The Indian Armed Forces

The Indian Armed Forces is the overall unified military of the Republic of India encompassing the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, the Indian Navy, and various other inter-service institutions. With an estimated total active force of 1,414,000 personnel, India maintains the world's third largest armed forces.

Auxiliary services include the Indian Coast Guard, the Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) and the Strategic Forces Command.

India's official defense budget stands at $32.35 billion but the actual spending on the armed forces is estimated to be much higher than that. Undergoing rapid expansion and modernization, the Indian Armed Forces plans to have an active military space program and is currently developing a potent missile defense shield and nuclear triad capability.

India is moving to build a $2 billion or Rs 9,970.16 crore dedicated; highly secure and state-of-the-art optical fiber cable (OFC) network for the Army, Navy and Air Force. This will be one of the world’s largest, closed user group (CUG) networks for exclusive use by the million-plus personnel of the Indian armed forces.

The Indian armed forces are split into different groups based on their region of operation. The Indian Army is administratively divided into 7 tactical commands, each under the control of different Lieutenant Generals.

The Indian Air Force is divided into five operational and two functional commands. Each Command is headed by an Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief with the rank of Air Marshal. The Indian Navy operates four Commands. Each Command is headed by a Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief in the rank of Vice Admiral.

The Armed Forces have five main tasks:

1. To assert the territorial integrity of India.

2. To defend the country if attacked by a foreign nation.

3. To send own amphibious warfare equipment to take the battle to enemy shores.

4. To support the civil community in case of disasters (e.g. flooding).

5. To deploy forces to international peace support operations.

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