicle flight dynamics are engineered to give it the ability to correct the trajectory of the launch to account for flight pattern errors and trajectory variances. Solid fueled thrust cartridges are also used for the on-board adaptive controller to trim velocity and spatial orientation.

Comparable Missile in South Asian Region: Ghauri 1 (Pak), Rodong 1 (DPRK), DF16 (PRC)

Agni-II - Medium Range Ballistic Missile

Range :2000 - 3000Km

Status- Operational

Type: Medium Range Ballistic Missile

Agni II is classified as a strategic ballistic missile by the strategic force command of India. It's range and weight places at the cusp of a medium and an Intermediate range ballistic missile. Agni II was developed by India to mitigate the risks posed by rampant proliferation of long range missile technology from North Korea to Pakistan. The onus was to build on proven technology of Agni 1 series. Agni II is a rapid deployment system for the SFC and can be deployed within 15 mins. Agni II still has an active upgrade program in place which saw the Agni II Prime with composite air frame, reduced weight and increased range and Mk2 Re-entry Vehicle optimized of 220KT Nuclear Warhead.

Comparable Missile system in South Asian Region: Ghauri II (Pak), Shaheen II (Pak), DF21 (PRC)

Agni III: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Range: 3500-5000 Km

Status: Testing

Type: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Agni III is an IRBM developed by DRDO and produced by Bharat Dynamics for the Indian Strategic Forces Command. It is currently the longest ranging missile in service with the Indian forces. With Circular error probability of 40 meters, it is one of the most sophisticated and accurate missile in IRBM class. For development of long range sophisticated missile systems, Advanced system Laboratories was established within the DRDO group. ASL was responsible for developing the new solid motor propulsion system for the Agni III. The two stage missile uses indigenous ring laser gyro based inertial navigation. Agni III also provides a higher payload capacity with Mk4 Re-entry vehicle capable of supporting varied munition both conventional and nuclear ranging from 1300lbs to 4000 lbs. 17M stubby height makes Agni III to be highly mobile and suited for naval application. The program spawned the K4 series submarine launched ballistic missile.

Comparable Missile system in South Asian Region: Agni IV (India)

Agni IV - Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Range :3000-4000Km

Status -Testing and Validation

Type: Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile

Agni IV is essentially an improved Agni II missile code named Agni II prime. Agni II originally with it's max 3000 Km range was at the cusp of Intermediate range classification, air frame modifications, with weight saving carbon fiber air frame and a composite two stage solid stage motor made Agni II prime close that gap between the Agni III and Agni II. The missile system also featured indigenous laser ring gyroscope and an on-board micro navigation system. The missile also features a highly sophisticated on-board flight control computer with high speed communication for highly accurate CEP and counter ABM maneuvering.

Comparable systems in South Asian region: None in the same class

Agni V - Medium Range Ballistic Missile

Range : 5000-5600 Km

Status -Testing and Validation

Type: Medium Range Ballistic Missile.

Agni V is the first Inter Continental Ballistic Missile developed by DRDO with the claimed range of ~5000 Km with a 17.5M height and max payload of 1500 Kgs. This missile's range has been a topic of controversy as chinese reports and some Indian sources indicate the range exceeding 7500 to 8000 km and intentionally downplayed by Indian officials to avoid international criticism. Agni V re-entry vehicle is configured to deliver 2-10 nuclear warheads. The missile was specifically designed to road mobile and rugged. Future iteration of Agni V will be canistered, the length of the missile also points towards a possible SLBM variation.

Comparable systems in South Asian region: DF4 (PRC)

Agni VI - Inter Continental Ballistic Missile

Range : 8000 to 12000 Km

Status – Under Development

Type: Inter Continental Ballistic Missile

Agni VI is the follow on to the Agni V ICBM and is under development with the DRDO ADL team. Agni VI will feature carbon fiber composite air frame along with Maneuverable re-entry vehicle capable of supporting upto 10 warheads. Terminal guidance will be similar as the Agni III follow on series with Inertial guidance augmented with radar scene correlation. It will also incorporate dynamic trajectory error correction using liquid thrust cartridges. The system will be a three stage system, and will be longer than the Agni V series. Like most of the modern Indian missile ballistic missiles, Agni VI will be cannistered and road mobile. Like the Agni V , this system will also have a Submarine launched ballistic missile variant dubbed the K6.

Comparable systems in the South Asian region: DF5 (PRC), DF31 (PRC), DF41 (PRC)

Combat Platforms of the Indian Air Force

Indian Air force is the among the top five largest air powers in the world based on it’s inventory, personnel and it’s training. With reference to it’s immediate environment it’s sandwiched between Pakistani air force and PLAAF, where it outnumbers PAF and in turn is outnumbered by the PLAAF. Traditionally IAF has relied on a healthy balance between low cost platforms like Mig 21’s to build numerical superiority and the more expensive platforms like Su30MKI, Mig 29 and Mirage 2000 to cover the higher end spectrum of quality fighters, and everything in the middle is covered by medium cost/ medium technology platforms like the Jaguar and Mig 27’s.

