The first Integrated Battle Groups (IGBs) of the India Army will be carved out by early 2022, a report in the Times of India says.
IGBs, which will be leaner and more agile than the existing formations, will have around 5,000 soldiers and a differing mix of infantry, tanks, artillery, air defence, signals and engineers. These elements will be permanently deployed together.
While IGBs will be larger than brigades, which have 3,000 soldiers each, they will be smaller than divisions, which comprise of around 12,000 soldiers each. The new formations will be commanded by Major Generals.
The configuration of the IGBs will depend on the threat, the type of terrain involved and the task to be achieved.
The IGBs meant for deployment on the border with Pakistan will have tanks and heavy artillery because these formations will focus on the flat terrain in Punjab and Rajasthan. The IGBs to be deployed on the border with China will instead focus on infantry and light artillery due to the mountainous nature of the terrain.
The creation of IGBs, experts say, will enable the Indian Army to take quick offensive action against the enemy in the event of the outbreak of hostilities.
In the first phase, the Indian Army plans to create 8-10 IGBs from the YoI-based 9 Corps, Panghar-based 17 Corps and Sukna-based 33 Corps.