cyber division to be created for close-coordination between the three armed forces: sources

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Top officials in the South Block have been considering setting up of beside the cyber agency, a Defence Space Agency and also Special Operations Division comprising the assets of the three services

The Government has issued instructions to the Ministry of Defence regarding the creation of Cyber Division which will be a joint structure under the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS).

Informed sources confirmed to Financial Express Online that, “This Defence Cyber Division will have Special Forces elements from all three services, indicative of jointness amongst the forces.”

Top officials in the South Block have been considering setting up of beside the cyber agency, a Defence Space Agency and also Special Operations Division comprising the assets of the three services. The government has already formed a Defence Planning Committee to be headed by the National Security Adviser which is expected to prepare a detailed national security strategy in an effort to converge the assets of the Army, the IAF and the Navy.

Earlier this week, addressing media persons ahead of the Navy Day, Naval Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said a “great deal of progress” has been made on ensuring synergy and “Jointness” among the three services.

Adding, “The three services are not in agreement with the Theatre commands and the Indian Air Force (IAF) is against it. Theatre Command needs an operational commander based in New Delhi. For this, there is a need to set up higher defence organisation before starting actual work in that direction.”

As one officer explained, “Under Theatre Command, all the resources of the three services will be put under the command of one senior commander, something on the lines of the US and China.”

Along with the US, and many other western countries are following this model, a couple of years ago China had reorganised its military into five theatre commands to enhance the overall capabilities of the forces.

While India’s first and only Tri-service command was set up in 2001, in the strategically located Andaman and Nicobar, today there are 17 single service commands in India — seven each of Army and Air Force and three of the Navy. There have been recommendations made by the services that the commands could be set up keeping the assets in mind, and the terrain in mind.

In May 2017, a revised version of the Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces 2017 was released by the Chiefs of Staff Committee, Admiral Lanba, the Chief of the Naval Staff, in the presence of the Chief of Army Staff and the Chief of Air Staff and presented to the government.

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