With India’s economic fortunes taking an upward swing in the mid 90’s, IAF has added some serious muscle with upgrades to Mirage 2000 and Mig 29’s, drastically increasing the numbers of it’s premier heavy combat aircraft Su 30MKI and adding some serious teeth by choosing Dassualt Rafale recently for its multi role medium combat role aircraft.

Su 30MKI Flanker:

Indian air force classifies Su 30 MKI as its premier Air Dominance fighter, which can be used in strike, air superiority, maritime strike as well as mini awacs platform. Su30’s slow speed sorcery can sometimes make us forget that it is also an excellent supersonic platform with one of the best BVR systems in world. With the Super Sukhoi upgrade program, additional features like RCS reduction, better engine performance, longer range R77 RVV SD and MD missiles, and integration of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile will increase the capability of the MKI to a level which would be difficult for other platforms to match.

Mig 29 SMT - BAAZ:

Mig 29 remains the go to air superiority fighter for IAF. The most capable fighter pilots of IAF are handpicked for this fighter program, and it’s primary role is to shoot down enemy aircrafts period. India was the first foreign customer for the Mig 29M’s outside USSR, and hence is closest to the most original specification. With the upgrade program, Mig 29M will get all the SMT upgrade features with a few additional features borrowed from the Mig 29K program of the Indian Navy and the Mig 35 pitch for the MMRCA, one of the visible difference is the enlarged spine for additional avionics and additional fuel, from the mig 35 proposal, better radar package with the Phazatron Zhuk ME providing substantial capability of delivering ground ordinance like A2G missiles and PGM capabilities evident from the push to integrate the Israeli Litenning pod. Mig 29 although with added dimension of multi role will continue to serve as the primary air superiority fighter with the option of strike features if the need arises.

Mirage 2000I - 2005 Mk2: 

Mirage 2000 was the first true multi-role aircraft for IAF with equal prowess in strike, air superiority and reconnaissance roles. It’s user friendly and low maintenance features have been highly prized by the IAF. The ease with which it was mated to paveway LGB’s during kargil operations proved it’s potential as an exceptionally potent platform with room for upgrades. IAF has decided to uprate it mirages with the 2005 mk2 upgrades from dassualt at an astounding price which is almost equal to price of the original aircraft. The unmatched performance of mirage initially led to feasibility analysis to procure additional multirole aircrafts to replace the aging mig 21’s, which eventually transformed into the MMRCA contract. Mirage 2000 with its 2005 mk2 upgrade will get better avionics, radar and the possibility to integrate the meteor bvr and the storm shadow alcm making this one of the most potent platforms for the IAF.

LCA Tejas Mk1/ Mk2:

LCA has almost been the problem child of the IAF with it’s lengthy developmental process. Although the aircraft has drawn flak due to it’s timeline for development and induction, the design philosophy of the aircraft has great potential. Envisaged as a pilot friendly, low maintenance, agile dogfighter, it’s role was broadened to a multi role light fighter. With the problems with kaveri gtrx engine, an uprated FG404 and later FG414-IN was selected to provide the aircraft with almost 100KN of thrust, which would put it’s twr among the best aircrafts in the world. It’s avionics architecture lets it employ the range of Russian, Indian and Israeli missiles and pgm’s. Along with that it shares wide commonality with the naval version. The ultimate aim of IAF is to induct the home grown fighter in large numbers to replace the mig 21 and the  mig 27’s and eventually take over all of the close air patrol, area defence and close air support roles essentially freeing up the Su30MKI’s Rafales, Mig 29’s and Mirages for their actual intended strike and air superiority roles. Success of LCA mk2 will essentially define the IAF’sfuture doctrine along with the constituents of its strike packages for various objectives. Another spinoff intended from the LCA Mk1 might be a lead in fighter trainer for the IAF augmenting the advanced jet trainers of the IAF.

SEPECAT Jaguar Shamsher: 

Jaguar in the IAF takes up the role of deep penetration and maritime strike aircraft. IAF has decide to upgrade the adour engines with up- Honeywell F-125IN turbofan engine to provide additional payload capacity to this aircraft. With impressive payload capacity and armed with matra magic II, sea eagle and As 37 Martel  missiles, jaguar is the dark horse in the IAF arsenal. The DARIN II upgrade from DRDO provides the aircraft with better defensive capabilities, and net centric capabilities.

Mig 27M - Bahadur

Although this aircraft is due for replacement, due to shortage of newer aircrafts and to maintain the squadron strength IAF decided to upgrade the Mig27M to DARE III standards. Mig 27 with its impressive payload capacity was primarily tasked with low level ground attack to provide CAS support to troops. With the experience of kargil war, it was evident that such missions posed higher risk and the susceptibility to ground fire. DARE III upgrades have provided the ability to loiter at high altitude and hit it’s targets from high altitudes using Precision guided munitions and stand off missiles utilizing the litening III targeting pod. Apart from that the pilot work load has been significantly reduced by the avionics upgrade package and also provides better situational awareness to the pilots.

Future platforms of IAF:


Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and RAC Russia have partnered together to build the Prospective Multirole Fighter (PMF) fifth generation fighter aircraft (FGFFA) to lead both RuAF and IAF in the next generation. PAKFA is the broadly the single seat fighter variant and the FGFA would be the dual seat version, RuAF will heavily bank on the single seat variant with the exact opposite with the IAF. PAKFA T50 boasts of hyper maneuverability, thrust vectoring, stealth, AESA radar systems, internal weapons bay, RVV SD and MD BVR systems, sensor fusion and supersonic cruise speeds.

AMCA: Advanced medium combat
Advanced medium combat aircraft is the indigenous fifth generation stealth aircraft under development by the DRDO/ADA of India. AMCA will replace the mirage 2000 and jaguar platforms in the future. AMCA will boast hyper maneuverability, low RCS observable stealth features, internal weapons bay, Long range BVR and AESA radar and 5th gen sensor fusion. Most likely the system will be developed as a carrier based aircraft and and adapted to a land based system.


The dassault rafale will form the main omni role strike force along with the Su30 MKI platforms to provide significant offensive capabilities for the IAF. Almost 2 squadrons will be procured from Dassault, France with further options to produce the more units in India. It remains to be seen if the navy opts for the naval rafale for its IAC 2 and IAC 3 platforms. As learnt from the MKI program, if Rafale does delivers what it is expected from it, it might well see a significant increase in production orders from the IAF well beyond 200 units.

Cold Start Doctrine and Tactical Nukes

What is Cold Start Doctrine: 

Cold start doctrine is rapid mobilization of India's unified battle groups in case of a possible war with Pakistan. This doctrine calls for rapid armored thrusts across the Pakistani territory as a conventional riposte against mass terror attacks in India by Pakistan. One of the main criterion of the CSD that is often overlooked is the air interdiction to gain air superiority that preceeds the actual ground movement and a naval blockade and maritime operations to cut fuel supplies and limit the war fighting capability of Pakistan. Integrated Battle Groups (IBG) incursion mandates, air interdiction as precursor to any ground activity, and pre cursor to air interdiction is cruise missile attacks on c4I assets of Pakistan damage it's command and control architecture. 

CSD's and the concept of highly mobile IBG's (light and heavy ) are actually derived from armored brigades of the ww2 africa conquest where, the light brigades would link up and separate to control certain areas. The idea is to divide the big rolling armor in multiple pronged tentacles which would threaten different assets of PA, 

NASR Missile:

Hatf IX NASR missile is a solid fueled battlefield range ballistic missile derived from the WS-2 Weishi Rockets system developed by China's Sichuan Aerospace Corporation used in the A100 Multiple launch rocket sytem. It uses the same 8 x 8 transporter erector launch system as the A100 MLRS imported from china. It can carry sub kiloton nuclear warhead or a HE conventional warhead and fire in salvo mode to survive air defence systems. 

Pakistan's NASR BRBM tactical nuclear missile was introduced as a counter to the armored thrusts conceived in the cold start environment. The focus being if India's crosses a certain threshold, pakistan will use tactical nukes on advancing Indian armor. Whatever a Nasr missle baterry can achieve, same can be achieved via a small tactical nuke dropped from a mirage 3 in battle conditions, hence the concept of tactical nukes on forwarding troops is not a new one, and thus not a game changer that suddenly PA has fielded that Indian planners have not accounted for. The heavy IBG's will only roll with proper air interdiction, plus they will have adequate CAS cover from IAF to trace 50-80 kms ahead for PA assets. So putting a NASR battery 60 klicks of an IBG might be quite challenging and there is much better chance of achieving a nuclear strike using a babur or a Raad cruise missile. 

What deployment of Nasr does ensure is a similar strike by India on Pakistan, and with introduction of a NBC threat, India's response could be quite severe by it's trifecta of delivery mechanism. This might present a situation where pakistan may not have the ability left to respond to such a strike thus essentially giving a free hand to India to go fully nuclear in the scenario.

Planning of the conflict holds the major key here, Unless India has more strike platforms, and area defense fighters like LCA mk2 developed it wont have enough platforms to ensure air superiority over Pakistan which is a key to defend the IBG's, IAF will not want to get into a high attrition conflict with Pakistan which might leave it open to intimidation from Chinese border. 

In the end whichever side has better planning and better redundancies built into their command and control to absorb the initial damage sustained will have the edge. India still lacks the assets needed to successfully pull off any high intensity air/ground operations for next 5 years, with most of it's Mig 27 and Mig 21 fleet facing obsolescence, and critical delays in LCA and MMRCA platforms. With the dwindled strength of the IAF squadron strength and lack of Artillery and SAM's in army. The tri services do not have the numbers to project an offensive of such scale and precision in the next 5-8 years. Thus the ground offensive mode of Cold Start may be at around 85% of required numbers and Air mode at around 60%, it still seems a long way for India to be able to deploy the strategy as a feasible doctrine with the given inventory.

With introduction of Awacs platforms , New DRDO - AEW&C and Additional Phalcon Awacs, Two Squadrons of Rafales, 6 Squadrons of MKI's, Mirage 2000-05 I upgrade, the Mig29 UPG program, BAE Hawk CAS approach along with the renewed vigor in the LCA program, the Airforce assets will be in good shape in the next 5-8 years to deal with the Air Operations needed for the Cold start or any other mass Air Interdiction operation to gain Air Superiority. On the Ground mode of operations always has had adequate armor strength, with upgraded T90 and T72 night fighting capability supplemented by Arjun MBT, IA is in a comfortable position to rapidly ingress into the Pakistani territory. The only area of concern is the low numbers of Artillery systems and Surface to Air systems. Naval operations are where India enjoys unprecedented advantage over Pakistan, with the current fleet strength, Indian navy can not only sustain a naval blockade, but completely decimate Karachi and Gawadar ports and more at will.

LCA Tejas: The chink in the armor.

Light combat aircraft was conceived as an extremely ambitious project for Indian Air force in the late 80's. India's HAL had previously produced the promising HF24 Marut with the help of the legendary designer Kurt Tank. With the romance of the giant slayer Folland Gnat embedded in the minds of the IAF brass, the concept of Light, Agile and nimble fighter of the 4th generation was envisaged. To design such an aircraft an entire aeronautical eco system was needed, and thus was born the ADA within the DRDO sphere of Labs, bypassing the HAL the largest and only aircraft manufacturing organization in the country which in retrospect might have been a poor decision.

So what went wrong? Pretty much most of it except the structure of the aircraft. By the time IAF was highly impressed with Mirage 2000, the goal became to produce comparable version of the same with an indigenous turbofan engine, a PESA multimode radar, Electronic warfare suite by the early 2000. The first prototype took to the skies 2001, with a GE F404 engine, meanwhile the kaveri engine project did not yield any substantial results. Similarly, the PESA radar did not take shape either. What did work was the state if the art composite airframe, control avionics and the fly by wire system for the system.  

Meanwhile while ADA/IAF was struggling to get the LCA operational, Mig 21's were running out of life, and started getting the undeserved nickname of the widow-maker. These airframes should have been retired a ling time ago, but due to delays of the LCA- Tejas, the life was being extended, in some instances not so successfully.

By the mid 2000's, IAF had again started changing it's mind from Light agile fighter to a light multirole aircraft capable of not only replacing the mig21's but also supplement Mig27's CAS missions and medium range air interdiction role. Knowing that LCA Tejas in it's current iterations wont be able to do so, MRCA (Mirage as stopgap) and subsequently ballooned into the MMRCA as a top tier omnirole Squadrons with LCA as the second tier Area defense system.

One look at the IAF fleet and it will show signs of heavy concentration on Air Superiority, most of it's platforms like the Su 30 MKI, Mig29, Mirage 2000's are exceptional Air superiority platforms, even the LCA was designed to be a nimble and agile dog-fighter. With success of the 4.5th generation multi-role aircraft’s, LCA's intended purpose too was modified to become the multi-role system in the avatar of LCA MK2.

So who is to blame for the delays in the project? Three main reasons seem to be Changing goal posts for the LCA from the Air Staff HQ; The disconnect of ADA/DRDO from it's own technology base and lack of the IAF's  ownership of the project have been the biggest contributors for the delays of this indigenous light combat aircraft system. One cannot rule out intentional misdoings in the ministry of defense to ensure that the project was starved for funds and intentionally mismanaged due to pressures from foreign aviation companies as has been alleged in quite a few quarters.

With dwindling squadron owing to already decommissioned Mig 23 and Mig 21 F/S/FL series air crafts along with Mig21 bison’s and Mig 27's on the verge of being decommissioned soon, LCA Mk2 is one of the most important projects for India, even more important to the national security of India than the FGFA or AMCA. With a heavy air superiority fleet of MKI , Mig 29's and Mirage 2000, India's air interdiction and Area defense gets weaker due to lack of internal cover of an area defense fighter like the LCA. With sufficient numbers of LCA being the work horse, it frees up the MKI's and Mig29 protecting trombay high and other installation to do their real jobs of taking the fight to the enemy.